Why My Brain Loves My Visa Card

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As you know I’m making a huge effort to save more money and lose weight. Here is what I’m learning about saving money.

Don’t buy stuff. Don’t even go to stores. Stores are wonderfully set up to affect the emotional part of your mind.

I’ve written a few times about the emotional mind fighting the rational mind. And my solution is to shape the world around you (avoid shopping). That way your emotional mind is completely taken out of the equation.

The problem is that the emotional mind wins more often than it should. Let’s look at how Costco stores are set up. Whenever I walk into a Costco store there are beautiful flat screen televisions when you first walk in.

My first thought is “It would be great to have a second plasma TV in the bedroom. And it would only be a small one, so only $899!”

As I round the second corner there is always a display case of beautiful watches and jewellery.  I love to look at the luxury watches at great prices. Good thing I’ve learnt not to buy watches.

But the flat screen TV thought I have, comes up every time I step into a Costco.

If I bought the TV It would be a purely emotional purchase.  My rational mind (don’t need a second TV and I don’t have the cash) would severely lose out.

The good thing is that I don’t make these Costco purchases. But…

But I did buy a beautiful Hugo Boss lamb skin jacket the other month. It was marked down from $1500 to $1000 to $262. Did I need this jacket? Noooo. Was it purely an emotional purchase? Of course it was. My prefrontal cortex lost all rational reasoning. AND I used my Visa card. AND I bought a couple of lovely polo shirts. Total bill for one jacket and two polo shirts was around $400.

Whenever we consider buying anything (even cereal) it is a tug of war in between the emotional and rational sides.  That cereal is very expensive but I love it AND it’s healthy.

So the lesson here is to be very aware of what triggers you to purchase something. And be especially conscious of your financial situation. And also be aware that using a Visa card is much, much less painful than having to go out and withdraw $400 cash AND hand it over for a jacket and two summer tops.

Using a Visa card is much more abstract to the brain then using cash.

This is how my brain works. I much more aware now.   What do I do with my Visa card?

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