The Entitlement Snare
The average person in the United States and many other developed countries is exposed to hundreds, if not thousands of ads per day. So many channels exist in today’s world to push ads out to people. Radio, television, social media, websites, billboard, newspaper, magazine, etc.., etc…; it all adds up. And so does the use of the language of entitlement in a number of advertisements.
By spending time scanning through ad copy from a variety of publications, I found that entitlement does indeed seem to sell well. Check out these ad words and phrases that I found in just my short search.
Elevate Your Experience
Here and Now
Live Your Dreams
Prepare to Be Spoiled
You Need It!
Way Things Should Be
Ways to Wow
Value The Finer Things In Life
Reading down the list you get the sense that you should not wait for what you want. You should get what you want immediately. In fact you really should have whatever you dream about NOW, because it certainly will enhance your life. You will stand out from the crowd and be the envy of others.
Quite the enticing message, isn’t it. And as consumers, many of us fall right into the entitlement trap.
According to NerdWallet, the average credit card debt per household in the United States as of 2015 came in at $5,883. If you look at the average, just figuring in the indebted household and not all households, the average credit card debt jumped to $15,762.
Even given that some of this debt may be medical bills or other unexpected emergency expenses, the totals still indicate a lot of spending on “Wants” without having the money to pay for them.
So what can one do to avoid the entitlement snare?
1. Educate Yourself. Advertising and entertainment programming is a just a normal part of our world (I utilize advertising to grow my business). I simply encourage you to take a closer look at the advertising messages that you see frequently and and learn which ones personally may trigger unnecessary spending or upgrade fever. Also, take some time to ponder the television shows you watch and other things that you do for entertainment. Does marathon watching “Million Dollar Home Buys” make you feel the need to purchase a home with a mortgage much bigger than your bank account says you should? Then, hit the off button.
2. Master The Art Of The Pause. When you are considering a major purchase or a smaller one that has not been on your radar for long, learn to step away and give yourself time to determine whether the purchase makes sense. Are you considering it based on emotion vs. truly thinking things out?
3. Understand What You See Is Often Not The Full Picture. Look no further than social media . For example, A friend uploads and shares several photos from their dream vacation. You think, “Wow she sure does have it made. Being able to jet off to paradise. I wish I were in her shoes.” What your friend doesn’t share a photo of though is the huge credit card bill that she will still be paying off this time next year. The full story is often not as glamorous as the highlight reel.
By following the 3 simple steps above, you can steer clear of the entitlement snare and make purchases that are well-thought out and financially sound.
For more Saving and Spending Tips:
9 Vital Tips To Master Price Matching
Good Afternoon Sarah, I really enjoyed this post. When I visit the shops and I see something which takes my fancy, I ask myself, ‘do I really need the item’, or is it that ‘ I just want the item’ . Then I ask myself, ‘Will it change my life if I buy the chosen item’. I wait a few moments and invariably I walk away, because I don’t really need it.
As you say, we are surrounded by advertising, but with your helpful advice it will make us think twice before purchasing .
Best wishes to you.
The question of “Will It Change My Life If I Buy The Chosen Item?” is a fantastic one. Thanks for sharing.
A Narrow-Minded Woman says
Great ideas. I thought of another “slogan” for your list that I hear a lot…”Treat yo self.”
We all get lost in the “grass is greener over there” mentality. There is a reason “You shall not covet” is one of the Ten Commandments. It has been a huge problem for humans since the Garden of Eden.
Contentment is something I’ve really been thinking a lot about lately. I recently read a book (more of a collection of writings from several giants of Christianity, more like a journal or periodical but calling it a book makes me feel better about my not reading enough…haha) that really gave me pause and to really consider how truly blessed I am…even in the really dark days. The book is called “Free Grace Broadcaster: Contentment” (https://www.amazon.com/Free-Grace-Broadcaster-Issue-Contentment-ebook/dp/B00DD7URCI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475599518&sr=8-1&keywords=free+grace+broadcaster+contentment).
Melissa Walp says
Stopping by from Turn It Up Tuesday. Thanks for these helpful tips. My husband and I are currently trying to scale back our spending. It’s really difficult to do in this culture, so it’s good to hear some encouragement.
Yes, we are definitely living in a shopping culture.