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How to Not Lose Your Money to Marketing

*This post has been written by Amanda Abella – a fabulous writer, speaker, and financial coach!*

During the month of June, I found myself on Amazon looking for a replacement for my favorite nail polish color. Since I’d decided to put myself on a No Spend Challenge that month, I simply added it to my wish list for later and went about my day. I didn’t want to lose money on something I didn’t need right away. However, the next day, that same nail polish showed up in a sidebar ad when I logged into my Facebook account.

Coincidence? I think not.

Let’s be frank. Companies spend millions of dollars each year on targeted ads, focus groups, market research, and surveys to study the purchasing behaviors of consumers.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with understanding your market (even I’ve had to do this for the success of my own business), I believe that if you as a consumer don’t understand what’s going on then you’re going to lose your money.

In this blog, I’m going to detail some of the ways you can avoid losing your money to good marketing tactics. Your wallet will thank me.

lose your moneyLearn about sales and marketing.

I already mentioned how applying what you’ve learned from market research isn’t necessarily bad and that even I’ve had to do it as I build my own business. The truth is you can’t make money unless you know how to communicate with your market.

The interesting part was that as I began to learn about what makes good copy, the psychology of sales, and how to apply what makes my market tick into my marketing strategy, I was able to notice when other businesses were using it too. Let’s just say I ended up passing on purchasing a lot of things because I could literally pick their marketing apart.

Even if you don’t run your own business and feel like you don’t have a need to learn about how marketing works, do it anyway. You may not need to educate yourself on these topics in order to make money, but it will be very helpful in making sure you don’t lose your money to marketing.

A really great place to start is with the book To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink. The book explains the human psychology behind sales and how on some level, we’re all selling all the time.

Know what you value.

Another great way to avoid losing your money to marketing is to know what it is you value. If you’re crystal clear on what matters to you, then it’s easier to not lose your money to marketing tactics.

For example, I put myself on a No Spend Challenge because I value the security I get from putting savings into an emergency fund. That’s why it was easy for me to leave that nail polish on my wish list and that’s why I was able to resist buying it when it showed up on my news feed.

Get a grip on your emotional triggers.

A lot of marketing plays to your emotions and fears. Essentially, they remind you of your fears and then tout the benefits of their product as the solution to your problem. It’s a pretty common technique and it works.

Because of this, if you want to make sure you don’t lose your money, you need to get a grip on what your fears and emotional triggers are.

Let’s take the beauty industry as an example. The entire industry is built upon people’s insecurities about their own bodies. If you are aware of your own issues as it pertains to your body, and if you are able to not get wrapped up in the emotion of it, you won’t lose your money the next time some YouTube makeup celebrity decides to sing the praises of some miracle beauty product.

Final Thoughts

When you truly understand how marketing works, and when you are clear about your own goals and emotional triggers, you’ll be able to save some serious cash by not purchasing things you probably didn’t want or need anyway.

Battle of the Mind Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. Great article! When I first started reading it, I thought Derek wrote it. I thought, “Wow! Derek was shopping for nail polish?”

    • Hahaha. That’s why I made sure to introduce the article with Amanda’s name! I don’t want to confuse people here… 😉

  2. Watching searched items follow me throughout the internet is always amusing. If I need it to be a secret from the girlfriend, I at least go incognito on Chrome. Helps some.

    • Good point. I never thought of using the incognito tab for those type of searches. That would really help keep those banner ads away.

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