How To Stop Impulse Buying
Impulse buying– We have all been there and done that. We’ve seen so many products we just can’t do without. We all know that impulse buying leads to collecting things we don’t really need or want, but it can be difficult to resist. That salesperson tells us that their vacuum cleaner will radically change our life and make it easier. We’ve been prompted to wonder how in the world we ever cooked without that chopper, blender or juicer.
Then there are the beauty products (who doesn’t want to look 20 years younger?) or the exercise machine that will help you to lose weight and have the body of a 20 year old. They forgot to mention it will only do that if you use it and not just store it under your bed. Maybe that is why one of the first things they tell you is it is how easy it is to store…. because they know that’s what most people will be doing with it. : )
Don’t forget the trips to the shops and malls. What fun! That outfit is to die for and is 50% off. I really need to get it now because it will never be this price again… except maybe next week when they are desperate to get rid of the other 100 identical dresses and put them on sell for 75% off.
We are bombarded every day with advertising full of pressure to make impulse buying decisions, which can really get us into trouble. As with anything if you struggle with impulse buying, you need to admit you have a problem. Here are a few signs to help you determine if you might have a problem:
- When you are upset, do you go shopping?
- Is your house full of items you thought you had to have but are now sitting all over your house still in the original boxes or hanging with the price tags still on them?
- Do you spend more time during the week shopping (that includes TV, Internet shopping and garage sales) than you do cleaning your house or spending time with your family?
- Are your credit cards maxed out with things that aren’t life and death needs?
If you said yes to even one of these questions, you may have a problem with impulse buying. Here are some easy things you can do to help overcome it:
Use cash. I know in the day and age of credit cards this will seem weird and difficult at first but it is one of the best ways I know to control spending. Credit cards are the one thing that mist enables impulse buying. If you use cash, you can see exactly how much you are spending more easily than you can with credit cards. Credit cards make it easy to spend too much without really realizing it.
If you leave home with only the amount of cash you need for your shopping trip you can’t overspend and you carefully watch every item you buy. This isn’t as hard as it seems. You only once need to arrive at the cash register and be embarrassed at having bought too much to learn never to do it again. : )
I am not saying you need to do this for the rest of your life, but it is good to do it for a month or so until you break the habit of impulse buying.
- Don’t take anyone with you. You know good and well your girlfriends, sisters, mom or kids will tell you, “Oh that is the perfect dress for you! You need to get it.” Am I right or am I right????
- When shopping for major items, do your homework. Check out prices and check out different brands, whether you’re shopping online or in regular stores.
- If an item costs more than $20 (other than something you buy on a regular basis, like my medicine) go home and think about it overnight. We so often think, “It is only $10 or $20, which isn’t that much,” but those purchases all add up to hundreds and eventually thousands of dollars.
I once read that you shouldn’t buy anything, no matter what a great deal it is if:
You can’t afford it.
You don’t need it.
You need something else worse. (like paying bills)
- Be careful of sales because they are a big cause of impulse buying. Only buy something on sale if you have carefully studied the prices already and you need it. Our grocery store here has a lot of 10 for $10 sale which, at times, sounds like a great deal but I have watched and I can get some of the items for $.75 someplace else, so be careful.
- When in doubt, don’t buy it.
- Find other things to do besides shopping. When you are upset, do some volunteer work. This helps you put your problems in perspective. Instead of meeting your friends at the mall for a day of shopping, have them over for a cup of coffee or tea. Not only does this help you control your spending but it will motivate you to clean your house. : ) You could also ask them to go for a walk or bike ride. Not only do you save money, but you can get in shape.
The bottom line is control your money, don’t let it control you and think, think, think. Don’t feel, feel, feel when it comes to money
Photo by: lancerevolution