We often remember big, flashy milestones, but what about the humble touchstones along the way? I’m talking about things that you may not have even noticed, but contain a poignant significance in hindsight. 

For instance, do you remember when your kid realized why some things are priced $4.99 instead of $5.00? That’s an important touchstone on the way to being a good consumer — and it’s one that still confuses people well into their adulthood. 

Life is full of other under-appreciated realizations, like when a child first learns about sales tax. I still remember it from my childhood; the idea that the price was not really the price messed with my mind a little bit. It didn’t take long for me to figure out the amount of sales tax was usually pretty low and wouldn’t really stop me from making purchases.

Some other unsung touchstones on the way to consumer nirvana include: 

  • getting that first jingle stuck in their head
  • understanding what “cheap” and “expensive” means 
  • saying the word “commercial”
  • being disappointed with a bad-faith, shoddy product
  • realizing that what is shown in ads is often different from reality
  • understanding that people deceive each other for money

There aren’t any greeting cards tailored to these experiences, but they might end up being more influential on a future consumer than the big milestones. In our book Mastering Your Financial Lifecycles, we brainstormed to come up with more of these important moments for every decade of life. That way you can anticipate the seemingly insignificant — but actually mind-blowing — events that no one tells you about. 

JHA has had its mind blown so many times, we’ve become experts in it. It helps to have an elephantine company culture that remembers problems and the solutions. Contact us or read our book to learn more!