We’ve all been impulsive and indulgent buyers at one time or another. But if we continue to give in to these impulses one too many, our financial planning gets tossed aside. It can even become a habit that can be hard to get out of. Fortunately, there are ways to curb those unnecessary and impulsive buying habits.
Tip #1: Make a budget and keep it.
It’s important to have a systematic plan on how you will allocate your money, particularly if you’re living from paycheck to paycheck. Make a detailed entry of the expenses due in a month, such as your monthly payments to personal loans, phone and electric bills, groceries or all the things that you can’t do without. Once you know how much you’re going to be left with, you can plan how much you can save or invest with. Allocate something for recreational activities, but once you’ve fixed a figure, you must do everything you can to stick to it. This way you have an idea how much you’re spending and dissuade you from making unnecessary purchases.
Tip#2: Make a list before you shop and stick to it.
Making a list of the things that you need to buy before entering a shop or grocery is a good way to make sure that you’re not buying things that that you don’t really need. Carry a pen with you and check the items you have in your cart as you move on to the next thing on your list. . There are many distractions in a store. You can reduce the temptation to snatch up superfluous items if you head only to the items that are on your list.
Tip #3: Limit the amount of cash that you carry.
Limiting the cash in your wallet prevents you from making those mindless, spur-of-the-moment purchases in addition to forcing you to stick to your budget.
Tip #4: Use only cash when shopping.
We are essentially buying beyond our means when we use a credit card. Unfortunately, as we are not dealing with hard currency, the realization that we’ve spent more than our means comes after we received the huge monthly statements. If you find it difficult to rein yourself when carrying a credit card, try leaving it at home. This way you limit yourself to what’s in your debit card and with the cash that you carry in your wallet.
Tip #5: Bring a friend when you shop.
Ask a friend who knows about your spending habits to accompany you while you shop. He or she can act as a critic and help you keep your impulse buying tendencies in check.
Tip #6: Take out your credit card from online accounts.
The Internet has certainly made shopping more convenient. However, with the invention of “one-click-purchasing,” it also made giving in to impulsive buying so much easier. To help you avoid the temptation of impulse buying, remove all your stored card information in the online stores that you frequent. This forces you to rethink on your purchase as it will require you to re-enter all of your card information again.
Tip #7: Walk to as many places as possible.
Aside from the health benefits this brings, walking to do your errands limits your chances of walking into stores that you don’t have to. Your time will be taken up by the time it needs to walk from one place to another. Walking your errands also helps you to refrain from impulse buying as you don’t have the luxury of a car to transport your items.
Tip #8: Keep yourself busy.
The more you keep yourself busy, the less you’ll be tempted to treat yourself for no justifiable reason just to kill or pass time. Spend hot summer afternoons in the cool recesses of your local library instead of the mall. Concoct a new project for your home or garden that you can work on during your down time. Think of activities that won’t require you to go on a trip to a store or won’t require you to spend money as much as possible.
It is absolutely all right to indulge in shopping or go on a shopping spree once in a while. But problems such as debt and other financial problems come in when you over do it. Strive to spend within your means and keep these tips in mind whenever your impulse to buy gets the better of you.