As the afternoon wears on and slowly turns to darkness,
We find ourselves ready to welcome villains, zombies and other ghoulish creatures.
Our jack o' lantern is carved and ready, a sign that we're willing to welcome them in and part with some of our treasures.
They'll come creeping up our stoop, making it clear they expect to receive a payment or two, or three, or more.
We'll happily give into their demands, delivering the prize that will calm their restlessness,
And they'll leave without more than a hurried thanks and go on to deliver the very same edict next door,
But not before hollering news of their good fortune to other dark characters, ensuring our stash will be depleted at a hastier pace.
On and on it will go until all available goodies are gone, with some still knocking and hollering long after we've snuffed the glowing orange beacon.
The night's activities coming to an end, the villains, zombies and other ghouls will retreat to their lairs to gorge on the evening's bounty.
Tired and satisfied, they'll lay dormant
...only to emerge again next year.
If only this type of phenomenon were reserved for Hallowe'en, but unfortunately it happens every day.
Marketers, salespeople of all sorts and bankers come knocking regularly to collect from us. They wear costumes or set up online window dressing that portray authority, reliability and trustworthiness. They come knocking on our door, call us on the phone, or mail/email us offers to grab our attention so they can move in for the kill...not much different from lambs to the slaughter.
They deliver a "call to action" to:
- Buy now, pay later.
- Get a 2-for-1 deal.
- Sign up for 0% financing.
- Act now and get an instant rebait.
- Avoid missing out on a limited-time offer.
- Move on a limited-edition item because it's going fast.
They ask us to pay them for doing nothing more than making us believe that we want things we don't need to fulfill desires we didn't know we had until they showed up and told us about our deficient lives.
So, we give them what they desire and we're left with little to show for it, other than a reputation for being one of the "good homes" to visit. Word spreads and the messages come with even more frequency and intensity and our reserves get depleted at an increasing pace.
Frightful nightmare, I know!
So how do we get rid of these real life ghoulish creatures the other 364 days a year?
We lock our doors, turn off the lights and avoid putting out any signs that we're willing to "feed the goblins"!
- Give out our email/physical address/phone number to any merchant.
- Sign up for loyalty cards unless we're sure that they're worth what we're giving up and that our privacy will be safeguarded.
- Subscribe to promotional emails for any goods or services that are not necessities that we purchase on a regular basis.
- Believe that any deal is a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity.
- Look at flyers for stores we don't frequent for regular and essential purchases.
- Accept any new debt vehicle from a financial institution unless it will replace existing debt, but with more favourable terms.
- Save our credit card information on online sites, or worse, turn on the "buy-with-one-click" option.
- Take at face value anything a salesperson or banker has to say about what the benefits a given product or service will mean to us.
- Let emotions dictate when and where we take out our wallet, especially if it's fear of missing out, disappointing the salesperson or feeling we're being rude by saying "no". We always sleep on it before we buy to ensure we let those feeling disappear.
I hope you find these tips useful and wish you success in "goblin dodging".
With that said, happy Hallowe'en to you and your family. May you enjoy the evening, avoid eating too many goodies, and find an opportunity to make a child smile.