What the Psychology of Consumerism Looks Like

keeping up with the joneses What the Psychology of Consumerism Looks Like

If you’re not familiar with the psychology of consumerism, allow me to enlighten you.  If you close your eyes, take a deep breath, and slow your mind down; there…all around you is the psychology of consumerism.  It’s controlled by corporations, mega-stores, and marketers who know you better than you know yourself!

Can you see it? At any time it’s liable to play on your human emotions and even distort the view of how you think others perceive you! Think your fat, feel others see you that way; no problem – buy this treadmill with training video now and don’t worry about any payments; this baby is available interest free and with no payments for 12 months!

But wait; act now and get this money back guarantee to fight off that one brain cell that’s telling you about the fears of potential buyer’s remorse.  But that one brain cell is about to get the living crap beat out of it because now there’s even more to consider; listen to these endless testimonials that may, or may not be real, as they reinforce how wonderful you will look if you buy this baby today!

Through the psychology of consumerism, you are convinced it’s perfectly normal and quite an everyday experience to purchase something from the television at 3am or on a Sunday afternoon infomercial that not 15 minutes ago, you had never even heard of – let alone realized that without this product, your life will suck!

Don’t Stand a Chance Against the Joneses

“Oh crap” your significant other says. The Joneses just bought a brand new Lexus ES; what are we going to do?  “Our lease isn’t up for another 6 months but no way are they going to out-do us!  “Call the dealership honey”, you say, and see if they have a program to get us into a GS; they’re not going to win this neighborhood battle!

What about Jimmy Jones at the office?  That #*@* came to work this week with the new Samsung Galaxy S3 phone that makes my iPhone pale in comparison!  Worse yet, Tammy and Tim have now upgraded too.  Well they’re not going to show me up!  Get on the phone and call Sprint.  I saw an ad in the paper this morning where I can get the phone from them for free with a 2 year contract and a monthly data plan for $104 dollars.  Let’s do this!

Manufactured Crisis

So you have 6 months left on your lease with a car that, for the moment, fits your budget.  You also have an iPhone 4s that you paid cash for from Virgin Mobile and only pay 40 dollars a month for unlimited data and suddenly none of this works for you anymore?  Why not?

The answer is; the psychology of consumerism has provided you with the necessary motivation and drive that will make you want to keep up with the Joneses; but at what costs?  You are about to create a “manufactured crisis” in your personal and financial life that could start you down the path of a serious crash and burn!

Stop Being an Amateur Consumer   

If you read my post Titled Financial Literacy versus Financial Life Building Skills, you would know that through my journey of blogging at the Amateur Consumer, becoming frugal by necessity, and being a member of the Underbanked for so many years have taught me that no matter how financially literate I thought I was, without learning the 3 pillars of financial life building skills, we are all vulnerable to a crash and burn, at any time regardless of profession, income level, or race!

If you read another recent post titled The Cause and the Cure for Debt and Bad Credit, you would have found out that you can’t change a problem with the same mindset that helped get you there in the first place! It means nothing to accelerate the process of credit and financial recovery if you don’t understand the concept of “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”!

A New Direction for the Amateur Consumer

In the coming weeks, the Amateur Consumer Blog will undergo a transformation from my template, to content creation, to my overall mission.  This blog used to be about helping people accelerate the process of credit and financial recovery and for sure, I will continue to write about credit and finances.

But moving forward and beginning in April 2013, this blog will reflect and mirror my own paradigm shift of beating the psychology of consumerism, learning the necessary and critical decision making skills that without, led to my own crash and burn, and passing on the fact that by learning the art of frugality, your life will simplify and improve!

In short, the Amateur Consumer will start teaching you to stop living the dream and start living the plan.  It will also teach you to say, as I have through my own crash and burn; Never Again!

What do you think?  Is there such a thing as the psychology of consumerism or am I full of crap? Oh, and one more thing; do you know the Joneses? Have you ever seen them? Leave your comments below icon smile What the Psychology of Consumerism Looks Like


  1. Guest says:

    Grea read! So true for so many! The definition of Materialism.. Buying stuff you don’t need, with money you don’t have .. to impress people who don’t matter.

  2. Great read! So true for so many! The definition of Materialism.. Buying stuff you don’t need, with money you don’t have .. To impress people who don’t matter.

  3. Nancy Phillips says:

    So true Lou, and just think what this path teaches our children – that material items matter more than anything. No wonder so many people are depressed!! True happiness comes from connecting with people in meaningful ways, experiencing things that matter to us, giving back, and being grateful for all the miracles in our lives. The consumerism/materialism race is a race that can never be won, but it sure hurts a lot of people who are trying to reach the finish line.

    • For sure Nancy. Part of what I want to get across to my readers as this blog starts to undergo it’s transformation that I talk about in the post is
      the whole idea behind learning to fight the psychology of consumerism is to become a conscious consumer.

      To ask yourself before making any purchase “is the purchase or spending of my money aligned with my values and moving me in the direction I want and need to go?’”

      Without answering that question, how do they know what the finish line even looks like? This is the process I will start to teach moving forward and will ensure amateur consumers stop living the dream and start living the plan!

      As always Nancy, thanks for the comments :)

  4. RT says:

    Great article..im facebooking this lol

  5. kasey says:

    This is very true and much more of a a reality the most think to be true. Very interesting wisdom. But if i may make a point, if you truly wanted to liberate the people of this cycle then why not provide every detail of this information for free? Isnt that still continuing the cycle. Just an observation

  6. Thank you for this great blog post!

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