We shop, we spend, we pay the consequences later—yet we don't exactly understand why
we do it. Use these discussion questions to help members of your group understand each other's shopping motivations and help each other to become smarter shoppers. I've included some answers and comments of my own just for fun!
- How do you feel about the way you shop? Are you addicted to the mall or still wearing skirts from high school because you hate to hit the stores? (Jean's take: Sometimes hating to shop can also cause you to overspend—you may tend to buy the first thing you see to get the chore over with, even if it's twice the price as the same item down the street. I hate to shop for bathing suits, for example—who doesn't?—so I have to make sure I give myself enough time and Do a little internet research beforehand so I don't get frustrated and end up buying something I'll truly never wear!)
- What kind of shopper was your mom? What were you like as a teen shopper? How have you changed over the years?
- Do you go shopping for a pick-me-up when you're feeling blue? A reward when something goes right?
- Does shopping give you a sense of power, control?
- What's your definition of a great bargain?
- When you get a great bargain, how do you feel afterward? (Jean's take: I feel powerful. Really smart. In fact, that's my downfall. I've learned to pause when something is on major sale to make sure I'm buying it because I need it and not just because it's been marked down by 75 percent.)
- When you buy something and bring it home, what's the first thing you say about it? (Jean's take: I also learned that if the first thing out of my mouth is the great price I got, or the big discount, and not the quality of the item or how great wearing it makes me feel, I probably just bought something I didn't need.)
- Do you feel like buying on sale is "being cheap"?
- Do you routinely haggle for the best price? If not, what stops you? (Jean's take: It's hard for me to haggle face to face, so when I'm likely to haggle, I'll try to do my shopping over the phone. It not only works for hotel rooms and cars, it works for jewelry and furniture. The crucial words to know: "Can you do better than that?")