Buy Buttons: How Understanding Them Will Make and Save You Money!

Have you ever left the mall with spontaneous purchases? Do you wonder why you bought those items? Or maybe the opposite is true for you. Do you work in sales and struggle to meet your quotas? These things may seem out of your control, but don’t get down on yourself just yet!

Please keep reading, my friend. Understanding buy buttons will make and save you money! This information can give you an edge over other shoppers and retailers this holiday season and forever!

I recently had a conversation with Elizabeth Wickham on her bleuwater blog post about the depth of character, both fictional and real life, that is created when wants and needs are defined and understood. She writes about thought-provoking subjects. If you don’t already follow her, you really need to check out her site! This post about buy buttons was prompted by the discussion she and I had in relation to her article.

Understanding buy buttons will make and save you money

What are buy buttons?

I am using the term “buy buttons” for this post. The phrase for the idea might be coined by me, but the concept is certainly not. I learned these principles in a sales class I took decades ago. It has been so long that I don’t remember the exact terminology used, but I have banked (pun intended) on this information for many years and utilized it repeatedly to both make and save me money.

Buttons to press: Understanding Buy Buttons Will Make or Save You Money!
Photo by Pixabay on
When your buy buttons are pressed, you are more likely to spend money.

Buy buttons are the triggers which prompt you to open your wallet. They are wired to the needs and wants you have, both physical and emotional. Let’s back up and differentiate between needs and wants.


Needs are things you must have to survive. These are basic but crucial. Examples of needs would be air, water, food, shelter, and a means by which to obtain them. New shoes can be a legitimate need, if you must wear them to work and your old ones have fallen apart.


Most of what people call needs are actually wants. Anything over and above what is needed to survive is a want. There is not necessarily anything wrong with desiring more, nicer, and newer things, but be honest about what they are. Needs and wants are too often confused. You might think you need a new pair of shoes to match a new belt, but that is a want if you have other shoes to wear.

Where are your buy buttons?

Your buy buttons lie in the areas where you are most likely to make spontaneous decisions with your money. They are where your wants feel most like needs. Below are 5 pressure points upon which buy buttons may be found. The order of their importance varies from person to person. You may favor one or a combination of them. As you read, try to identify where yours might be.

A button labled "Buy": Understanding Buy Buttons Will Make or Save You Money!
Know what presses your buttons!


The buy button of urgency has a time sensitive component. Do phrases like ‘last-chance’, ‘limited-time-only’, and ‘1-left-in-stock’ quicken your pulse? When you decide to sleep on a purchase decision, do you lie awake all night wondering if you missed out? If so, you have a buy button which is triggered by the perception of urgency. And you’ll want to hurry because, today only, I’m waiving the membership fee on the Back Porch! (Just kidding, it is free to follow this blog, so please subscribe!)


If you simply cannot pass up a bargain, then you probably favor this buy button. A great deal is prey of the bargain hunt. Do you get a rush from haggling at a garage sale or using double coupons? Are you giddy about clearance racks and bargain basements? Does it bring you joy to find out you paid less for something than your neighbor did? Then you have a bargain buy button.


Do you pursue things that make you feel safe? You know you tend toward a buy button related to security, if you value things like solid construction, high safety ratings, and gadgets for emergency preparation. Your fences are sturdy and you have the best home alarm system you can [almost] afford. If you are consistently willing to go over budget on purchases to include the newest proven safety features, you have a buy button related to security.


You might suspect this buy button is a main one for you if you like to have the best. Does it make you happy when people admire the things you flaunt? Are you motivated to purchase items more for the prestige of ownership than because you are excited to use them? Are you drawn to things that are advertised as ‘rare finds’ or ‘one-of-a-kind’? If terms like ‘unique’, ‘custom’, and ‘elite’ catch your attention, the buy button of prestige is one of yours.


Are you sentimental? Do you hold on to the past and enjoy refurbishing old things? Will you invest in quality workmanship which should stand the test of time? An activated sentimentality buy button will compel you to pull out your money to remember the good ole days or to create something unforgettable for the future. If antiques and nostalgia are precious to you, and you can’t put a price on making memories which will last, you have a sentimentality buy button.

Dollar bills arranged in the shape of a brain: Understanding Buy Buttons Will Make or Save You Money!
Photo by Morgan Housel on Unsplash
Our buy buttons are triggered by the things we value

Knowing about buy buttons can make you money

When you sell, you can rely on buy buttons. Whether you are trying to resell a single item you have, or you own an entire store, knowing about buy buttons can make you money. Once you identify a customer’s buy button, you can tailor your pitch to steer them toward a product that will trigger it. You make the sale and they feel good about their purchase. It is a win-win!

