David B. Feldman – in a report published in the American “Psychologytoday” magazine – We live in a society driven by money. And if we are lucky enough to have a steady job, we spend an average of 90,000 hours of our lives earning money, then spend the rest of the time on it.
Almost everything we do requires spending money, including paying rent and providing food.
According to a study published in 2018, the average American spends $ 5,400 a year on impulse buying, which mostly includes food items he does not need, such as ice cream and chips.
In contrast, impulse buying for a large percentage of people includes the acquisition of fashion, household items and shoes.
In addition to this, the total credit card debt in America rose to nearly one trillion dollars (one thousand billion dollars), which means that the average person owes credit card companies about 6 thousand dollars, which makes us wonder: Why do we buy these things? The writer says.
During these difficult times – especially with the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis – meeting basic needs has become a very important matter for many people, but most of the time we make purchase decisions based on less logical or unnecessary reasons, the writer adds.
Spending money unconsciously
The author asserts that marketing and advertising are among the advanced industries that are based on psychology, and that they aim to influence us to spend money subconsciously.
He quotes his colleague Matt Johnson during an interview on KBFI as saying, “Over the past 20 or 30 years, marketers’ methods of convincing us to buy certain products and services have become more sophisticated.”
According to Johnson, “We might go to a fancy restaurant and spend a lot of money, sometimes beyond our budget, to get what we think are delicious dishes. But the pleasure we feel does not come from the interaction that takes place at the level of the tongue. The interaction actually occurs at the level of the brain.” … which is what the marketer is betting on. “
Other impact factors
Besides quality, our consumer choices are influenced by other factors such as packaging and brand recognition.
According to Johnson, despite the global recognition that some companies enjoy, they do not hesitate to spend millions of dollars annually on advertisements, because every new advertisement you see actually affects your options.
And the writer returned to point out that the brand and the way of packaging remain part of the joy of consuming the goods, as a feeling of pleasure arises when opening the packaging of the luxury packaging of the new iPhone – for example – and seeing the bitten apple logo on the phone.
Take back control
In contrast, many people prefer not to be under the influence of marketing strategies. In this regard, Johnson and Prince Goman, in their book on the hidden methods of marketing, offer advice on how to regain some control.
The two suggest that by realizing the impact marketing can have on us, we can make informed and wise choices. Their biggest and simpler suggestion is to shop mindfully by avoiding the influence of emotion, distraction, or even the effect of hunger.
The writer believes that in light of the financial distress that surrounds many due to the Corona pandemic, anything that helps us make better decisions to consume and save money is worth its weight in gold.