Let’s face it. Shopping is simply an irresistible pleasure. Besides being a favorite pastime, every person has their own purpose behind their buying urges. For those who have the budget, shopping has become a form of self-care as it eases their boredom and sadness. Others view shopping as a fun activity and an opportunity to bond with friends or family.
While shopping can bring great joy, it can also cause frustrations once the credit card bills start piling up. The last thing you want is to drown in huge debts because you can’t resist the temptation to shop. This type of behavior is known as impulse buying, or the tendency to buy goods or services without prior planning.
Impulse buying can also be a form of retail therapy, wherein you buy a certain item on a whim that makes you feel good. Those who are smart enough to handle their finances are more conscious of what they spend. Some even take advantage of online shopping rewards via credit card points, vouchers, and gift cards.
It’s difficult to go shopping if you don’t want to go overboard with your budget. This article will help you with your shopping woes and discuss effective ways to overcome impulse buying.
Delay your purchase
Seeing something we always wanted can sometimes push us to make sudden purchase decisions. A great tip is to give yourself at least one day to decide whether you need it. If you’re shopping online, leave the item in the cart and restrict yourself from stealing a glimpse of the item. This approach allows you to form a set of questions in your head to ask yourself if buying the item will cause more harm than good.
Often, an impulse purchase can fill us with extreme excitement or enthusiasm. Remember that it’s wrong to make a decision based on your emotion. Your emotion may urge you to buy it, but you have no idea about how, where, and when to use it.
After 24 hours, if you still find yourself wanting the item and can list the ways to use it, then that’s the time you make the purchase. Waiting a day (or longer) allows you to have a fresher perspective and a cool head to make a rational decision.
Another tip is to ask the sales staff about their next sale. You’ll never know if the item will come back around at a much lower price.
Have a clear savings and budget
You have probably heard this many times, but you need to establish a clear budget every month. Having a fixed budget will encourage you to stick to it whenever you feel desperate to shop.
Create direct deposits to deduct money from your paycheck as part of the savings account. This way, you won’t feel the urge to use it for your impulse purchases. Don’t let your mind drift on how much you have in your savings account. Use the money for worthwhile investments to secure your future, such as retirement savings.
You may also consider a sinking fund where you add your extra money every month to offset the expenses from impulse purchases. If you find something you want, you can use the money to purchase it. It’s like setting the budget for impulse shop without ruining the budget.
If you’re having a hard time following your budget, remind yourself about your financial goals. Write them down and post them in an accessible area so you can always look at them every day.
Read customer reviews
Scrolling through customer reviews will give you an idea of whether buyers were satisfied with their purchase. This can help you save tons of money from buying a faulty product.
Also, be wary of fake customer reviews that provide unusually positive comments. Some businesses pay other people to write good feedback about them. A great tip is to start at the bottom part of the customer review section. Some bad reviews may appear exaggerated claims, but these comments help reveal the ugly sides of the product you plan to buy.
Avoid social media
Our social media feed is one of the main culprits of impulse buying. We can’t help comparing ourselves to the celebrities we see flaunting their newly bought item. Our feeds are also filled with endless ads that seem to encourage us to spend our money.
The best you can do is to log out of your social media accounts for at least a week to give yourself some breathing room. As long as you don’t see the flashy advertisements and latest deals, this will prevent you from spending your hard-earned money.
While it’s difficult to resist the joys of shopping, we have to be aware of how it can affect our financial decisions. Treating yourself once in a while is good for your well-being, only if it fits your budget. So, the next time you find yourself inside a mall, make sure to follow our suggestions above to avoid making any impulse purchase.