The Psychology of Shopping: Spending Tips for Spending Less

Retailers invest big money to trick you into spending as much as possible when you go out shopping. Here are some spending tips to trick yourself into saving instead. 

May 31, 2019

Author

Adriana May

As our loyal readers know, here on Billfixers we are all about helping you save money in different ways. But we also understand that a lot of people’s savings usually end up getting spent on a shopping trip because of ads and other marketing tactics. 

In this article, we will look at the psychological tricks that retailers use to get people to spend their money. We will also look at a few different spending tips so consumers can cut down on their shopping expenses.

 

Go to less stores

One of the first things you can do is visit fewer stores. In this regard, Reader’s Digest’s tips to spend less explain how although you may believe there is no harm in “window shopping”, you might actually end up spending more. The psychology behind this is that your brain will trick you into thinking your “legwork” needs rewarding and that you must buy something.

Only use cash

Another thing you can do is to stick with shopping with cash instead of plastic. Because plastic is a less transparent way of spending, it is easier to spend. This is in contrast to cash, the most visible form of payment there is. Restricting yourself to spending crisp, new bills may also cause you to think twice.

Want to go shopping and save money? Lower your costs by having BillFixers negotiate your monthly bills. You’ll keep all the same services for things like TV, internet, and phones, just pay less.

Think twice during the holidays

It also helps to understand how marketers use holidays to their advantage. The Conversation notes how Christmas is especially lucrative because companies can bombard consumers with lights and holiday music to disrupt their rational thinking. Even sales make you feel like you’re missing out on a “temporary” discount, sending you into a spending spree. 

Keep your financial goals in mind

Entrepreneur Kevin Daum explains that these tactics work because the brain automates most decisions. That is why even after you’re made aware of these marketing tactics, the temptation of spending is still hard to resist. To combat this, consumers should keep their financial goals in mind. This can mean methods like carrying a picture of the car or vacation you’re saving up for to keep temptation at bay. Repeating an uplifting mantra can also help, as this can give you the positive reinforcement you need.

Sales make you feel like you’re missing out on a “temporary” discount, sending you into a spending spree.  

It’s worth keeping in mind that these tips will only become more valuable given that the marketing industry is rapidly evolving. According to figures from Recode, the influence of the digital marketing industry has already surpassed TV and print. Estimates even project that US advertisers will spend a whopping $129 billion on digital advertising alone this year. Other evaluations also show no sign of the industry slowing down.

With marketing heavily based on psychology, a post by Maryville University describes how psychology graduates have a part to play in the marketing industry as their skill set can be invaluable in predicting consumer behavior. This is also one of the reasons why the industry is set to grow by 9% by 2026. Moreover, as more consumers rely on smart technology, expect the industry to grow even more by leveraging technology and psychology to attract consumers. 

Developments like these will no doubt result in new ways to separate consumers from their hard-earned money. It’s all the more reason why shoppers should heed these spending tips and remain vigilant when it comes to their purchasing decisions.

You’re being overcharged by thousands of dollars.

We negotiate for you to get you a better price on your monthly bills. You’ll keep all your same services, but we’ll get you a better price for them.

Posts you might be interested in