Imagine this – you’re running tight on budget, and swore to yourself ten days ago that you would not shop for any unnecessary items anymore. But then you went for a casual day-out and happened to pass by a store – and then and there you fell in love with the summer dress on display. So, now without much thought, you swipe your card and come back home with the dress.
Does that ring any bell? If yes, I hope you know that you’re an impulse shopper. You don’t give much thought before buying something – you just straight away swipe your card. Now there is not any harm with that if you are doing financially well or have enough space in your home. But if you’re not, you know shopping impulsively is dangerous territory for you.
You have to stop if you don’t want to end up in financial crunches. But how would you? It’s not easy at all.
But that’s what I’m here for! To help you recover from this habit.
How, you ask? Read on!
How to stop spending money on impulse purchases
1. Always make a shopping list
“Let’s add this too.” “This as well”, “Hmmph, I might need this in future.”
Trust me, going random when shopping is not at all a good idea; you’d end up buying more than you should, plus the things you wouldn’t even need. Thus, it’s always ideal to prepare a shopping list and take it with you. To make one, ensure that you go through the things you already have or can do without.
You wouldn’t want to get additional amounts of things you have, would you?
2. Set a budget and a day (once a month) for shopping
You don’t have to abandon shopping altogether, you have to limit it. To do that, you can set a day for shopping. It might be once per month if we’re talking about shopping for clothes and accessories. As for groceries, you might shop once a week.
While you are at it, do not forget to calculate your budget. Do the math to figure out how much you can afford to buy based on your monthly income and overall expenditure.
3. Ask yourself, do you need it or want it?
Hmm, you stumbled across a pretty pair of shoes. You adore it and want to have it, but you already have a closet full of shoes. What would you do? You’d ask yourself, “Do I need it or do I want it?”
When it comes to the two terms, “Wanting” and “Needing”, there’s a thin line of difference that we often ignore. You might not need the things you want. Not only are they a burden on the storage but they are a waste of money as well.
Ergo, the wise call then would be to skip those shoes, because you just “want” them, but “don’t need” them.
4. Refrain yourself from going to malls for a day-out and uninstall all shopping apps
Bored at home? How about going for a day out? But where would you go?
Trust me, when it comes to controlling your impulse shopping instincts, any place is better than a mall or shopping complex. You can go out for a drive or coffee, visit a park, or a natural pinnacle. The places are plenty, and the list goes long.
5. Take limited cash with you.
It’s easy – limited cash = limited shopping. Thus, wherever you go, always keep cash that is enough for a commute, eating, and a little for emergencies. Don’t take your credit card, it’s better at home when you have a goal to meet.
6. Know how to persuade yourself
At the end of the day, it’s only you who can persuade yourself to do something. Be it keeping yourself from shopping impulsively or something else.
Thus, whenever you find yourself battling with thoughts, find ways to convince yourself that you do not want this particular thing. Offer yourself a reason, remind yourself of the consequences.
7. Lastly, distinguish between your saint and evil thoughts
We’re both saints and devils in disguise. We battle with positive and negative thoughts daily – much like the movies where we see a satanic version of a character on the right, and the saint version on the left.
It might be a work of fiction, but the truth is, we do have negative and positive thoughts every time we make a decision – that includes when we are shopping. Your one line of thought would tell you it’s not wise to shop for this item and the other will find all the ways to make you buy it.
Nonetheless, your goal should always be to listen to that good side of yours, that is making you do the right thing.
Well, I am all done. Now that you know how to control your shopping instincts, worry no more. Try them out or save this article to read it again when you are about to make impulse purchases. Feel free to let me know in the comment section how the tips worked out for you.