Let’s take a gym membership for example. If you work the sales desk and a potential customer mentions living in the gated community across the street, you should find out more about that. Do they live there for prestige? For security? Those would be the most likely assumptions. But don’t assume!

I live in a gated community. And believe it or not, my input on that decision was driven by bargain. The house was the most affordable in the area which met the needs of my family. If you were trying to sell me a gym membership according to the prestigious club or the secure facilities, you would not likely get my money. I don’t quicken toward either of those buy buttons. But, if you could convince me that you have the best prices in town, you might hook me. And that brings me to my last point.

Knowing your buy buttons can save you money

I love a good bargain. I have a daughter who is hopelessly sentimental. I have a son who enjoys prestige and a husband who wants his family to be secure. We know this about ourselves, and it has saved us money!

When you know your buy buttons, you will realize when a salesperson is pressing them. Also, you will understand your compulsions and be able to anticipate and manage them. Exercising power over your buy buttons will save you money.

I have developed self-talk in relation to my primary buy button. When I pass bargain counters and clearance racks, I remind myself that if I didn’t need those items at full price, I don’t need them at their sale price either. If I purchase an unwanted item worth $100 at a sale price of $5, I didn’t save $95, I wasted $5. Knowing my buy button has saved me an inestimable amount of money!

What are your buy buttons?

Have you learned anything about yourself? What triggers your buy buttons? Do you understand some of the curious purchases you’ve made? Have you thought of new angles for selling products to others? How might an understanding of buy buttons make and save you money?

“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”

Proverbs 21:5

How to Measure Your Treasure

“My son…
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”

Proverbs 3:9-10

My beloved child,

Let the Lord teach you how to measure your treasure. If you honor Him with your wealth, He will see you as a trustworthy candidate for more. He said, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (Luke 16:10)

But don’t exercise faithfulness with your money just for increase. Learning to measure your treasure goes so much deeper than that.

When you bring the first part of your paycheck to God in tithes and offerings, your heart will connect with His. Isn’t that what He said? “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21).

When you measure your treasure by His ability to use it, you will begin to see that what you have is more than enough. You will be content; therefore, every new blessing will be overflow.

God may choose to increase the amount of your wealth as you honor Him with what you have, but you can bank on this for sure: what you have will be magnified when you view it from a heart in step with the Lord. Let God show you how to measure your treasure; it will go far, and so will you.

You are truly and deeply cared for.

This post is part of a series which was born the day my son moved out of the house. Please read Wait, one more thing! for the backstory.

Other posts in this series, which you might enjoy, are:
Live Long and Prosper, and Fear the One You Trust.


Spiritual, Physical, and Financial Fitness

Do your goals change from year to year? Do you have both small and large things you want to accomplish? As the more seasonal obligations and hurdles have come and gone, three overarching aspirations have continued to shape my life. They are Spiritual, Physical, and Financial Fitness.

When my kids were small, I set the expectation for myself to do one thing each day to make progress in each of these categories. I still have the same ambition today, although my methods for achieving them have drastically changed. Whether you’re younger or older, have similar goals or completely different ones, I’d like to invite you into my reflection on Spiritual, Physical and Financial Fitness, then and now.

Spiritual Fitness

“I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Psalm 119:10, 11

Then: My kids attended AWANA when they were young. If you’re not familiar with it, the best I can describe it is like a Christian scout troop. They met weekly, had uniforms, and earned badges for scripture memorization and service to the church and community. With 5 kids in different levels of AWANA, I had several Bible verses to help little minds to memorize each week. My kids had different learning styles, so we made up songs, dances, hand motions, and beats to help with comprehension and memorization. I enjoy the fact that still, to this day, when a key AWANA verse comes up, we all start moving in sync. This was a time of wonderful growth and Spiritual fitness for me; a time when much of God’s Word was prominently fixed in my heart.

Now: I no longer have a built-in weekly Spiritual fitness program. I must be intentional about spending time in God’s Word. I set my own Bible reading goals and find Christian blogs, podcasts and online Bible Studies to follow during the week. All this plus church on Sundays and I still have a ton of room to grow in the arena of Spiritual Fitness. I will ultimately realize my goal when I arrive on eternity’s shore and am finally made perfect, as my Heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

Physical Fitness

“Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.  No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

1 Corinthians 9:26, 27

The motivation for this one has never really been a struggle because I yearn to get out and move. The hard part is finding the time to do it.

