Research has shown that getting a good deal can give you an endorphin high. Meaning you can get “addicted” to the feeling of getting a good deal.
I remember buying adorable green boat shoes on clearance at Old Navy for 75 cents. At such a price, how could I turn down the shoes?
A couple years later, I gave away that pair of shoes, with the tags still on them. Even if I had the panache and general style to pull off kelly green boat shoes, these gorgeous little foot covers were also RIDICULOUSLY uncomfortable. I’d put them on my feet just to slip them off, thinking I’d save them for a day with less walking–a day I would “break them in.”
I think of those shoes often. Especially in the frequent times I find myself tempted by a good deal. It’s a way to justify purchases I wouldn’t have otherwise made.
For makeup, this might be the 50% off deal on a highly reviewed mascara, even though I have no need for new mascara.
It might be buying a book on my kindle because it’s only $1.99, even though I already have plenty of books that I haven’t read.
The problem with getting sucked into a good deal is you’re still spending money you wouldn’t have spent. Every time you “save” off the sticker price, you’ll still spending money. That $50 sweater you got for $20 didn’t save you $30. It cost you $20.
I walk a thin line between hunting for a good deal for planned purchases and giving in to impulse spending.
I keep a tracking list of books I want, so I can buy them if they drop dramatically in price. In exchange, I’ve given up checking “daily deal” emails until I’ve read more of the books in my queue.
I’m trying not to purchase things when I already have them. That pair of black leggings may be a steal, but do I really need them? While mine might slowly be disintegrating in the wash, I know another sale will come around when I actually need the replacement.
Resisting a good deal isn’t just about saving money, though it will inevitably help you do that. It’s about reframing your thoughts and purchases. Instead of impulse buying the good deal, you might find the more expensive item, with more research put into it, will last longer and bring you more overall comfort or joy.
In some ways, this is the Marie Kondo approach to purchasing. But don’t stop at “Does this item spark joy for me now?” Ask yourself whether it will spark joy later, or if it has the potential to become the unworn pair of green boat shoes in the back of your closet, gathering dust and making you feel guilty for never wearing them.