I did a lot of people watching and saw a lot of consumer behavior at work during our rummage sale. It was so fascinating! There were a few people that literally could not walk away without buying something! They even expressed that sentiment out loud. Clearly there was nothing that they really wanted during the first go around, but they walked down the sidewalk again to check the tables in order to find something that they just "needed". One lady was so bothered by having fifty cents in leftover change that she stood at the table for a good five minutes to ponder what the best purchase at that table was for money.
On some level, watching people with this behavior was quite the painful reflection. I used to be like that. I never had that behavior at garage sales, but I would if there were loads of clearance racks at the department store. I would talk myself into buying stuff that I definitely didn't need but just wanted because "it was such a good deal". How many of us fell into that trap?
Over on the Get Rich Slowly blog, JD posted a blog today about impulse spending. I could really relate. The old me used to spend most of my paycheck at the retail establishment I worked at. Their clothes weren't of good quality and it was very seasonal trendy, not classic. I shudder to think how much money I spent durning my days of working retail. Those experiences did however make me who I am today. My only debt is a student loan. I shop with much restraint and don't buy anything that isn't on sale or a reduced price 95% of the time. This isn't a fad lifestyle for me because of the "bad economy". This is my life... for good and I love it.