Then: I had a double stroller and 5 kids. It was not unusual to see me out on the trail with two kids in the stroller, one perched carefully on top, one on my shoulders or piggy-back, and another walking beside me. Sometimes we would rotate who was where. If I timed it right, I could get out to walk when one or two were in school and that helped quite a bit. When I didn’t have a car, walks to the grocery store or the park were naturally part of our days and physical fitness was not difficult to come by.

Now: I still love to walk. I didn’t have to push a stroller or carry anybody for several years, but the grandkids have brought that back into my life recently. Although it is harder on me now, I’m grateful I can still do it! I do have to purposely plan the ‘daily’ part of this goal; not because I don’t want to be consistent with physical fitness, but because I often feel pulled by the ‘urgent’ at the expense of the ‘important’. (You won’t want to miss this related post: How to Distinguish Between Urgent and Important)

Financial Fitness

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

Proverbs 14:23

Then: Financial fitness was much harder when the kids were little. I did not work outside the home, so finding ways to make or save money each day required thought. We went on recycling walks, collecting cans and bottles to exchange for cash. We took outgrown clothes and toys to consignment shops. I made items to sell at craft fairs. I clipped coupons. The kids and I did what we could so the financial burden did not fall entirely on my husband.

Now: I have a full-time job. I still try to meet this goal daily though, so even on my days off from work, I am looking for ways to earn extra money, or save it, or both. Financial fitness will be a focus until we leave it, fat or lean, to the next generation.

The three main lessons I have learned over the years I’ve spent in pursuit of Spiritual, Physical, and Financial fitness are these:

  • Even baby steps are progress if they’re taken in the right direction.
  • There are seasons with every endeavor. Some seasons are easier than others, but difficult seasons are not excuses to quit. The seasons will change.
  • Creativity is key. If God has given a directive, He’s thought of a means by which it can be met. He can be trusted for inspiration.

Thank you for reading my reflection on Spiritual, Physical and Financial fitness as I’ve pursued it, then and now. What are the objectives you are chasing these days? Are they enduring or are they quickly attainable? Do you have tips to share about how you’re being creative or making progress?

Related post: Determination,

Devotions Emotions

Desperate for a Mood Change

Do you think God has moods? I believe I could make a Biblical argument to say that He does, but I would also have to concede that they must be different from mine, because He is unchanging. My moods can change me from hour to hour. And my moods change the way I hear things. When I’m feeling confident, I might hear someone make a negative observation about me and process it as humor or sarcasm. But if I’m in an introspective mood, I am more likely to hear it as criticism and beat myself up over it.

When two people get together to converse, they each bring a mood. It’s no wonder discussions can veer so desperately off track. And when a group of people get together, it is nothing short of a miracle that communication happens at all!

But there is an upside to mood changes. I can read the Bible every day for as long as I live and receive it differently each time. So much of what I understand and take away is based on the mood I bring to the table.

Giraffe and sky: mood change
Photo by Pixabay on

Is weariness a mood? What do you call your attitude when you look ahead at your life and can’t quite see a break in the clouds? Unfortunately, but honestly, that is the mood I was in when I took my lunch break today. I was feeling the pressure of an already-tight budget, which has had some new and unexpected columns added to it lately.

I often scroll blogs and social media while I eat, but today, I recognized the desperate need for a mood change and decided to read my Bible instead. I came across this verse, which I’d read many times and never really noticed. Today, it stood out like it was in a pop-up book.

“Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.”

Proverbs 21:21

The first thing I realized about this verse was what it does not say. It does not say to pursue prosperity. Instead, it says to pursue righteousness and love, and in so doing, I will also come across life and prosperity and honor. I could feel my mood changing already! I know that God’s definition of prosperity does not necessarily mean money. I also know that when God prospers someone, they have everything they need. When God fills a person to the brim with contentment and joy, for example, a tight budget is of no real concern.

Society says to pursue riches and applause and you will have a life you love. God says to pursue righteousness and love and you will find honor and a prosperous life.

I realized I’d inadvertently listened to the philosophy the world offers, and it had affected my mood. The message of society is to pursue riches and positions of honor in order to be loved and have a good life. But God met me in my weariness and encouraged me that the very choice to read my Bible was the best thing I could have done. It may have been inadvertent but, by going to Scripture to soothe my mood, I was pursuing righteousness and God’s love. And that, my friend, turns out to be the very thing that will ultimately lead to fulfillment and joy and prosperity.

Have you noticed that you see, hear, or recognize things differently based on your mood? Have you been desperate for a mood change? Have you unwittingly bought into the world’s backwards prescription for prosperity? Let’s turn ourselves around and pursue that which God promises will be the ultimate mood and game changer!

“Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.”

Proverbs 16:20

“Blessed is the one… whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.”

Psalm 1a, 2-3