2. Purchasing Decisions
d. Why sales are so tempting
Sales can be a great way to save money. When you can buy something that you need for less, you can add the “left over” money to your savings to put it toward one of your short or long term goals. However, sales can also be a great way for stores to get you to spend more money than you were planning. For many people, when they see that something is on sale, they assume it’s a great deal. They also assume that it’s a deal that won’t be around long. Those two thoughts often combine to make people buy things that they weren’t planning to buy and sometimes even things that they don’t need at all.
Let’s look at an example. Erin is usually pretty conservative with her money. Recently, she was shopping at a department store for a new pair of sneakers. Erin had saved her money and knew what kind of sneakers she wanted. She had planned to spend around $100.
When Erin arrived at the store she was thrilled to see that the shoe department was having a sale – buy one pair, get 50% off the second pair. Erin saw all the people hanging around the shoes and felt that she needed to act fast to get a good deal. She found the pair of sneakers that she had planned to buy and then started searching for the second pair that she would get for ½ price. She looked and looked, all the while knowing that other people were looking too, the selection was limited and the sale would end tomorrow. She finally found a pair in her size that she liked – they were not something she would normally buy, but they were the best ones she saw. The shoes retail price was $90. Erin would not normally buy such an expensive pair of shoes without planning for the expense, but these were on sale for ½ price. So, Erin paid for her shoes and left the store. She had saved $45!
A few days later she felt uncomfortable with how much she had spent and realized that she would have to cut back in other areas of her budget. Erin realized that in order to save $45, she had spent $45 that she hadn’t planned to spend.