The good old impulsive buy; that item you must simply have, always then leaves you counting the costs at a later date. These are the purchases that many of us make, with the main reason being to cheer us up; yet when the realisation of how much it has cost and the implications it has on our monthly money come into play we suddenly regret what we have just done.
In fact almost 60 percent of us admit to indulging in impulse buying from time to time, with each of them also admitting that they find it difficult to talk themselves out of it at the time of purchase.
If you are one of those people that makes unplanned purchases a little too often and are looking for ways to stop or limit them, make sure you take a little time to read through a few tips below which will hopefully help you to break the habit.
- DO – Only take out the money that you plan to spend, leave the rest at home. Also leave any credit or debit cards at home too; they will be fine on their own for a while. Its rather simple logic that if you do not have enough money, you cannot impulsively buy anything. If you are also the type of person that spends the money in your pocket, when you have not even planned to go shopping, again, leave your money at home.
- DON’T – Take any notice of sales; do not pressure yourself into buying something just because you are going to get it for a cheaper price. Even if the item is something that you are going to use, you really do not have to buy it straight away. Simply go home and think about it calmly before making the purchase the next day.
- DO – Make a complete shopping list of exactly what you are going to buy and then force yourself to stick to it. You could even estimate exactly how much everything on the list is going to cost you, then take just enough to cover it, so that even if you do get tempted to purchase anything extra; you do not have the funds to do so.
- DON’T – Make purchases to simply improve your mood. We already know that most people will impulse buy in an attempt to cheer themselves up. This will just set the vicious cycle going again where you initially feel better when purchasing something, yet the guilt soon follows after you have realised that you didn’t need the item or couldn’t really afford it.
- DO – Try to focus more on things that you need rather than things that you want. If there is something that you really want, try saving up for it, as you will feel so much better knowing that you bought something that you worked hard to save for.
- DON’T – Fall into the trap of acquiring store cards. You may well get a discount on most of your purchases; yet that is what will make you spend more on them. If you fall behind with payments on these cards, they will in more cases than not have an extremely high interest rate.
- DO – Try to understand why you often buy impulsively: discover whether it is literally just to make yourself feel a little better or whether it is more of a reward for yourself? If you can fully understand what triggers you to make these purchases, you will be better equipped at addressing the source.
- DON’T – Be scared to look for some help. If you really do have a problem with impulse buying and it is really putting your financial health at severe risk, try speaking to a close family member or best friend. Perhaps you could have this person come with you whenever you go shopping, to stop you from making these rash purchases.
If it has already got to the serious stage where your credit is now affecting your ability to pay your bills, maybe it is time to speak to a financial advisor.
With the economy is such a bad state already, this sort of impulse buying will in most cases make the situation a whole lot worse.
If like Stuart Edge you have a keen interest in finance, then ensure that you take advantage of loans, savings and investments in those times when money is tight. If used properly they can really help improve your life financially and help you beat that impulse shopping spree.