Imagine this, you go shopping for your monthly necessities and see a great pair of shoes. Although you don’t want them but can’t resist the urge to buy them. You give in to your impulses and end up buying them. You wish you hadn’t indulged in it when you receive your next month’s card statement.
Impulse shopping is a menace that all of us want to conquer. It derails your budget and makes you buy things you don’t really need. Stores are designed in a way to lure you into such impulse purchases. It is hard to stay away from impulsive shopping but it is not impossible. With a few strategies up your sleeve, you can defeat the urge to shop impulsively. Read on to know more about these them –
1. Make a budget
This is the most important thing that will make you stick to your financial goals. Without a budget, you will keep wondering where is your money going. Budgeting will help you prioritize what you really want to spend on. It will save you from unnecessary shopping. Don’t worry if you are not good at creating excel sheets to manage your finances. There are several apps like Mint, Wally, You need a budget etc. that can make this task easy for you. It will be easier to track your expenses with a budget in hand and you will be less likely to overspend.
2. Use cash for shopping
Of course, credit cards are most convenient when it comes to shopping. But have you noticed how you end up giving in to your impulsive urges because you can pay for it later? The underlying concept behind credit card is to give you an interest-free debt for a certain period so that you can spend more. To avoid your impulse shopping woes, start shopping in cash. It will make you stick to your monthly budget. An effective way to do this is to follow the envelope method. Make separate envelopes for all your expenditure categories like groceries, entertainment, shopping, bills etc. Fill these envelopes with your budgeted cash and use them when you have to spend. You may argue that credit cards give you reward points. However, you will save far more when you don’t use them.
3. Unsubscribe unnecessary emails and text messages
You are going about your day and you receive an email about an exciting offer from a store. Although you had no prior intention of shopping, now you cannot control your urges to visit the store. You can’t wait to call it a day and shop. Emails and SMSs work excellently for the stores to communicate their new offers. The best way to steer clear of such impulses is to unsubscribe from them. Sometimes ignorance can really be a bliss.
4. Follow the 48-hour rule
Attractive merchandise can really take over your senses and reasoning. That is the only reason you end up buying something that you don’t need at all. Sometimes, you may buy something and go home only to find a similar thing in your closet. Create a rule for yourself to follow. Instead of buying on impulse, give yourself 48 hours before you make the purchase. Go back to the store only if you still want to buy it after this cooling period. More often than not, you will either change your mind within this time period or when you visit the store. You may not like it as much on your second visit. This method will make you invest into things that you really need and will use.
5. Clean your wardrobe before you buy
This is a trick that will help you immensely against impulse shopping. Whenever you get lured into buying something new, think of something that you will clear from your existing wardrobe. This is a good habit that will declutter your life and wardrobe. When you have to give away something, you will know how much you already own. Just the thought of parting with your belonging will dissuade you from shopping. You will be able to make a better decision this way.
6. Save the receipts
Despite your strong resolution against buying impulsively, you may fall a victim to it. After all, we are only humans and sometimes you can get carried away. Make it a point to save the receipt of your impulse purchases. Most stores have a policy of accepting returns and exchanges within a month of the purchase. Do not use the item before this term ends. In case you change your mind about your purchase, you will be able to return it. Most stores have started following a policy where they don’t question you when you want to return an item. However, do not overdo it as they may be tracking your activities.