Even the most frugal people in the world aren’t immune to making impulse purchases from time to time. However, the more you give in to such temptations, the more you are putting your financial life in danger.
Spending more than you can afford or buying things you really don’t require can throw your financial stability off-kilter. Additionally, overspending will prevent you from reaching your financial goals, like saving 10 percent of your gross income for retirement or building a 6-month emergency cash cushion.
If you have the habit of giving in to impulses, your best bet is to come up with strategies that will stand in the way between your compulsion to buy and buying.
Why Do People Do This?
Impulse buying first became popular in the 1950s, and it still continues to be a subject of study for numerous researchers. There are several types of impulse purchases. But at its very core, it is about a consumer’s exposure to stimuli in the store and thoughts while shopping.
People impulse buy because of various reasons, of which four reasons are of great importance.
- Past Experiences
- Good Deals
- Love for Shopping
Emotions play an essential role in determining the things you buy. For instance, when you are having a rough day, you might want to invest in a little retail therapy, such as grabbing a new pair of earrings or a new baseball cap. You might feel like it is not a big deal, but time will tell you otherwise.
Similarly, studies found that people who were never taught to handle money well end up overspending or impulse buying. Furthermore, sales and discounts also lead many shoppers to impulse buy. After all, that is why promotions are considered a huge marketing tactic. When you see that you are getting a deal or free shipping, you will be more likely to complete your purchase than otherwise.
Sometimes, people impulse buy because they feel shopping would make them feel better, even if they have to get an affordable payday loan later. Because when you shop, your body releases dopamine, the happiness drug.
How to Avoid It?
So, how do you keep impulse buying at bay?
Whether you are taking baby steps or have already tried your best to stop overspending, here are a few important steps that will help you steer clear of the temptation to overspend.
1. Make a Budget
The first thing you should do is make a budget. And once you come up with a budget plan, stick to it. A budget will make your money behave and tell you where you spend your money each month. But what if you want to buy something that isn’t budgeted for.
Well, don’t buy it. It’s as simple as that.
2. Wait Before Buying
Allow yourself a day or maybe more to sit down and think if the product you wish to impulse buy is something you really need or will actually use. Also, check if you can afford it at the moment. This is the no-nonsense way of analyzing a purchase.
Additionally, think twice before deals that last just 24 hours. Don’t let the countdown rush you into buying something. Sales come and go, but savings won’t.
3. Shop With a Plan
Next time you head out for shopping, go with a list of items you want to buy and have an approximate budget in mind. This is one of the easiest ways to overcome impulse buying. With a plan in place, you will be less likely to overspend.
4. Don’t Shop Emotionally
Don’t let your emotions control your spending habits. You are having a great day doesn’t necessarily mean you should impulse buy. Or perhaps you are having a bad day, and you think you deserve something nice to feel better.
Whether you are celebrating or cheering yourself up, don’t buy something when your emotions are taking a rollercoaster ride.
5. Take Only the Amount of Cash You Need
Determine how much money you will need to get all the items you need and take that amount with you in cash. If you wish to go a bit further, consider leaving your debit card at home so you aren’t tempted to buy more stuff.
Want to Impulse Buy Something?
The best way to determine whether you are impulse buying or not is to ask yourself if you had planned the purchase before or is it a last-minute decision. Know that by putting a product back on the shelf, you will be able to save money and reduce the junk that ends up in your house.
This way, you will likely be happier in the long run. Additionally, it will also allow you to save more of your money and enjoy a safer financial life.