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Why We Let Others Influence Our Spending

Why We Let Others Influence Our Spending

Peer pressure can be a powerful thing. Just ask any teenager – if you can get them to talk without rolling their eyes at you.

But peer pressure, or influence, doesn’t just affect our youth. When you graduate and make your way out into the world you still have to deal with pressure from others, just in different ways.

One way others might influence you can be through what you buy and how you spend your money. Have you ever gone shopping with a friend and after you got home you looked at what you bought and thought, “What was I thinking?”

That is commonly referred to as buyers regret. But why have regret? More importantly, why let others influence our spending in the first place? Here are few reason we let others influence our spending.

We Want to Fit in

One of the reasons we may let other people influence what, where and how we spend our money is because we want to fit in. We tend to emulate what other people do and how they act without even realizing it if we have a sense of admiration for them. So, we buy similar things to what they buy and go to the same places they go. It makes us feel good to be a part of the group. We may even try to spend as they do, whether we can afford to or not.

Avoid Ridicule

Why do we care? It can be difficult to be the different one in a crowd. Sometimes other people make fun of you. Or they publicly humiliate you by announcing your differences to everyone within ear shot. If you have a low sense of self-worth it is especially difficult to be the person that others think of as different. So, we hide our low self-esteem by letting others manipulate us into buying things we might not even like.

Habit

We also may allow others to influence our spending habits out of habit. For example, if you come home from work nearly every night and spend the first hour surfing the internet and shopping, you have developed a bad habit that is probably increasing your spending.

Advertisements are everywhere and marketing campaigns are designed to draw you in and get you to buy their products. Break those bad habits you have that cause you to overspend and you will no longer be affected by marketing ploys. Why not join a health club or go walking instead? These are things that will benefit you.

Competition

Most of us have a natural desire to compete and it can spill over to our spending habits. Some of us try to “keep up” with neighbors and friends by always one upping them. Buying the new, latest and greatest products on the market.

For instance, why buy a new flat screen television if your old one still works just fine? Is it because your neighbor or best friend just bought the newest, largest T.V. available in stores right now?

What Can We Do Instead?

So now that we know some of the reasons why we let others influence our spending what can we do to change it? Perhaps we can stop competing with others and just be thankful for what we have. Be happy that our friends were able to buy and enjoy that new flat screen television. Or, rejoice in the fact that you are different from your friends and stop letting your fear of ridicule ruin your budget. It is likely you will be both happier and of better financial health if you do.

Do you find that others influence your spending?

About Kayla Sloan

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.

10 comments

  1. I think it’s hard NOT to let other people influence our spending. I’m very frugal by nature, but when I see my neighbor who inherited his house buy a nice car, I can’t help but feel some envy. I’m thinking, here I am, busting my butt to buy the house and fix it up. Here you are just inheriting it for free and getting a sweet car? Hmmm, influence!

    But at the same time, other people’s success helps drive me. I’m very thankful for the drive.

    Sam

    • At least if you are using other people’s success to drive you it’s a positive thing! I find that I’m much less influenced now that I work from home and have less people around on a daily basis to compare myself to. That said, I now compare myself to other bloggers who’s finances, lives, and success I read about and see on social media. BUT most of their influence is at least good. They are talking about earning money, paying off debt, investing, etc. where as the people I used to compare myself to at my day job would be buying new clothes, jewelry, cars, homes, etc. which is not usually good for your finances.

  2. Occasionally I might buy something that a favorite blogger recommends, or if I have a friend whose style I admire, I might buy something similar to what she wears or has to decorate her home. However, I don’t let it influence me to buy something if I’m not looking to get that item anyway. So while it might influence what I buy, it doesn’t influence whether or when I buy it.

  3. I agree with Kathy. If I’m looking to buy something in particular then I might be swayed by someone else’s purchase especially if they liked what they bought, but I’ve never made unnecessary purchases just to fit in. I can’t relate to that at all. Then again I don’t fit in, so… 😉

  4. There are many reasons why we buy what we buy. Being honest with ourselves can be a bit hard at times. It looks like you put a lot of thought in what makes “you tick.”

    Many people never get a handle on their spending habits, or lack thereof. Good article. Keep it up.

  5. Influence can either be good or bad, and I think it’s our perspective and choice how we can be influenced by these competing factors. And, the important thing here is that we assess which one of these can have a great, positive impact on our spending habits.

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