Parents hate it when children exert pester power; we try to discourage ‘want it all, right away’ attitudes. However, us adults frequently and easily succumb to ‘have it now, don’t miss out’ marketing messages. Retailers, and particularly shopping Goliaths such as Amazon, often make us exhibit the same sorts of behaviours as children.
Fear of missing out
My inbox is filled on a daily basis with emails saying I deserve x, y or z. Often they encourage me to buy myself a ‘Friday treat,’ ‘payday treat’ or any other day treat; offer me an ‘exclusive deal’ or hit the FOMO button by warning that ‘once it’s gone, it’s gone’ and that there’re only 24 hours left of the flash sale. The items in question are almost always more frivolous ‘wants’ as opposed to ‘needs.’
Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t live an austere lifestyle. I do buy things for myself and others that are not essential, but not constantly. At a time when we’re standing on the global economical precipice, when people’s personal finances are taking a beating and when so many jobs are hanging in the balance, I feel increasingly uneasy about the current ‘spend, spend, spend’ culture that’s promoted.
Amazon Prime Day – Is it a bargain?
Things such as Amazon Prime Day(s) often dupe us into believing we’re getting a bargain. However, just because something is cheaper than yesterday doesn’t mean it represents good value. It definitely isn’t cheap or good value if you originally had no intention of buying it. Whilst I occasionally receive emails prompting me to buy something useful but not essential, I certainly haven’t been compelled to browse on Amazon today or yesterday.
Valuing a treat
As a parent, I try looking at my own behaviour before criticising my children’s’. I want them to see that ‘treats’ are sweeter if they’re rarer and you have to wait for them. I also want them to learn you can’t have everything you want. However, I concede to buying too many after-school ice-creams when the ice-cream van turns up right on cue and the kids all have puppy dog faces. I try to heed by dad’s kind of mantra; ‘save when you need to save and spend when you need to spend.’ Overall, I am a saver but push the boat out when the time’s right.
And another thing…
In the current climate, instead of perusing Amazon’s virtual shelves for ‘stuff,’ we should be supporting our local shops and independent businesses whenever we can. We should be asking if we can get the same things from one of the smaller outlets. Because unlike disingenuous deals, when local shops are gone, they really are gone.
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Savings account for an 11-year-old