We live two miles from a Super Target. Not just any Super Target, but one of the top 30 in the Nation. Needless to say, they opened their doors in the right place. Target spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on market research, so of course they knew they were in the right place. My kids probably spent as much time wandering those aisles as they did playing at our house the first year of their lives. For anyone who has had a newborn, you can remember the importance (i.e. keeping your sanity) of getting out of the house, but being in a place where people don’t mind your tattered sweat pants covered in spit up, the luggage under your eyes, and a screaming baby in your arms. And herein begins our problem with Super Target. It’s a great place to wander and buy almost anything you can imagine from electronics to books to decor to clothing to groceries. How many times have I justified, “but it’s only $5”. The problem is 20 times “it’s only $5” becomes an extra $100 at the check out, and I know I’m not alone in this!
Here’s the latest….the Target Credit Card where you now get a 5% discount on every purchase you make with that little red plastic card. Studies have shown that people spend an average of 12-18% more when they use plastic versus cash. So, how much is that 5% “discount” really costing you? Remember, Target spends oogles (yes, that’s a professional term) of money on market research. You don’t think they are really offering you 5% off do you? They’re really offering you the opportunity to spend even more than you normally would all under the guise of a small discount. Target, and all their retail friends, will continue to come up with new ways to take more of your money without you realizing it. You have to be smarter than them and the gimmicks. Go in with a game plan and a budget and even better cash on hand. Think you don’t fall under that statistic and you can make that reward card work for you? Try using cash for one month and let me know how your spending went.
(photo by bankbryan)