It’s so hard to fight the urge to spend money. You’ve earned it, so why can’t you spend it – right? It’s certainly fine to give in once in awhile, but impulse buying can really throw your budget, especially if you’re buying higher priced items.
Impulse shopping is far from uncommon in America. According to a survey from CreditCards.com, about 54% of Americans have spent $100 or more on an impulse purchase. The survey also points out that 84% of Americans have made impulse purchases, and 20% have even made purchases of at least $1,000 on impulse – wow!
If you’re looking for ways to finally kick this type of habit, here are five tips to help overcome impulse buying:
Make a Shopping List
The easiest way to fight impulsive shopping is by making a list. When you go shopping, know exactly what you’re there for and stick to the original mission. If an item is not on the list, you don’t buy it – it’s as simple as that. Sticking to the shopping list will take some self-discipline but with a little practice, it will become second nature.
Create a 30-Day Rule
Impulsive purchases happen essentially because you don’t give yourself the time to rationally think about the purchase. The next time you feel the urge to buy something, tell yourself to wait 30 days. After the 30 days, do you still want it? Are you still thinking about it? If so, go ahead and buy it – but you’ll find that most of the time, you’ve long forgotten about it already.
Budget in Impulsive Purchases
Some people just can’t help it. They’re going to buy random items regardless of how much planning they do. If you’re one of those people, that’s okay. Just put it into your budget. Create a category for “miscellaneous spending” or in other words, impulse purchases. Once you’ve reached the max for the category during a given month, you’ll have to wait until the next month to buy anything else. This way, you can satisfy your urge to shop while controlling it at the same time.
Bring Cash Only
Another way to stop yourself from impulsive buying is to leave all your credit cards at home. Just bring cash. Doing so will put a limit on how much you can buy. Of course you’ll want to be prepared and know how much cash you’ll need to bring for at least essentials, but this could be a very effective method if you’re good with keeping track.
Think About Those Long Term Goals
Thinking about the future is actually very difficult, as shopping can be fun and the thrill of making a purchase even more so. But think about your long term goals and all the things you want to save up for. You’ll realize that there are probably more important things than what you’re about to buy. Is that pair of designer jeans really worth delaying your vacation? And what about another new tablet or other electronic device? Is that more important than saving for retirement?
The answer could very well be yes, but most of the time – opt to save up and spend it on something that truly matters.
Article Source: Miranda Marquit for Moneyning.com