Spending Vices and Justifications....and a Giveaway!
One of the biggest financial issues that many people struggle with is overspending. The following article is writen as a guest post in conjunction with ZenithOptimedia and Natwest and details some of the key reasons why people make those damaging spontaneous purchases. ZenithOptimedia and Natwest have agreed to sponsor a giveaway at the bottom of the post. Enter to win £50 of John Lewis Vouchers below!!! It's so easy!a Rafflecopter giveaway
The majority of young people secure themselves a credit card in the event of an emergency; whether it’s in preparation for broken home appliances, food supply before payday or a last-minute train ticket home when the current account has run dry. All first-time credit card owners’ intend on confining their spending to such circumstances, but then one day it arrives; the unplanned, irrational and crazy opportunity to spend large, and lead oneself into a period of repayments. It may be travel, shopping or luxury bargains that tickle your fancy, but whatever it is – we all have a weakness and a price. What’s really interesting is how we justify our own purchases when we’re standing with card in hand. Here are some impulse buys and their corresponding internal justifications.
1. “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime”
For all adrenaline junkies, this usually comes in a form of an adventure. A group of friends plan on going skydiving, a mountain biking trip or heli-skiing expedition in Alaska and by the end of the day, the “emergency fund” is maxed out but travel, accommodation and sport equipment is all paid for. It’s an unforgettable opportunity, and this is why it’s a little easier to justify. After all, life is merely a series of experiences is it not, so therefore what better could I spend my money on, right? It’s almost difficult to dispute that.
2. “It’s a ‘Must have’ Item”
Ah, it’s the definition that allows all justification. It’s a must-have therefore I can’t not-have, or that would be unfair. You’ll notice that when someone else owns that same item, it becomes all the more must-have, which is at least an indication to how fickle your own mind is with such desires. Whether it’s that pricey pair of shoes that you just can’t say no to, or it’s a new games console that your mates have all got, at that very moment in time – you just can’t afford NOT to. Incidentally, if you’re one who’s already ordered their PS4 or Xbox One, you probably belong to this group, having already secured the must-have item of the year for the highest price. And if you’ve whacked that on your credit card, make sure yours is 0% interest on purchases – as most of us would struggle to clear off £400 so easily.
3. “I’m a Sucker for a Deal”
Groupon and Wowcher are experts at making the population go weak at the knees for a good bargain. This may not seem so crazy at first, but beware the power of a good deal. It starts with the birthday teeth whitening treat at 50% off, a girls’ day at the spa for an outrageous 80% discount, the knife kit with a needless selection or a dress making sowing class. How could anyone resist?
To all first- time card holders, be careful of the persuasive little voice that encourages the impulse to buy. A little spending once in a while never hurt anyone, but all in moderation. Don’t forget what defines an “emergency” and just remember to live within your means.
4. “This is something I’ve ALWAYS wanted”
For some, a Mulberry handbag is not just something that they have admired through the shop window in passing. Oh no, that bag has been a lifelong desire of theirs, so deep routed that their eyes glaze over in wonder as they reach out to touch that which cannot be theirs. Or can it? With the credit card, it IS possible. And there’s the hook.
It omits a signal which compels them to walk toward the counter and request it from the shop assistant, who is only too happy to oblige. On their walk over, their credit card is in hand – though they don’t remember pulling it from their purse. The thought of securing the bag of all bags – the lifelong desire is about to be fulfilled. No other bag would ever suffice anyway. Not now.
At this point, you’d need a very strong friend to pull you out of the trance.
5. “I need to reward myself”
A real classic in the justification zone. The internal monologue goes something like this:
“I’ve been working really hard lately, and I’ve not treated myself in a long time. If I don’t treat myself now, I won’t feel like I’ve really got anything to show for all my efforts. If I don’t reward myself, who will? I earn money each month, I shouldn’t feel guilty about spoiling myself. And any rate, when was the last time I bought myself something over £300? Hardly ever.”
Hand card over to cashier. Pin. Receipt. Bag. Done.
The guilt will come later so enjoy the absence of it while it lasts.
We want to hear what your credit card guilty pleasure purchase. NatWest and I have teamed up to bring you A £50 John Lewis Voucher for the winner in the below competition. For the chance to win the competition, please use the widget and tweet us with your answer, or complete one of the other two tasks. Good luck!