The Diderot Effect: Why We Buy Things We Don’t Need

 In Money, Redefining Wealth PODCAST
“What are you a slave to right now?” Click To Tweet

How many times have you bought a new dress but felt like you didn’t have anything to go with it? Even if that dress was a great deal, when you consider the shoes you bought to go with it, the earrings to match, and all of the other accessories it wasn’t cheap.

Don’t worry though, you aren’t alone. We’ve all been there. In fact it’s so common there’s a name for it that psychologists use: The Diderot Effect.

Society trains us to be over consumers. We are taught that we need look our best, to have things that show us off.

All it takes is a simple shift in your mindset.

When you purchase something, think about if you really need it. Will it really change your life forever? Is it something that you really needed yesterday, a year ago, or even ten years ago? Is it something you will use over and over and over again and day after day  or is it just a temporary high?

If the answer was no to any of those that means you probably don’t need it.

You work hard for your money, and you should keep it. Don’t let spontaneous decisions take away from your wealth.

If you aren’t sure, go home and sleep on it. If you still feel you need it the next day you can always go back and get it. And if it isn’t there, then the universe is sending you a sign that you didn’t need it.

On this episode of Redefining Wealth we explore the Diderot Effect, and ways you can avoid the pitfalls of over spending.

Download this episode today and learn ways you can avoid running yourself, and your wallet, ragged.

We buy things our previous selves didn’t need to feel happy or fulfilled.” Click To Tweet

The Cliff Notes:

  • It’s tempting to overspend on things we don’t need and people don’t want.
  • Most people really just want our time.
  • It’s common for us to make one purchase that leads to more in accessories that we don’t need.
    • This is known as the Diderot Effect
  • If you buy something, give something away.
  • Don’t allow yourself to be a slave to stuff.
  • Buy things to be worn over and over again.
  • Get pieces that fit into what you already have.
We are taught to be over consumers.” Click To Tweet


Regrets for My Old Dressing Gown by Denis Diderot

How to Find Fulfillment

How to Budget for the Holidays


Leave a comment with your big “Aha!” on this episode between Thursday, December 14th and Wednesday, December 20th as your entry to win our Inaugural Holiday Relaxation Gift Set from Redefining Wealth!

Winner receives:

The Lynspiration Beauty & Bath set by Lyn Sisson-Talbert

Own Your Glow by Latham Thomas

Exponential Living by Sheri Riley

A beautiful candle by Alex Greenwood of Intuition.LA

Real Money Answers for Every Woman by ME, Patrice C. Washington

PLUS, you’ll get additional entries to win when you comment on the following episodes between Thursday, December 14th and Wednesday, December 20th . . .

Latham Thomas: The Necessity of Sacred Space

Sheri Riley: The Value of Being Present

The Power of No Comparison

Lyn Sisson-Talbert: Making Time for You Is Mandatory

A comment on each episode is an entry to win.

Winner announced on December 21st podcast episode.

  • Tonya M. Cooley

    Love the idea of in order to purchase something have to give something away. Holding on to things can clutter your life which in turn will hinder your progress! Loving the podcasts 🙂

    • Patrice Cunningham Washington

      I’ve been working on this concept and I love it, Tonya! You’re ONLY left with stuff you really love!

  • Denshai Lee

    Having the receiving gifts love language has gotten me into debt, this exploration of the psychology of spending really helped me. This is the first year I created a holiday budget (crossed some folks off my list).

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