They Want Your Attention!

Dear Pam,
Thank you for sharing your experiences in The GOOD Book. It has changed my attitude about budgeting, saving, spending and I now recognize what marketers have known all along. Advertising is out to get my inner child’s attention! What a difference it has made to know I’m in charge, not the advertisers and certainly not my seven-year-old inner child!



Pam here: Shrek said, “Ogres are like onions; they have layers.” We aren’t ogres, but we have layers too. I uncovered one such layer while climbing out of the embarrassing and tortuous prison of credit card debt I ‘d got myself into and wrote about in The GOOD Book: Get Out Of Debt.

This layer I tapped into was more like a river of excitement. One time during the three years it took to write the book, Nelly (my inner child) insisted we have a whole new wardrobe for our annual vacation in Cancun (just so you know my husband paid for our vacations, but not my wardrobe). Since we were going with a couple who were walking billboards for Nordstrom, Nelly wanted expensive, new clothes.

The conversation with her went something like this:

“I want new summer clothes for Cancun.”

“It’s not in our budget and you know that.”

“It’s not in our budget and you know that,” Nelly mocked with a snotty tone.

“Don’t you sass me little one, I’m the one who controls the money now.”

“But, Janny and Will are gonna have beautiful new clothes and they’re not gonna go to Target to get ‘em.”

“Now you’re sounding like a snob.”

“Nuh uh, I’m not a snob. I’m not a snob! I want pretty clothes from Nordstrom and it’s not fair we have to wear all these dumb old clothes.”

While she was stomping around feeling sorry for herself, I thought for a minute and made a simple suggestion.

“Okay, what if we get a whole new wardrobe, but we don’t spend more than $75?”

The thought shut her up.

“Here’s what we’ll do. We’ll make a list of the clothes we want; shorts, tops and a bathing suit and in the next six weeks we’ll go once a week to Goodwill and find what we like. Our rule will be no prints or plaids, but solid colors and 100% silk, and cotton, no synthetics. We’ll even look for designer labels.

Those six weeks turned out to be the most exiting shopping sprees. Our beautiful collection of summer clothes (once they’d been through the cleaners) was a source of pride for my little Nelly and I was proud that we’d stayed within our budget.

When we can enlist the enthusiasm of the child within, we can have so much more fun in life. I was surprised how easily I turned around my attitude and came up with an adventure that brought my creativity and sense of competition into play with each other.

The GOOD Book will help you get in touch with your inner child in a fun-loving way. Once you know her you’ll begin to be aware of her thoughts before they turn into actions inspired by advertisers. After all, we get into debt by not thinking about consequences and that’s what children do.

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