“Why do I buy things I don’t want?”

I’m off to the sales, and this year I want things to be different.

What do you mean different?

Well last year I bought a coat I didn’t like and I’ve never worn.

How come you bought it then?

Well, it was so hard to resist – reduced from £350 to £115.  That’s £235 I saved.

And you know that £235 isn’t real don’t you?

Are you saying that they fiddled with the prices?

No, I’m saying that you didn’t really save £235.  Would you have paid £350 for that coat?

Never in my life – that’s what made it a bargain.

So if you never would have paid £350 you can’t say you’ve saved £235.  The problem is that thinking of the £235 as a “saving” makes it seem like a real amount of money – and somehow like money you accumulate if you buy the coat.

So I spent £115 to save £235 – that doesn’t seem as great.

It’s not even that good – you spent £115 and you didn’t save anything.  You just spent £115.

I didn’t just spend £115 – I got a coat.

Which you’ve never worn –

Because I don’t like it.

So why did you buy it and come home with it in the first place?

To tell you the truth I didn’t want to come home empty handed.  We queued on the road to get there, queued for the car park, and fought crowds all the way round there.  I wasn’t going to do all that for nothing.

So you thought you’d have wasted your time, and ended up wasting your money.

That was the other problem.  My Christmas money was burning a hole in my pocket, and I didn’t want to miss making it go even further.

Think it’ll be different this year then?

Yes – I’m not going to fool myself about “saving” money instead of spending it, and I’m not going with the aim of having to come back with something.

What about last year’s coat?

I think I’ll eBay it.  Now you should see the savings you can make on there.

Right.

 

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