3 Steps to Reduce Your Impulse Spending

It can be tough to resist spending money. When you see something you want, especially when it’s at a price you like – it can be difficult to keep from making the purchase. With the way the internet and our smartphone apps have made it so easy to shop, the solution isn’t as simple as just avoiding the stores. If you’ve got an itch for shopping, here are three steps you can take to help you get back in control of your finances.

Take your time: During an impulse buy, for the most part – the whole process from finding the item to paying for it only takes a few minutes. Next time you’re about to hit the “buy now” button, slow down. Put the item in your online shopping cart, but wait before completing the transaction. Try not to buy anything the day you add it to your online cart. Let it sit and think – do you really need this item?

Think it over: If you’re still thinking about that item after sleeping on it, go back into your online shopping cart. In your cart you’ll be able to see the total price (including taxes and shipping), and decide for yourself if the item is really worth that total cost. At this point, look around some more online and try to find a better deal, but still – don’t buy the item (yet). After you’ve done all your research, put the item on your wish list or save it for later.

Be ready: You’ve thought about your purchase for days now, and you know you’re going to buy the item. You’ve done the research and you’ve found the lowest price. Do you have the money to make the purchase in your checking account? If the answer is yes, then go ahead and complete the transaction. If you don’t have the money now, save and start the process over when you’ve saved up enough to buy it without going into debt.

These same steps work for in store impulse purchases too. If you see something you’d like to buy when physically in the store – think about it for a day. The next day do some comparison shopping to make sure you are getting the best price. Still want the item on the 3rd day and you have shopped around and have the money to buy it? Head back to the store and make your purchase.

It pays (literally), to be a savvy shopper and reduce your impulse purchases!

Article Source: John Pettit for CUInsight.com

5 Ways to Curb Impulse Buying

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