Leave home without credit cards
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Leave home without credit cards

Prevent impulsive purchases ...

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For Joe, the power of suggestion is an awesome thing. Or perhaps he just watches too much television. Whatever it is, Joe finds that each time he's in the mall, he ends up spending more than he intended. Joe blames it on the influence of TV commercials that persuade him to eat at fine restaurants, buy fancy shoes and clothes or accessorize his car. Sure, Joe eats well and looks pretty good, but at the end of the month, his wallet is empty and he's maxed out his credit cards.

Credit cards. It's hard to imagine how people used to live without the darn things. With a bunch of credit cards in tow, spending has never been easier. And there lies the rub. Joe doesn't consider himself a compulsive buyer. He doesn't see something on TV and yearn to have it. He doesn't make mental notes of the stuff he wants to purchase on his next trip to the mall. In fact, Joe often flips across television channels when the commercials come on.

And yet, Joe is obviously not immune to the influence of advertising. Joe is just like everyone else. Show Joe an advertising campaign with a compelling consumer benefit and it registers in his mind whether he likes it or not. It doesn't even matter whether Joe consciously decides to buy the things being advertised, because he very rarely does that. The thing is, though, when Joe gets to the mall, he is at the mercy of manufacturers and advertisers. Joe sees something he likes and, presto, out goes the credit card.

Considering that his savings are always in jeopardy, Joe felt that he had to take action to stop his impulsive spending. The answer, Joe felt, was self-discipline. But after agonizing with himself, trying to fight his consumer's impulse to buy stuff at the mall, Joe realized that self-discipline may not be his strongest suit.

Then one day, it dawned on Joe. The answer was so simple Joe wanted to kick himself for not thinking of it sooner - why not just leave the credit cards at home and do away with the temptation to make impulsive purchases altogether? The trick worked like a charm. Even when the buying bug hit Joe, he didn't have a credit card to pay for the thing he wanted, and the impulse buying stopped. (don)
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