Today’s Financial Peace lesson was entitled “Buyer Beware”.
Some of the powerful and not so surprising tidbits are these:
- For each hour of TV watched, consumers spend $200 extra a year.
- In 1971, breathing humans were exposed to an average of 560 ads per day. In 2011, that number has jumped to an average of 3 – 4,000 ads per day.
- We live in the most marketed-to culture in history.
Intuitively we know this. We’re researched and profiled walking dollar signs for people who want us to buy our happiness their way.
As I listened, I had to laugh at myself. After years of hearing my kids rave about their Apple computers and years of listening to the lovely sound of the Apple keyboard rattling ever-so-cooly under their fingers, I opted for an Apple MacBook Pro when my old lap top crashed. And let me tell you, I would rave to anyone about the “Apple Experience”. From the moment of walking in the door, the service is excellent, the vibe welcoming to even un-cool crones, and the sense of being a part of a distinct culture seductive and pleasing as heck.
I love it. And, I’ve been skillfully manipulated to love it.
On of the other great bits I heard today was that lurking within us each is that screaming fit-throwing toddler we see regularly at grocery stores. You know, the one who wants what he or she wants and fit throwing and want asserting commences until the embarrassed or frustrated parent gives in or throws that kid under their armpit and leaves the store.
We want what we want, don’t we? And we can spin the most outlandishly indulgent and unwise purchase with great creativity; unless we summon the parent in us that knows well that getting everything we want will make us broken.
The list of things my inner toddler wants is so long and lovely. So what I’m doing was begun by my daughter when she was here last. She put a list on the ‘fridge (the high holy altar of home). I add to it the list of things I figure I can’t (or really, the issue is I feel I shouldn’t have to) live without.
Something about doing that has helped me slow the purchase lust. I look at the items on that list and they lose their power to make me “act out”. Dining room set? Lovely. But crucial? Nope. It’s been fun, actually, to savor the making of decision and plan.
And since I am cool enough to have an Apple, I can be patient.