Black Friday rolls toward us in a tsunami of spending.
But there is a way we can resist the onslaught of commercialism with our sanity and our wallets intact: gratitude.
Remembering all we are grateful for
If we are mindful of all the blessings in our lives, we are better able to resist the temptation to spend too much.
In his column “How to Defeat the Impulse Buy” in the New York Times, David DeSteno discusses his study on impulse buying. His findings reveal a lot about our spending habits.
Willpower alone isn’t enough
Willpower alone doesn’t help curb impulse spending, according to DeSteno, and in fact relying on willpower alone will lead to failure. Marketers have perfected the time-pressured sales pitch of Black Friday and the holiday season in general.
Instead of relying on willpower, we need to cultivate gratitude.
Gratitude leads to what DeSteno calls “financial patience,” the ability to give up the immediate gratification of a purchase today in exchange for a purchase in the future. Study participants who felt grateful had twice as much financial patience. The takeaway for us is that financial patience can help us resist the temptation of those moonlight madness deals.
Cultivating gratitude can help us stick to a budget
Being mindful of all we have to be grateful for can help us stick to our budgets. And it can restore our ability to think clearly in the face of amazing deals, never-this-low prices, and limited quantities available.
This year when I go out shopping I plan to take a gratitude list. What about you? Will you give this a try?