by Sara S
Did you all survive Amazon Prime Days?? I was amazed at how pervasive this sale for a single store was! There were temptations to buy things we don’t need everywhere I looked. Friends and influencers alike on Instagram were all rattling off deals. I saw news headlines covering it and promoting the top steals. It’s the new Black Friday!
We did consider buying something for our business, so I got sucked into the site for a little while. The item we really needed wasn’t on sale, so I didn’t end up buying anything. But I felt myself getting weak. I started considering items for Christmas gifts just because they were on sale.
Prime Days is a prime (ha!) example of when stores make things sound urgent and scarce and talk you into spending money you didn’t plan to spend. They add countdowns, show your percent savings, and then—this kills me—they break it down into monthly payments. I was thiiiis close to making some impulse buys. Very crafty, Amazon.
One nice thing about Prime Days, however, is if you’ve been wanting something and it’s in your budget, you can snag it at a great price. I respect that. I love a good deal. My sisters and I can’t even talk to each other without pointing out a recent deal we got.
But I hate it when I justify making a purchase just because it’s on a clearance rack. As I’ve been de-junking our house, donating, and selling things, I’ve realized how often we buy things we didn’t really want or need. As they say, all that clutter used to be money.
I’ve started keeping a running list on my phone of things we’re in the market for. I add things that I feel like we really need, and then I keep them on there for a while so I can (a) look for the best price for it and (b) see if I still want or need it after a few weeks. It’s amazing how time makes the heart grow less-fond.
Also, my brother-in-law recommended we try Honey, this extension on your browser that looks for coupon codes and low prices as you shop online. When I finally decide to make a purchase for the right reasons, it automatically applies them at checkout. It’s come in handy a few times already.
Seeing Clearly Despite the Marketing
A few years ago, I read that it helps your kids if you teach them how marketers advertise to them. So now sometimes when we see a billboard or a commercial, I’ll ask my kids, “What are they trying to sell you? What do they want you to do?” It’s been a good exercise for me too. The typical answer? They want you to want and buy something.
We run a business so I get that marketing is part of the gig. I worked on marketing teams when I was a copywriter. So I understand that marketing is how businesses grow.
But I’m trying to check my personal spending more. Am I buying something because I’m bored? Tired? Stressed? Or it just seems like a good deal? Do I really need this thing, or should I use what I have? Is this really something I want to take care of and add to our house?
The holidays are coming, so the marketers are going to work hard on us. I’m going to try to think more for myself and shop more wisely.