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Home / Debt / Do Your Emotions Cause You To Create Debt?


Emotions and DebtHave you ever scoffed at the notion that someone had an overwhelming urge to do something when they are depressed or very excited? Emotions can control buying decisions even when we are not at an emotional peak. Subtle triggers are used everyday to pry our credit cards from our wallets. I did a simple search using the keywords ”do your emotions cause you to buy.” They result was over 1 billion hits giving advice to salespeople on which emotional triggers to use to get a customer to buy. Since the salespeople are armed to pry your money out of your wallet, why shouldn’t you know what they are targeting? Here are several emotional triggers that businesses target in order to keep you spending and in debt.


Human nature causes us to seek out the most comfortable lifestyle possible. Our comfort is greatly increased through convenience. That is why there are plenty of advertisements that stress doing things at home or direct delivery. Many of these deals come at a premium. Sellers increase prices in order to offer convenience.


Both are powerful selling points. Have you ever seen an ad that shows people who are not enjoying themselves? You are supposed to think that owning the item will improve your overall happiness. We also place a lot of pressure on ourselves because of these two emotions. We see our neighbors driving nicer cars than we own or living in larger homes. Perhaps it is the 60 inch HD television in their living room that makes you want to pull out a card and ”keep up with the Jones family”.


There are many business that thrive on our innate desire to feel safe. Everything from virus protection for your computer to home alarm systems make money by preying on this need.


In addition to these emotional triggers that we may not recognize, there are two more basic emotions that can trigger buying without stimulus from an ad or salesperson. Depression and elation can be overwhelming for some people. Depression causes a person to want to feel better. For some, that desire to feel manifests itself through buying. This trigger often rears its head with overly frugal people who do not build an entertainment allotment into their budget.

Elation is somewhat harder to understand. If you are already happy, why do you need to buy? It really isn’t a need to buy, it is a letting down of your guard. People who are on an emotional high will make decisions with less thought and more urgency. A perfect example is during tax return season. People buy a wide variety of things that they do not need after receiving their tax return check. Many of them regret the waste shortly after spending the cash.

All of these emotional triggers are more common than you think. The key to controlling them is recognizing them while you shop. Something as simple as finding something you want, then going home to think it over for 24 hours could keep you out of debt.


About the author: Jerry Coffey


Jerry Coffey spent many years in a debt-riddled gray area somewhere between broke and desperately broke. His seemingly endless need for more and more cash led him to payday loans, repossessions, bankruptcy, and depression. After years of the same financial style, he heard a piece of advice that inspired him to find a way to change. The advice: ''The very definition of a fool is someone who continues to do the same things, but expects different results.'' This led him to a much more frugal lifestyle that sees all of his bills paid on time and a growing savings account. Even the seed of a retirement account has begun to sprout.


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