3 Bizarre Reasons You're BrokeNeed an excuse to avoid hitting up the mall with your girlfriend? Tell her it makes you sick, literally. When people are exposed to materialistic environments, they're more likely to feel anxious and depressed, says a report in this month's issue of Psychological Science.
But sadly, hitting up the mall isn't the only thing that's bad news for your mood, and your bank account. Here are a few other unlikely suspects that drain your wallet dry.
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Blame It on the Music
Researchers believe people spend more when the background music reflects the product they are buying, according to research published in the journal Advances in Consumer Research. When people listened to either a top-40 music mix or classical tunes while browsing for vino, the classical tunes made them buy more wine. What gives? Since classical music and wine are both viewed as classy items, people are more likely to spend more than when listening to Justin Bieber. Your fix? Prior to entering a store, have a list of what you're looking to buy. That way, you can focus on what you're looking for instead of being distracted by what's playing overhead.
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You're Too Prepared
When shopping for an item with a target price in mind, you may end up spending more than you planned, says a new study published in the Journal of Marketing Research. When people on a budget were asked to choose between two TVs, a higher-quality brand priced $18 over budget, and a lower-quality brand $18 cheaper, more than half decided to pay more. Why? Researchers believe that when you approach a situation with a budget in mind, you become easily distracted when comparing products, causing you to focus on quality and features instead of price. Your move: Pay in cash. Studies show people spend 30 percent less with paper, so if you only bring enough to suit your budget, you won't be able to splurge.
Related video: Tips for cleaner finances
You're Fooled by the Sales
When people are surprised by an unexpected decrease in price, they're more likely to make immediate purchases, says a study published in the journal Advances in Consumer Research. How come? People often seek justification for their spending habits. Therefore, if you tell yourself you have the money or that you're getting a bargain, you're more likely to spend the dough. How can you resist temptation? Give yourself time on big purchases, for example, create a rule that you'll wait at least a weekend to buy anything more than $100.
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