Soon the January sales will be upon us. But don’t be deceived by the discounts, says behavioural economist Dan Ariely. Relative value can disguise real value: if an item is “on sale” we act more quickly and with less thought – even when there’s no difference between the “normal” and the “sale” prices. Read more about shopping in the sales here.
The green-eyed monster doesn’t just make us behave irrationally with loved ones – it can make us spend in strange ways too. Research suggests that jealousy increases people’s desire for attention-grabbing products – even when they don’t really suit us. We’re more likely to buy ornate, brightly coloured and conspicuously branded items when jealous, they found.
Time is money
Having more money can make us feel like we have less time, according to psychologists Elizabeth Dunn and Ashley Whillans. Commodity theory describes how scarce resources are typically perceived as valuable. So when time becomes more valuable, we view our time as increasingly scarce, they write. Spending our money on time-saving purchases can help.