Click. Ahhhhhh, feels so gooooood as the rush of dopamine hits, giving you that fleeting sense of happiness that’s gone within five seconds after making your online purchase. Two days later that “must have” arrives and that warm, fuzzy feeling is back … for another five seconds before it’s gone for good.
What do you have to show for it? Another piece of clutter in your house, and a hole in your bank account that could have turned into a substantial sum had you invested it and used the law of compounding to passively grow it over time. A week later, your new purchase just sits in the corner, abandoned and unloved. But no matter, hi ho, hi ho, it’s back to Amazon you go.
Online retailers have had a 76% surge in demand this year and they’ve taken notice. We’re getting less bang for our buck online. Items in higher demand than usual, like bikes and computers, can suddenly command hefty price tags. We’re paying more than ever for that fleeting good feeling of treating ourselves to something new.
Shifting your focus to online shopping, instead of saving or investing your extra money is a failure habit that can seriously stunt your financial success. It all ties back to that lower self of yours constantly searching for the low-hanging fruit. It will feel good in the short term, but wreak havoc in the long-run.
According to online stock calculator, Stockchoker, a $500 investment in Google in January of 2014 could be currently worth $14,285.87, which they hilariously point out could have scored you 14,285 razors from Dollar Shave Club over the years. (so many missed chances to shave!)
A $500 investment in Facebook in January 2014 could now be worth $2134.
Or is it providing 5 minute dopamine hits and getting moved to the storage shed?
This week’s action steps:
Before you click buy, sleep on your decision. Especially with purchases in the late night hours. Eachnight.com conducted a survey of online shoppers and 31% of respondents confessed that they had forgotten they made a late night purchase. Even if you really think you want or need an item, you may be surprised by the clarity you have in the morning.
Look around your house or take a trip to your basement or garage. Take inventory of the items that seemed like a good idea at a time, but are just contributing to clutter and regret now. Is there a chance this purchase will just add to your hoarding inventory?
Ask yourself how you could be using this money better. Visualize the amount of your purchase in cash and think about how this money could grow in investments or savings.