4 Ways to Avoid Impulse Shopping
As we shop, we will occasionally see something that we originally had no intention of buying. But this sensation also known as impulse buying can be at odds with meeting long-term financial goals. The reason we impulse buy is that the tactic successfully appeals to our emotional behavior, our optimism, and our innate desire to save money.
According to Slickdeals.net, Americans spent 18% more on impulse purchases in 2020 each month totaling more than $2,100 a year. By knowing what gets us to make impulse purchases and forming a plan to shop smarter, you can stop spending money on these superfluous products. Here are four ways to avoid impulse buying and save your money:
Make a budget
The first step to avoid impulse buying is to create a budget. In basic terms, a budget is meant to devote portions of your income to certain expenditures such as groceries and rent. Budgets ensure that every dollar spent has a clearly defined purpose.
All a budget is, is a plan. You are still responsible for keeping track of spending and meeting your financial goals. Whenever your income is organized by expense, it’s challenging to make impulse purchases and stay on track. Thus, making the temptation to impulse buy easier to manage.
Limit the time you spend shopping
Shopping has become a habit for a lot of people. But the more time spent shopping, the more likely it is to make an impulse purchase. This also goes for shopping online or on a smartphone. The share of purchases made via e-commerce increased dramatically to 18% of all retail sales globally in 2020, and that figure is only expected to rise. By limiting the time you spend shopping without being mindful, the better shape you are in to avoid impulse buying.
Have a waiting period
Before buying something over a certain dollar amount, give yourself time to decide if that product is worth purchasing. Create a physical or digital list of items you would like to buy to return to. Then sleep on your shopping decision until the next day. Chances are you won’t even remember what you wanted to buy in the first place! Depending on the cost and importance of the purchase, give yourself between one day and one month to consider if that impulse is in your best interest.
Plan your splurges
Once you have designed a budget and have waited to act, it’s time to prepare how to splurge on a few extra purchases. You might be wondering how you could make supplemental purchases if you are supposed to avoid impulse buying. But progress doesn’t happen overnight and some people are prone to act spontaneously.
If you have money to spend within the variable expenses portion of your budget, it’s time to make that purchase guilt-free. Go back to those products you have premeditated, spend your budgeted money, and now you have made a purchase for yourself that’s not on an impulse!
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