Impulse buying is the tendency to purchase goods and/or services without planning to do so. This happens when customers are triggered by emotions and feelings that lead to making a sudden buying decision. Impulse buying is so common because customers receive a temporary emotion of excitement because of their new item – not to mention there is also the fear of missing out (FOMO). If everyone is purchasing something new off the shelves, then you’re going to want to do the same. This is so you can share the same positive experiences that those around you are having. However, impulse buying can disrupt your budget and prevent you from saving money. That’s why it’s important to prepare for purchase and avoid falling into the habit of impulse buying.
Before each shopping trip, plan out your purchases. Creating a list ensures you have intent when you’re shopping. Making it a habit to stick to your list each time, will help prevent making impulse purchases. Another perk to planning your purchases is that you can do additional research to find the best deals. You should also know how much you’re willing to spend before shopping. Creating a budget is a great way to plan out what you plan on spending your money on. Keep in mind that it is up to you to follow the plan you create for yourself. In order to keep tabs on your plan you might want to cross off your purchases and pay close attention to sticking with your list. Some create sophisticated excel sheets to plan their future expenses, others plan with simple pen and paper. Make a custom plan according to your needs. This will result in not only avoiding making impulse purchases, but you might save a buck or two while you’re at it.
Cash makes us feel more connected to our purchases which leads to us making smarter buying decisions. Unlike cards where it may feel mindless, cash is physically given away. It is more psychologically painful. If you made all of your purchases with cash, you’d be more cautious with what you buy. You also can’t overspend if you don’t have the money to do so. Paying with cash can also prevent you from going into debt since you won’t be utilizing any credit cards. Try to plan to only use cash for monitoring your funds at a closer level. Spending cash immediately causes a tangible affect where you notice you’re giving your money away. Be presently aware of your buying habits to refrain from impulse purchases.
Don’t Carry Credit Cards
Bringing your credit card with you means that you will be tempted to use it when you’ve run out of actual money. If you don’t have easy access to impulse buying, then you’ll likely avoid making the impulse purchase. Credit cards also lead to overspending and debt, especially because credit cards have extra costs such as interest/fees. Leaving your credit cards at home and out of reach will help avoid making mindless, quick purchases. If you’ve run out of cash, then there isn’t additional money to be spent. Digging yourself into revolving credit card debt can be the demise of your future financial stability. When you use a card form of payment you have a delayed reaction where you feel the burden later. Pushing back your realistic circumstances may lead you to fail financially.
Monitor Urges and Temptation
Avoid spending time window shopping and going to shopping centers. Curving your temptation to buy the newest phone or latest fashion trend is easier when you’re not in that environment. Today more than ever, it is challenging to avoid the occasional advertisement on social media or the discount deal in your email. Cutting down on your phone usage will help monitor your urges and temptation to make an impulsive purchase. Online shopping has increased over the years and is more accessible than ever, be aware of this appealing medium. Additionally, making a list can always help in deterring spontaneous purchases. Sticking to a list will make it easier to be financially goal-oriented.
Create a splurge budget to maintain your short term and long term goals. Everyone’s goals range from getting a dog to reaching home ownership. Having a splurge budget will help you reach these milestone goals more efficiently. When dedicating money for the purpose of splurging you are limiting your other funds from being moved. This will guarantee the stability of your other accounts. You can begin by keeping yourself accountable and allowing yourself to splurge when you reach achievements. Motivate yourself with your splurge budget with a cup of coffee if you wake up at 5 am to exercise. This account is an often overlooked useful tool for combating impulse buying. There isn’t any harm in having a splurge account when you utilize it correctly.
Restraining from impulse buying may be more difficult than ever due to an overwhelming amount of pressure to buy the latest products. Remind yourself of your long term goals and form better habits for making financial decisions. Become aware of your tendencies and keep these tips in mind before you spontaneously pull out your wallet. Consider being mindful of your reaction when impulse buying. How do you feel after a purchase and is that momentary feeling worth it? Successfully curbing the urge of impulse buying can be challenging however doing so will save you money in the long run.