Before you say this blog topic is not for you, let’s tell you what an impulse buy is. It is anytime you purchase something you weren’t planning to. If it’s not planned for in your budget ahead of time, it’s an impulse buy. To be honest, we are all guilty of impulsive buying. For some, it strikes at the end of a crazy day. For others, it’s those strategically placed treats at the checkout counters in malls. A single impulsive purchase might seem harmless. But overspending can add up—and lead to financial stress. You need to understand what triggers your reactions. Is it stress or loneliness, or you are bored in an emotional state or instant gratification, or do you just feel like you want to impress people around you? Have you been able to differentiate between your needs and wants? Once you understand your triggers, you can put a plan in place to stop them. Giving in to an impulse buy won't help you achieve your financial goals—whether that's getting out of debt, paying off your bills, or investing for your future.
If you feel like your shopping behaviour calls for concern, you can use some of these self-help strategies to help get your shopping behaviour under control.
Write a budget list
And the kicker is, you have to actually stick to it! With a market plan in place, navigating the grocery store, mall, or even online shopping is made easier and simpler. If it’s not already budgeted for, don’t spend the money. Yes, it’s as simple and as hard as that. You can do this! In this way of budgeting, saving money is easy. It’s on you to tell your money where to go each month and then follow through with that plan. Be very intentional!
Press Pause And Give It 24 Hours
Most decisions to buy something that is not budgeted for can wait, especially those clothing items you bump into while shopping online. First, ask the question, 'Does this satisfy my long-term need?' If the answer is no, then sleep on it. Contrary to what your impulsive urge may tell you, you are not going to miss out by waiting for another day to decide. And in the process of waiting, you will find that you have a deeper sense of clarity on spending decisions than you would have otherwise made.
Don’t shop when you’re emotional
Like we mentioned in our intro, retailers play a lot on our emotional state so, it is worth mentioning again that you don’t let your emotions control your spending habits! You might have a great day and make an impulse buy in the thrill of the moment. Or maybe you’re having a bad day, and you tell yourself you deserve something nice or that this item will make you feel better. We’ve all been there before. It can happen easily. So, how can you fix it? Whether you’re celebrating or trying to cheer yourself up, don’t buy anything when your emotions are riding a roller coaster.
Take only what you will need in cash
Determine how much money you'll need to buy the desired products, and only bring that much. Even better, leave your debit card at home to avoid tempting yourself to make additional purchases. You cannot create an impulse purchase if you stick to your shopping list and don't bring any extra cash with you. That's the power of money in action.
Do a no-spend challenge
This is our favourite idea that will help you stop wasting money and keep more of it! Just see it as what the doctor ordered 😁. This challenge has lots of benefits. It’s just like when you fast from food; you discover all the bad eating habits you had. You will still pay for things like your rent, regular bills, utilities, groceries, etc. But you don’t spend money on things like eating out, new clothes, online shopping, entertainment, hair/nail services etc. This challenge will help you feel better, pay off debt and help you achieve your financial goals.
In summary, impulse buying can lead to a host of negative outcomes, including financial strain, feelings of guilt, shame, and regret, and strain on personal relationships. Remember that people who feel confident, fulfilled, and in control of their lives have less need for baubles to feel better; and are less likely to buy something on impulse.
We know you found this helpful. Don’t read alone. Tell a friend to tell a friend that you have gotten ways to curb impulse shopping.
Thank you for stopping by. See you in the next one.