Love Makes Us Stupid About Money, According To This New Study
If someone I love asks me to run and grab them something at the grocery store, you better believe it's going to be name brand and as big as they come. As it turns out, a new study brought forth by the journal of Judgement and Decision Making proves that love makes us stupid about money.
Yes, it's true. Love doesn't just make us crazy. Think about the times you're more likely to bargain hunt or argue over a price. The answer is most likely when you're getting something for yourself or someone you don't have an emotional connection to. We're much more comfortable challenging value when we're the recipients. When we're spending money on people we love, there's a certain responsibility we feel to honor them by giving them the best we can. Because we live in an economy dictated by monetary value, we see the bigger price tags as the greater worths. So while we might know that store brand butter might not be all that different from name brand butter, we're more likely to spend the extra dollars to give our loved ones the perceived top quality.
So what does this mean in the grand scheme of things? Well, in the study, people making preparations for marriages and funerals (two things orchestrated by loved ones) were asked about the choices they made. People purchasing on behalf of a loved one were much more likely to get top of the line arrangements so as to show respect, just the same that people searching for wedding rings were more comfortable settling on the more expensive option so as to show love. Part of is it monetary and psychological, and the other part of it is spiritual. Regardless of how spiritual a person is, there are invisible fears we all have around our loved ones. We don't want to jinx, taint, or sour our love by taking any short cuts. The consumer mentality has us trained to believe that spending a lot of money on something means we're getting the best quality. So in turn, we feel good after we chose the higher price. We feel like we've made the better, higher quality choice.
The effect love has on our spending behaviors is significant. But the study suggests that perhaps the mere act of becoming aware of this tendency can help us curb our instincts. The study's intention are not to get people to stop spending money on their loved ones, it's just to show how the affected consumer mentality can lead to lots of debt. Think about all of your loved ones and how many more loved ones you might meet in your life. If you spend top dollar on your partner, your wedding, your home, your children's birthdays, your friend's birthdays, your anniversaries — you'll be broke, or deeply in debt. The point is not to stop buying great gifts, it's to shift your thought process away from thinking the higher price tag is always the better value. It's always good to search for deals, compare prices and negotiate. Your loved ones would rather receive smarter value birthday presents than see you lose your house. Y'know?