Monday, October 17, 2011

Comfort makes you spend more

Of course now that I'm on the record about how sometimes my desire for comfort saves me money, I find an article highlighting research about the opposite.  An article from Wired's Frontal Cortex column describes research that concludes that people are willing to spend more and take more risks when they're in a comfortable environment.  The Wynn casino is a great applied example of this.  After redesigning their casino around comfort rather than obfuscation, the Wynn broke profit records and is still very successful considering its age. In one study students who were exposed to relaxing images and music were willing to pay about 15% more for all sorts of items.

This study makes me wonder if stress is actually good for my budget (in a very short term, bottom line sense).  Certainly I'm not relaxed when I'm stressed, avoiding the 15% over valuation, but I find that when I'm stressed I seek control on any front I can exert it, spending being one that is particularly a crutch for me.  I believe I do spend less when I'm stressed and in reciprocal, would spend more when I'm relaxed.  However, I don't know the extent to which this is a problem for me since I would say I naturally err on the side of under spending.  I would say my greater problem by far is a need for tight control of my spending when stressed.

Do you spend more when you're relaxed?  Less when you're stressed?  Do you think it should be an area of concern?

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1 comment:

  1. Spend less when relaxed, spend more when stressed. Just like nutrition - pay more attention and do well when relaxed, cut corners when stressed. I think it's often a matter of self-discipline, and not making excuses.