Impulse buying: You go to the department store to get a much-needed item. You see a sale going on, which makes you decide to snoop around a bit in case you find a good bargain that doesn’t really cost much or INDENT your budget. You end up going home with a bag of stuff. Yet, you only intended to purchase one or two items. Has this scenario happened to you? Or has it happened too many times for comfort?
“Do not only think about it, but feel about it, also, before taking appropriate action.”
― T.F. Hodge
If you feel you need to put prevent impulse buying, here are the tried-and-tested ways to go about it.
Leave the Plastic Behind
Credit cards make buying decisions easier, including “the rather imprudent ones”. Avoid this pothole by leaving your credit cards behind when you go out to buy essential items.
This way, you’re less likely to spend on unnecessary purchases – the kind you’ll later regret and can ruin your finances.
Breathe and Let 30 Minutes Pass
Spotted something that leaves you dying to reach for your wallet? Why don’t you calm down that excitement by taking a deep breath? Doing this can help clear your mind and relax. You can take up to 10 deep, slow breaths to calm yourself down. Ask yourself whether you really need to buy that item.
You can just return the item to the shelf. You can also carry it around while convincing yourself why you do not need it as you continue with your business. At the cashier’s, if you’re still bent on purchasing the item and believe that it’s a necessary, go ahead and make your day. Otherwise, leave it behind.
Do Specific Searches
Don’t do a detour to the other sections of the shop or categories of an online outlet before buying what you really need. You’re just exposing yourself more to the risk of making an impulse purchase. Instead, go straight to the heart of the matter and get only what you need. You can also prevent impulse buying by typing the name of the exact item you’re looking for.
Sort Your Stuff before Shopping
Organizing your things and taking stock of what you already have or need to throw out helps you curb impulse shopping. For example, your fascination for that colorful conversation piece may fade quickly when you remember you have a yet unused home décor or two sitting in a dark corner of your storage.
Better yet, you can give away or sell off items you already own but haven’t used for a year or so. Make it a point to dispose something before you get new stuff. This will help you think twice before snapping up an appealing item off the shelf or an online shop’s web page.
Make Shopping Lists Before You Go
You’ve probably heard this before, and hearing this again must be proof of the wisdom and effectivity of this tip. A list, which you’ve already debated on, filtered numerous times, and finally agreed on, will help you focus on just getting what you need.
Plan Your Expenses
How much do you earn per week or month? Based on that figure, list down the essential expenses first (utilities, rent, etc.). Then, list the amount you’ve designated as your minimum for savings. Only after doing this should you decide what to do with the excess.
You can lay some money aside for splurges or investment it for future needs (holiday or birthday gifts, for example). Once you have all your money planned out, you’re less likely to spend indiscriminately. Note that it will be harder for you to manage your finances if you go out of the plan.