Day: December 7, 2010

Why What You Spend is Out of Your Control

Recent research by The Australia Institute shows that you have less control over your spending habits than you’d like to think.

In a joint report with the Citi Banking Group they defined 28 percent of Australians as being overconfident —– people who say they make good financial decisions, but whose behaviour suggests otherwise. Perhaps worse, 41 percent are oblivious, unaware that they could get a better deal if they shopped around.

This is all great news for marketers of course, because it shows people are highly susceptible to the hype more than to their own logical reasoning. And banks and phone companies do their best, of course, to ensure that its way too hard to work out whether we’re getting a good deal.

Although this news will seem obvious to people in advertising, economists tend to theorise that people behave rationally. It demonstrates the importance of considering the behavioural aspects of economics, based on what people actually do.

Download the report: Evidence versus emotion: how do we really make financial decisions?

First published on CBS News

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