You went to the department store to get a much needed item. You saw that there’s 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 leave a dent in your budget. You end up going home with a bag of stuff instead of just the one or two items you intended to buy.
Has this scenario happened to you? Or has it happened too many times for comfort? If you feel you need to put the brakes on your tendency to impulse buy, here are the tried-and-tested ways to go about it.
Leave the Plastic Behind
Credit cards make buying decisions, including the rather imprudent ones, easier. Avoid this 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 made you 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 if you need to just to calm yourself down and ask yourself whether you really need to buy that item. You can just return the item to its spot on the shelf or carry it around while you for about 30 minutes as you continue on your business in the same shop or department store. At the end of the period, if you’re still bent on acquiring the item and believe that it’s a necessary, wise purchase, 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 or type in 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 really used in a year or so and 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 the web page of an online shop.
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.) and the amount you’ve already designated as your minimum for savings. Only after doing this do you decide what to do with the excess. You can lay aside some money for splurges or use it to spend on an investment item or future needs (holiday or birthday gifts, for example). Once you have all your money planned out, you’re less likely to spend indiscriminately as you know it will make things harder for you to manage financially if you go out of the plan.