Discovering why we buy

Once on a television show, I heard an organizer working with a hoarder ask her what she was thinking when she bought so many scrapbooking items. The woman responded, "I thought it would be fun to build scrapbooks with my granddaughters."

There is always a why to our spending that has little to do with the actual item and more to do with what we hope it will bring us emotionally.

Most of us are pretty savvy to the marketing hype.  We've absorbed enough television commercials and been disappointed by enough products that we understand the rules of the game are caveat emptor and yet, we still find ourselves trying to buy what we want out of life (and with Amazon  Prime you can get that result the day after tomorrow.)

Those of us in the US have grown up in a consumer society where we are awash in marketing messages that promise with the spending of $49.95 we can:

- Have love.
- Be successful.
- Enjoy great relationships.
- Like ourselves.
- Be happy.

While most of us know logically that we can't buy any of that stuff from a store or online retailer, it is exactly what the marketers are selling.  They don't sell goods, they sell emotion.


Because we don't buy goods, we buy emotion.

Simply pausing to ask ourselves why we are drawn to buy something, can often uncover our emotional motivations. And then we have to ask ourselves if there aren't more effective ways to get what it is that we really want.

By shifting our focus away from the props to doing the work we need to do inside, we can move from caveat emptor to carpe diem.

Of course, you could also try a spending fast.

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall