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Smart shopping in the modern world

It has been scientifically demonstrated that more intelligent people can imagine the future better than less smart people. They are less likely to need instant gratification and so aren’t tempted so much to use credit or finance. Smart people tend to be more patient. Patience can save you money and it can even make you feel better and stay a little healthier.

smart shopping

Smart delays

Just delaying buying something can save you money. I have my phone on GiffGaff and I bought a £5 goody bag last month. It ran out last week and it’s not on auto renew. I didn’t it need to make a phone call or for the internet I have wifi, so I delayed it until I did need it. I only saved £1, but as anyone who has saved £1 coins in a bottle will tell you, they mount up! I’m also looking around for a car and expect that when I finally change my car, I will see higher depreciation on the newer car. It could be as high as £1000 a year and so every month I delay I effectively save about £80. Why rush? My car runs fine, it is just old and needs replacing. Our instincts tend to make us grab whatever’s going and this is particularly true of food. It can be hard to be patient and wait a little longer but it does save us money.

Shopping smart online

We tend to be impulsive and online advertising takes advantage of that. Adverts come up that have been tailored to our desires when we check out the news and weather online. We check on our Facebook feed and Amazon tempts us with that luxury we looked at last week and decided we couldn’t afford. They keep tempting me with a £500 camera lens! I actually want the lens and a new camera, but I will be patient! We can learn to resist temptation and part of that learning experience is imagining the future and planning for the future. Yes, I want that lens and it would be very useful but can I delay and save money? Can I do without it altogether? I shall probably buy it eventually after I’ve shopped around to get the best price and after I’ve compared it to other lenses.

Smart food shopping

They say don’t shop when you’re hungry because you spend more. It is true. I buy less when I’m not hungry and then I don’t buy enough food to last the week! Food is a driver of our desire for instant gratification. It is smart to resist too many fizzy drinks, chocolate and crisps but who is that strong-willed? Some personality traits make it harder. If we have known poverty then we find it harder to resist food. We see poor people in poor countries who are fat and we wonder why. Poverty can make us fat! It is a smart way of shopping if you plan what you buy and stick to the plan. The plan should include protein foods, fruit and vegetables and limit the amount of sugar. I put sweeteners in my tea not because I’m trying to lose weight but so I can enjoy other forms as of sugar, like my weekly chocolate bar.

Needing it now

If our mood is bad, we need to change it and that can mean a glass of wine, a can of beer or a bar of chocolate. Long term depression can lead to lots of wine, beer and chocolate. People can even become addicted to shopping and spend money on particular things that they believe will enhance their life. It can be food, tattoos, shoes or clothing. Anything that can be driven by instinct or tribal needs will drive us to spend money. The danger is when we are driven by a need to be accepted by the tribe, then we can become obsessed with trying to achieve higher status. That can, not only be expensive, it can drive us to borrow money to satisfy that need. Borrowing to finance an unaffordable lifestyle can lead to a downward spiral of uncontrollable debt. The smart way to think is to consider all the money wasted on interest payments that a little patience can save.

If you chill out and wait for life’s rewards, you might just live longer to enjoy it too. Shop smart, save money!

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