It took the Lululemon sales consultant AND my husband to talk me out of a money behavior that was so very hard for me to resist. And I sought their help to do it.
Our money beliefs can be pretty hard-wired. Whether we are a spender or a saver; we value status or find money a distasteful subject – these attitudes formed starting in childhood. It’s hard to break our natural inclinations; but we can change the behaviors that result from our beliefs, and achieve behavior change.
I needed a new pair of workout tights for the gym. My husband gave me a $50 lululemon gift card for Christmas and we just happened to find a store while out on other errands. A very knowledgeable sales consultant inquired about my need and suggested an attractive pair of light, navy tights for $98.
Then I headed to the sale rack. If I were status focused, I might have headed for the ‘best of the best’ racks. But alas, I am part money obsessive – the deal always gets my attention. I could afford the $98, but that just wasn’t the point. On the sale rack I found two great pairs of workout tights. One pair was a feminine pink and a little heavier than I would have liked, but it was a soft, cozy material. The second pair was a heavier, stretch navy appropriate for casual wear and dropping into the gym when there is no time to change. I knew they would both be a bit warm in the gym but the cost of each pair was $59, or a total of only $118. I could almost get TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE. I began mentally justifying why I could make do with the two pair that weren’t quite right.
Fighting My Little Deal Devil
Since I’m in the money behavior business, I knew immediately what I was doing. In seconds, the little sensible angel on my right shoulder was fighting with the deal devil on my left shoulder. They were engaging in a mind bending struggle. These struggles happen to all of us in moments so short that sometimes we don’t even register them. The more we understand when it happens, the more we can manage our behavior.
And I did just that. I took all 3 pair to the sales consultant and recruited my husband as well. I was very honest about my dilemma and they both talked me down off the not-quite-right-deals ledge.
I don’t always win against my little deal devil, but I mostly do. Sometimes the compulsion is just too great and I usually regret it later. The bottom line:
- I spent $20 less
- I got what I needed
- My new tights are great!
- The other tights would have been hot, and I’d end up buying yet another pair sooner than later.
- A deal is not always a deal.
Whether it is $20 or $2,000, that little she-devil will appear. By knowing ourselves, we can manage our money on-the-spot. I happen to have a little deal devil whispering in my ear. Your devil may be something different. Sometimes it just takes a little help to fight that devil, and when we know what’s going on, we can win.
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Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. Behavioral Cents, LLC and any third parties listed, linked to or otherwise appearing in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.
Carrie Rattle is Founder of BehavioralCents.com and a veteran executive of financial services. She works with women to build money confidence and change their money behaviors for the better – without deprivation. Instead of simply telling women what to do, she helps them fight the tide of daily temptation to reach their dreams. Women gain control and feel comfortable making their own wise money decisions. Thoughts always welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org.