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I RARELY watch TV. One day, out of sheer boredom, I flipped on the tube and scrolled through the channels. All commercials.
With nothing better to watch, I sat through the 7.5 minute series of advertisements. On comes a Coca-Cola ad that features a close up view of an ice cold glass of Coke.
I heard the clinking of the ice cubes and the fizzing of the soda bubbles.
The bright colors, the fun music, and the happy vibes of that Coke had me in a trance.
My mouth started watering and all I could think about was getting my hands on a Coke.
*Shake my head and snap out of it*
WTF? I don’t even like soda!
Why in the world did I, all of a sudden, want to haul ass to the store to get me some Coke?
Perhaps you’ve experienced this same phenomenon. You see an advertisement and something clicks. You suddenly want that thing like no other. You’ll walk through fire to get it. You’ll spend whatever money you have to.
You want it and you want it NOW!
So what is this magical spell that comes over us and makes us feel like Superwoman, ready to unleash her credit card shopping powers on the next Nordstrom she walks into?
Consumerism is constantly swirling around in society and tells us:
Consumerism in itself is NOT a bad thing. But the ways you consume can equal serious consequences to your wallet.
The reasons you consume can equal feeling empty, devoid of meaning, and chronically cranky.
Combine consumerism (that voice that’s constantly telling you, “Other people get to decide what’s good for me. Having this, that, or the other will make me happy. More is better so the more I have, the happier I’ll feel.”) with neuromarketing and you haven’t got a chance in hell of leaving Walmart with a bill less than $100.
Neuromarketing uses medical technologies such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to study the brain’s responses to advertisements. Big companies hire neuroscientists to share with them information about the inner workings of the mind so they can develop strong marketing and advertising campaigns that our brains won’t be able to resist…essentially manipulating our buying habits and getting us to buy more and more and more of what they have to offer.
Sounds scary as shit, right?
That Coke commercial was strategically designed and engineered to trick my mind into craving a Coke…and it totally worked!
I would’ve given in to the temptation had I not been aware of how consumerism (and neuromarketing) are the kryptonite to my money.
I mean, one little soda, no big deal. But the next commercial that had me drooling was an Audi advertisement, and had I acted on the impulse to buy one of those, I’d be sprinting toward financial disaster.
So how can you maintain your Superwoman strength and keep your hard earned cash in your wallet when the kryptonite of consumerism and neuromarketing is manipulating your brain to spend it?
Don’t always believe the experts or the ads.
You now know that big money is spent on neuromarketing research that tells companies exactly how to appeal to your brain and get you to buy more and more of what they’re dangling in front of you.
You’re no longer a clueless shopper ready to whip out the Visa and sign your life away.
Consumerism can absolutely destroy your life by eating up your time and money and tricking you into “quick fixes” that make you feel good for a bit and then wear off.
Remember- you aren’t always consciously aware of what’s going on in your mind and many of your buying decisions aren’t made through conscious, rational thought…
…buying decisions are made by the irrational part of your mind that wants to get a rush of pleasure…
This new awareness is incredibly valuable because now you know how the game is played.
Now you know the importance of always being skeptical…of every advertisement, every commercial, every new trend, and even every desire that pops up in your mind that says, “Ohhhh, I just have to have THAT!”.
Awareness is power…so use that power to fight consumerism and spend your money on the stuff that REALLY matters to you. Not all the fluff.
Here’s your homework: Make a list of the top 3 things you really, really want to spend your money on. Carry it around in your wallet and look at it every time you’re about to buy something. Let that list guide your purchasing decisions.
Nicole Iacovoni is a psychotherapist, writer, wealth coach, and spiritual guide on a mission to teach working moms how to harness the power of their minds to create wealthy lives. Join the Kicking Ass Creating Wealth Private Facebook Group and kickstart your wealth creation journey!