Business coaching, English, LIfestyle

New Year’s shopping

9. decembar 2022.

It’s a question as old as time: „How much does it cost?“

But the truth is, we all buy more than we need. And when you look at why we shop, it’s usually not about price at all — it’s about emotion. We shop because we want to feel better about ourselves, or because we want to compensate for something else in life that isn’t going so well.

Do you shop to reward yourself for a job well done? Do you buy things because of some kind of emotional need or just to fill an empty space in your life? Do you feel like shopping is part of who you are, and that without it, you would lose part of your identity?

So instead of asking how much something costs and looking for the cheapest option, try asking yourself: „Why do I want this?“ It’ll help you find the right answer—and save you money along the way!

So, let’s go back to that most common question asked by those consumers who think they are shopping ‚‚consciously‚‚: Can I afford it?. Of course, the majority don’t ask anything, but buy impulsively and even spontaneously… If we do stop and think about the purchase and wonder if that product is too expensive for our budget, in principle, we are not doing ourselves any favors because it is one of the worst questions we can ask ourselves. Why? Because price is not the only criterion for buying – in fact, it should not be a criterion at all: products are not bought for price – they are bought for other reasons.

What are the reasons and what should you ask yourself before buying?

1. Does that very thing benefit us in achieving our goals? Will we achieve what we want (whatever it is) faster with the help of that product? Or, on the contrary, that purchase takes us away from the goal and takes us a few steps back (for example, if our goal is to save a certain amount of money or to stop accumulating unnecessary things in the house).

2. What exactly is that product for? Is that something REALLY necessary for us or do we simply want to be ‚‚on trend‚‚ / we decided to buy it because ‚‚everyone has it‚‚ and it is a status symbol with which we will, shall we, amaze others…

3. Is there anything else that takes priority in spending money? If you need product A, maybe you need product B more?

4. What will happen if I don’t buy that product? What will my life look like then? I will have more money in my account – that’s for sure – but will something important change (quality of life, for example). If not, then it’s time to ask ourselves if we really need that product.

5. Why do I buy? What am I eager for? Am I buying out of boredom? Is it because I like to walk around malls and be around people who have purchasing power? Do I want to compensate myself for some emotional loss (breakup, etc.)? Do I feel ‚‚richer‚‚ while shopping (even though in real life I’m really not)? Am I giving myself the illusion of well-being (even though I should be saving)? Do I believe that a particular dress will make me prettier / thinner / more attractive…? Am I buying out of jealousy (my best friend or celebrity has the same product)? Look for emotional reasons to buy. Ask yourself a simple question: what is it that I REALLY want (and often that something is not a new dress or a new cell phone at all).

6. Do we know the true price of the product we want to buy? And no, the price written on the label is not the ‚‚real‚‚ price. Almost all products carry additional costs: maintenance, dry cleaning, technical service, purchase of spare parts, application upgrades, etc. The next time we ask ourselves if we can really afford something, we should add 30-50% of the amount to the selling price to get a realistic picture of things.

7. What are my priorities? Security or new things? Money in the account and a nice feeling that if something unexpected happens, we don’t have to worry about rainy days or, uncertainty but still, new things? It’s often about self-confidence – are we ready to be ‚‚different‚‚ and not follow fashion and trends? Further: it is also about our creativity – do we have taste, do we dress nicely – regardless of fashion trends and regardless of budget? Can we get the best out of what we already have (to combine colors, add an accessory, change some of the wardrobe, enrich the look with appropriate jewelry, makeup, renovate or refresh our space ourselves, etc.)? Then: what makes me happy? Are they small things – reading a book, for example, walking in the park, spending time with friends – or do we have to buy something all the time to give ourselves that special ‚‚feeling‚‚?

As it follows, the question, „Can I afford it,“ is the least important when buying… Of course, if we can’t afford something, we shouldn’t buy it. However, even if we can afford something, it does not mean that we must necessarily buy it. There is a well-known example from large department stores where hundreds of people wait in front of the entrance from early in the morning so that, as soon as the store opens, they rush in as quickly as possible and grab the products at a discount… They can all afford it – and they buy for this very reason – not because they really need it, but simply because of the feeling of power – purchasing power…

If this sounds like you, then let me tell you something: there is no shame in that! You are not alone. All you have to do is to recognize which emotions lead to a higher-than-normal spending habit.

Take a step back from your purchase and consider what emotions or feelings might be driving it. Maybe you’re shopping because you’re lonely or sad? Maybe you’re shopping as a way to fill an empty space in your life? Or maybe it’s because you feel like no one understands you, so you just want everyone to see how great your life is by showing off what you own? It can help to talk about these feelings with someone who trusts and cares about you so they can help guide you toward healthier choices.

As someone said a long time ago: people don’t buy a product; people buy the feeling that product gives them.

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