The Psychology of Discounts: Why We Love Saving Money

The way we spend is deeply linked to our emotions and feelings. Let’s explore why we love saving money and how our minds work when we see a good deal.

Published on 2023-09-11

In a world where we have endless options of products to choose from, the allure of discounts has an undeniable impact on our shopping behavior. Why? Because finding the best price that favors the consumer is ingrained in our psyche. From the exhilaration of scoring a deal to the sense of urgency and the satisfaction of staying within a budget taps into our primal instincts. Let’s take a closer look at the psychology and emotions behind saving money.

The Thrill of the Hunt

We all enjoy finding great deals, whether it's scouring sale racks at a store store or clicking on limited-time offers online. This is because it feels like we’re hunting - something humans have done since the origin of our species. When we decide to purchase discounted goods, this hunting instinct translates into the gratifying and exciting sensation of uncovering a hidden gem at a reduced price.

Seeing Value and Feeling Ownership

Discounts make us think we're getting something valuable for less money. This makes us feel like we're getting a good deal, and we don't want to miss out on it. We also start to feel like we really own the item. Even if we didn't plan to buy it, we most probably still purchase it because it seems like a good deal.

Emotional Satisfaction

The act of saving money activates the brain's reward system making us feel good. This is due to the chemical called dopamine that our brains release creating a sense of happiness and satisfaction. As our brains are wired to seek pleasure, we often feel intrinsically encouraged to buy more things.

Getting Approval from Others

In the age of social media, we are constantly looking at what others are doing while also yearning to be seen. When we share or showcase finding a discount or getting something cheap, we are triggered by a natural need to feel validated by our peers.

The Illusion of Rational Thinking

Discounts can make us think we're being smart with our money, even if we spend more in the end. We might ignore how much we're spending or ignore we’re purchasing a good we didn’t initially plan on consuming because we focus on how much we're saving. We are emotionally driven by the satisfaction of securing a discount.

The way discounts affect us is interesting. We all love finding deals because it makes us happy and excited. While it’s important to be careful to not overspend just because something is on sale, we can use this knowledge to find discounts on goods and services we specifically want and need. Understanding how discounts influence our feelings and decisions helps us make smarter choices when we shop.

Looking to learn more smart ways to save money? Read all about it here. Or better yet