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Ready, Set, Shop! Taking Time To Think About Where Our Spending Habits Come From This Holiday Season

Nov 23, 2018

Spending Habits
Credit University of Michigan / umich.edu

As the holiday shopping season gets underway, it might be helpful to stop and think about what you plan to spend and why you do it.  89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry talks to University of Michigan associate professor of marketing Scott Rick about his research on our spending habits, which he says may be formed as young as five years old.


Are you a spendthrift or a tightwad?  Knowing that may help you navigate the hectic holiday shopping season and keep your budget in check.

Dr. Scott Rick, associate professor of marketing at the University of Michigan
Credit University of Michigan / umich.edu

U of M professor Scott Rick has done research on understanding the emotional causes and consequences of consumer financial decision-making and says retailers try to make it as easy for you to buy and spend as possible.   

Included in his research is a study called “The Benefits of Retail Therapy: Making Purchase Decision Reduces Residual Sadness” and ”Fatal (Fiscal) Attraction:  Spendthrifts and Tightwide in Marriage.”

Rick says “unconflicted consumers” have a moderate amount of pain when it comes to spending money and are typically more happy with their spending habits.

He says new research shows children may get their spending habits from hearing their parents conversations when they are as young as five years old.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu