Shopping Triggers and How to Curb Them: Sense of Entitlement

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

Watching TV last night got me thinking about how our entire society is built around this shopping trigger. TV and radio ads, magazines and catalogues all scream to us: you deserve this, you’re worth it, treat yourself! This is because savvy advertisers know that creating a sense of entitlement is one of the most potent ways to get consumers to cough up the dough.

It is so easy, when exposed to those ads, to start thinking that “hey, that’s right, I did pass that exam/meet that deadline/suffer through that nasty flu/put up with the in-laws staying at my house for a full week, I do deserve a little something.” The problem is, none of those things did anything to change your budget, so when you treat yourself, you have to either find another place to cut, or get (further) into debt.

The best way to curb this is to tell yourself, whenever overcome with this sense of entitlement, that if there is anything you deserve, it is to have your finances in order. If you need to repeat it over and over again, fine – let it be your personal affirmation. After all, what outfit/cosmetic product/trip/new high tech gizmo could possibly make you feel better than true financial security?

Check out the other articles in our series on Shopping Triggers.


Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

Stacy Francis is the Founder, CEO and President of Francis Financial, Inc., a Wealth Management and Financial Planning firm. With over 18 years of experience in the financial industry, she is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®), a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA™), and a Certified Estate Planning Specialist (CES™). She is the Co-Director of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners’ (ADFP) Greater New York Metro Chapter and a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and an honoree member of the Private Risk Management Association (PRMA). A nationally recognized financial expert, Stacy has appeared on ABC News, CNBC, CNN, PBS Nightly Business Report, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fine Living Network, and The O’Reilly Factor. Stacy attended the New York University Center for Finance, Law and Taxation.