Getty Images
December 24, 2014 12:01 AM EST
Barker is the author of Barking Up The Wrong Tree

1) Want to pick a creative gift that the receiver will be surprised by? Don’t do it. Studies show people are much more satisfied by presents they said they wanted.

2) Accept that context can warp your thinking. The music in a store, a “SALE” sign, and how many items are on a shelf can all affect what and how much you buy.

3) To control your spending, hide the credit card and make sure your wallet contains only big denomination bills. People are less tempted to break big bills than to spend small ones.

4) How can you resist a seductive sales pitch? Think about money.

5) Want to increase the chance people will like the gifts you bought? Wrap them.

If you’re curious about why we buy then I suggest you read the aptly titled: Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping.

This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree. Join over 145,000 readers and get a free weekly update via email here.

Related posts:


More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Contact us at

Read More From TIME
Related Stories