Stop impulse purchases in their tracks and get your spending under control.
We’ve all bought on impulse. It might have been a $600 television or even just $10 earrings. When you head out to the store to buy things that you need how often does something that you want find its way in your cart?
Impulse buying can cost you a lot of money. If you shop once a week and buy something for just $50 it may not seem like much. However, add that up over a year and you’ve spend $2,600 you didn’t plan to!
That is a lot.
It is not impossible to stop impulse shopping. There are things you you can do to help curb that need to buy.
Other helpful articles:
- Why You Must Include Fun Money In Your Budget (Plus How to Make it Work)
- 12 Reasons Why You Keep Overspending
- How To Cut Your Budget When There Is Nothing Left To Cut
Ask yourself some questions
Before you buy the item, stop and ask yourself three questions:
- Is this a need?
- Will my life be truly better if I buy this?
- Does making this purchase affect my buying something I want even more?
Your answer will help you decide if you really need to grab that item or not. You might even be surprised at how well and often you continue to check yourself – reducing your spending urges.
Set a rule
Instead of picking up the item you want right at this moment, write it down on a list. Wait 14, 21 or even 30 days. If, at the end of that time frame you still feel you need it, then buy it. However, you will often find that you don’t miss not having it and find you just saved yourself some money.
Don’t shop with emotion
When you are sad, angry or even happy, you need to stay out of the store. Your emotions can trick you into spending money. If you are sad, you might want that scarf to cheer you up. If you are angry, you might buy something expensive out of spite. Even happiness can make you spend money because you are not thinking with a clear head.
If you can’t really control your spending, then you need to stay out of the store. This is pretty severe, but if this is you, then you have to remove the temptation completely. Find something else to take up your time.
Shop with a timer
If you tend to wander the aisles and add bargains to your cart, then you need to limit your time. Walk in with your list in hand and give yourself just 15 or even 30 minutes to get everything you need and leave. When you are limited on your time you will be less likely to allow your eyes to wander.
Add in a line item to your budget. Look at your budget and give yourself permission to spend money. If you are not allowed to get anything other than the needs on your list, resentment can set it. Allow yourself a monthly discretionary amount to spend. You’ll feel much less like a miser.
Leave the credit cards at home
Shopping with cash reduces the urge to spend. Cash allows you to spend only the amount you have in your wallet. However, credit cards allow you to get anything with you want. Leave the cards at home and you can’t overspend – it is impossible.
Add it to your cart – but don’t checkout
Walk around the store for a while with the items in your cart. Often times, the urge to buy will pass. Allow a bit of time between the time you shop and leave to see if you still really want those items after all.
Keep your goals in mind
We all have financial goals. Keeping these in mind when you shop can reduce the urge to spend. If you want to go on that dream vacation, you know that $50 you want to spend will keep you from going. You might even put a photo of your goal in your wallet so you see it every time you reach for your money.