How to Curb Impulse Buying
Impulse buying is a snap decision to purchase a product without considering its cost or value. It is easy to get carried away when shopping; take steps to control your impulses. Failure to do this will lead to financial woes and regret. You also clutter your space with unnecessary items. Here are tips to curb impulse buying:
Don't Go to Physical Stores
The biggest temptation to buy things you don't need is when you see, touch, and try products in brick-and-mortar stores. To avoid this, you can always choose to shop online. You can also save money with grocery delivery apps. Go for those offering discounts and promotions to save more.
Set Limits and Stick to Them
Set a budget for how much money you can spend in a day, week, or month. Then stick to it. If you must enter a physical store, set limits and only buy what you planned. Pay with cash instead of credit cards for a physical reminder of how much money you've spent.
If the temptation is too much, leave all cards at home and take only a certain amount of cash. Limit the number of times you go to the store. Buy everything you need for the week or month at once.
Wait Before Making a Purchase
Have you seen an item you really want and are compelled to buy it immediately? Ask yourself: Is it necessary right now? Is it beneficial in the long run? Will it bring joy and contentment in the future? Do you have the space and resources to accommodate it? Give yourself 24 hours or even a few days to think about it. The urge to buy the item will often pass, saving you money in the long run.
Limit Shopping Exposure
How often do you go window shopping? Do you enjoy scrolling through shopping sites or watching ads about products? It's natural to want things that look nice but keep yourself from getting too caught up in the temptation. Instead, limit how often you visit shopping sites or watch ads. Follow accounts and channels focusing on things other than shopping, such as travel and art. More exposure to different activities will curb the urge to buy things impulsively.
Make a Shopping List
Before going out to shop, make a list of the items that you need. Prioritize vitals such as groceries, bills, and utilities. Cross out items as soon as you buy them. This way, you won't be tempted to get anything not on the list. It also helps to go shopping with an accountability buddy. You'll keep each other motivated to stick to the list.
Reward Yourself with Experiences
When you've saved a certain amount of money or have stuck to your list for an extended period, reward yourself with experiences. Rather than spending on tangible items, go for dinner or treat yourself to a spa day. Experiences create memories that last longer than any material item.
If you try these tips, you'll learn the power of delayed gratification. However, seek help if you constantly buy items despite being aware of the consequences. Impulse control disorders are real and can have severe financial and social implications.