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5 Tips Not to Succumb to Advertisements and Emotional Shopping

From every direction, we are constantly stormed with advertisements that try to convince us their product is the best and life without it is deadly dull. Is it true? Together let's examine how to avoid emotional purchases once and for all. Especially in these days of rising prices, consumer discipline is crucial to keep the family budget under control.

Lucia Luptáková | Personal finance | 14. April 2022

The 2-Day Rule

Most of us know that feeling when we watch an ad for a new product, and the thought "I have to try this" pops into our minds. Whether it's a new device that will miraculously save us hours or make our lives easier or a brand-new cosmetic promising instant rejuvenation.

Everyone can think of several things they've bought, hoping they’d live up to expectations. Anything fits into the formula, a new car, stylish clothes, a phone, a subscription, or an appliance for home and leisure. A completed order, a paid product, and waiting for the goods are apparently contagious.

How many of these things are currently lying around in a corner, have been gifted or sold, or ended up straight in the bin? Would you be able to count how much money has sailed out of your account over the years in this way?

The two-day rule helps with emotional shopping. Whenever you succumb to an ad and feel the urge to buy something, wait at least two days before making the purchase. Your enthusiasm will most likely wear off.

Two days is the optimum time to ensure that your purchase will not be affected by your emotions. You may even forget that you wanted to buy something by that time. If this doesn't happen and your desire persists, apply other rules so that your satisfaction doesn't evaporate after a few days.

Do I Really Need the Product? 

The two-day rule also provides you with time to think about whether you need the product or service. As emotional beings, we often succumb to the promises of salespeople and make purchases we later regret.

For this reason, it is advisable to ask yourself "Do I really need this?" before each purchase. Think about how often you will use the item. This question might apply especially to us ladies and clothing or fashion accessories. If your only reason to buy a new dress is to star in it at a single party, it's not a rational purchase.

Each of us is aware of where our greatest weakness is. If you ask yourself the right questions and think for a few minutes before making purchases, you can avoid products that end up in the bin or a second-hand store for a fraction of the purchase price.

Research Above All

However, we will encounter life situations when it will be necessary to buy new things. When my washing machine breaks down, the question of whether I need it or just want it is not worth discussing. However, even in such cases, it is important to think about marketing enticements. You don't have to buy the first washing machine you come across in an advertisement.

Do your research before buying similar items. Nowadays, many different shops and e-shops sell the same products but at different prices.

It's also a good idea to check out reviews from people who have already bought the product. Thanks to their assessments, you will often discover that not everything is as perfect as it looks at first glance or as the price tag suggests.

Sometimes even cheaper goods meet all your needs, and customers are happier with them than with the latest product type. Utilize online comparison sites where you can find a clear list of products with ratings and price comparisons across different stores.

If your financial situation does not permit you to buy new goods if needed, reach for goods from thrift stores. There you can often find new items the owners of which realized they don’t need or like. Similar to direct purchases through a shop or e-shop, you need to watch out for fraud attempts in thrift stores.

Discard the Old Item and Buy a New One? 

In the current consumerist age, I encounter the attitude that it is cheaper to buy a new item than to repair the original one more and more frequently. And it's not just about repairs. For example, I've heard the view that you'll pay less for a new color printer than for replacement cartridges.

Before we rush headlong into comparing new products, preparing to expect a call from the courier delivering our new washing machine, consult an expert to see if it's more cost-effective to use a repairer’s services.

Many of you are skilled and maybe you just need to look up a few repair guides, order a replacement gasket, and have the mentioned washing machine repaired for a few euros in a few days. What's more, you won’t only help your wallet but also the environment.

Of course, there are situations in which the original thing can’t be repaired anymore. Even in this situation, however, we don’t have to buy new goods from the shop, reaching for second-hand items instead. This can save hundreds of euros.

Convenience and laziness are restraining us so much that we always reach for brand new products rather than spending a few minutes thinking and trying to do something for our budget.

It's understandable that families with children, in particular, can't imagine a week without a washing machine. But is it such a long time? Can you imagine a situation where you only had cloth diapers to wash by hand? Fortunately, times have advanced, but I'm convinced that going a week or two without such a life luxury is not unrealistic.

But There Was a Discount

We often justify emotional shopping by saying there was a rebate, and we saved money by buying the goods. However, if I buy a new TV set whose price has been reduced from 1,000 to 600 euros while I don't need it, I haven't saved 400 euros.

I have still spent 600 euros. And that is money that can be invested to enable you to buy, for instance, a new car when you need it instead of television in the future. Or money that can provide you with a decent pension.

Various promotions and campaigns are designed to convince us that if we do not buy the item now, we will never find it at such a favorable price again. However, remember that goods are often put on a discount because they are being eliminated from the offer, i.e. they are the last items in stock or other customers are not interested in them. Hence, you can often easily live without these goods.

 It is probably impossible to stop making such purchases in a flash. However, if you keep these few rules in mind and consider whether your purchases really make sense before making them, you can save hundreds of euros each year. You will gradually become more cautious, not being tempted by the well-thought-out marketing of various companies so easily.

Lucia Luptáková
Lucia Luptáková
Compliance Specialist
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