What does money represent to you?

There are four main categories, according to expert in the psychology of financial behaviour Mark Fenton-O’Creevy.

These are:

Money is love

Money is security

Money is freedom

Money is power

The way we see money opens us up to different spending behaviours and different vulnerabilities to impulse spending, which retailers know how to manipulate.

On this episode of the Big Money Questions Mark talks through some of the top tricks used by retailers, for example selling goods as enabling unmissable experiences, tying them in with our sense of self-esteem, or playing on the idea of social shame.

He also gives some ideas about how to resist impulse spending – and it’s not just about self control.

He sheds light on why some online retailers might be spending so much money developing infrastructure so that you can receive your purchases within a day, and points out why everyone from government to scammers to advertisers know that ‘if you want to persuade someone of something, they’re your best ally’.

Mark Fenton-O’Creevy is also Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the Open University Business School.

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