Have you ever had that lurking feeling that your bank does not always put your interest ahead of their profit or that it doesn’t always put you first?
If yes, you’re in good company. According to a global study from Accenture, who polled 15,000 banking customers in 12 countries, only 43% of banks clients, trust their banks to look after their long-term financial well-being.
Perception are people’s own reality, but let’s admit, most of us behave emotionally when it comes to money. It’s not that we are fools, it is how human brain functions. Sometimes it panics, sometimes it is overwhelmed by emotions and sometimes it seems cold-blooded thinking through before pushing us in one direction or another*. Nevertheless, we tend to blame others when we make irrational decisions that turn out unfavourable for ourselves.
A change in spending
Being in lockdown for several weeks is shedding a particular light on money (and many other things of course). Maybe you’ve spent less than before. Maybe you’re finding yourself in the unusual situation of having a little more money which you could use for something later. Whether you have decided it willfully or were forced into it, you have opted for spending now or later.
If your spending decisions have changed during the lockdown, this may lead you to reconsider your spending priorities in the longer term. Spend now or later, what expenses do you privilege over other ones? Through these basic choices, you’re setting new spending and financial goals for yourself.
Let’s take the example of a supermarket, you return there bright eyed, determined with your newly minted goals and good intentions, you plan on what to buy. But you get stuck. The supermarkets have different plans and goals than yours, particularly in terms of how much to spend and what to buy. And they have a particular advantage over you in that they organise the plan of the store, the shelves, the displays, the promotions… You’re playing on their turf, by their rules. So many times you end-up making purchasing decisions that are not in line with your initial plan nor with your direct interest. And this is true for the majority of shops regardless of their size.
Your bank and your supermarket have their own objectives and are organised to derail you from your goals. It has been like this for many years. It does not have necessarily to continue, though.
My money, my rules!
Sure, but concretely…? In the coming days, we shall discuss some simple and very concrete steps we could undertake to stay on track with our goals.
*We will come back on this in a later post.