In short, we find it hard to resist the idea that we’ll be saving money or time.
For better and worse, we routinely delude ourselves. Rather than look back and reflect on our past actions with anything approaching a balanced scorecard, we look to the future with an idealised view of what it might be like.
We believe we’re better than average looking, better than average drivers, better than average parents… Rather than acknowledge the fact that we haven’t done a stroke of exercise in the past five years, we like the idea that buying the new Ab-Toner-9000 will turn us into someone who does have the motivation to crunch his stomach 200 times a day.
Each of these influences is worth reflecting on next time you go shopping.
However, even in these tougher economic times, we can still indulge ourselves (or our kids) far more often and novelty becomes the goal, rather than the signal of something of value being placed in your hands.