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Friday, June 1, 2012

Cheating via checkbook: Insights on Financial Infidelity

Observation:  A story in today’s Marketing Daily explains that many people in relationships have kept a financial secret from their spouse or significant other.  The article shares some fun insights, and you can read the full story by clicking here.

Implications:   Humans are fascinating people.  

Another example of financial infidelity that I’ve used over the years is when someone buys a ($500 golf club, laptop, or other) big-ticket item, and pays for it partially with cash, partially on the household bank card, and partially with a credit card.  It is, in effect, laundering the household money so that a purchase is not easily traced.  When one describes this dastardly behavior in front of a hundred people in a consumer trends workshop… it’s funny how many people in the audience start to blush!

The difficulties that many people went through a few years ago—and the slow recovery they have been experiencing since—have imposed new financial realities on a lot of households.  In what could only be called a cultural consumer shift, many folks have denied themselves the kind of indulgences that were commonplace in the pre-recession economy.  It only makes sense that eventually, people would become fatigued, act on the idea of pent-up demand, and move forward with some small (and some not-so-small) indulgences.  Even if their partner might not know about it.

Have you made a purchase, or stashed some cash, without telling your spouse or partner about it? 

Are your customers thinking about doing it as they walk through your business?

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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