Resisting the Retailers

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Kiwis love buying things on special and the push from retailers is making it even more difficult for us all to resist the temptation to spend. Black Friday, which originated as an American tradition on the day after Thanksgiving, has now found its way to New Zealand. No doubt the rise of online shopping has prompted local retailers to maintain their competitiveness in what is now a global retail marketplace. The short duration of Black Friday sales adds to the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), a psychological factor that retailers play on to trick us into parting with our money.

Creating urgency is just one trick that retailers use. They can also lead us to believe in scarcity – that is, there is only limited stock available. Placing impulse products like chocolates close to the counter where you pay is another trick. Product displays are designed to encourage you to pick things up or try them on, and friendly sales staff have only one purpose in mind – to give you the encouragement and confidence to buy.

Going shopping during sale time is like a survival expedition. Your future life is at risk of being jeopardised by your current level of spending. So what tactics can you use to resist the retailers?

Mindfulness is great skill to practice. The first step towards making mindful money decisions is to be aware of the thoughts and feelings that influence the choices we make. Mindfulness involves stripping away these emotions and making well thought out, objective decisions about purchases. Procrastination is also helpful. There are multiple sales days in a year and waiting till the next sale day gives you time to really think about whether you need to spend or save. Just remember that by not buying, you save not 50% but 100%!

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