The Psychology of Spending and How to Beat Your Brain

posted 10/20/2014 in General

The Psychology of Spending and How to Beat Your Brain

Your brain is trying to kill your budget. Don’t be mad though, because it’s not really your brain’s fault. The chemical response in your brain from spending money and getting what you want is incredibly addictive, which is why therapy for shopping addiction is a real thing.

The role of advertising

Advertisers and marketers are constantly out to sabotage your brain by focusing on various desires and fears:

  • The desire for health and well-being

  • The fear of physical harm

  • The desire to be loved

  • The fear of financial loss

  • The desire for recognition

  • The desire to look the best

Our brain is warped into thinking we need to be just like the people in ads who have had their fears and desires satisfied. In our quest to always be perfect, we can develop a mad case of “Keep up with the Joneses” syndrome.

Immediate gratification and impulse shopping

This compulsive need to always have the best thing creates a need for immediate gratification, which can lead to impulse shopping, or shopping without thinking of future repercussions. When you purchase a $300 TV because your friend just got one, you no longer have that $300 to spend on important things like food, gas or rent. This can lead to higher credit card use and rampant credit card debt.

How to outsmart your pesky, irresponsible brain

Here are a few ways you can overcome the overpowering chemical reactions in your brain that make you want to go out and blow your budget on things you don’t truly need:

  • Never go shopping when you are in a bad mood (sad, angry, depressed, etc.)

  • Ask the following questions:

    • Will I really use what I’m buying?

    • Can I get this product or service for less somewhere less?

    • Why am I purchasing this item?

    • Can I really afford this product or service?

    • Did I have a need for this item before I saw it in the store, saw it in a commercial or heard an ad for it on the radio?

Your brain is wired to feel good when you spend money. However, a little self-restraint, planning and responsibility can help you make smarter financial decisions, which can feel pretty good too. Lincoln Savings Bank can help you with your new found freedom from your brain by offering a variety of banking products for your needs. Just call or come by your nearest LSB branch today!

Lincoln Savings Bank, Member FDIC

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