Sometimes, certain people complain about not having enough money to cover their expenses, even when they aren’t low-income earners. However, the exciting thing about this situation is that most people who nag about low income and financial difficulties are guilty of impulse buying.
They believe they aren’t earning enough money to cover their expenses; meanwhile, they are fond of spending their hard-earned money uncontrollably on items they barely need. Their habit of impulse buying keeps preventing them from saving money, paying debts, and reaching some financial goals.
A couple of years ago, I visited one of the biggest grocery stores in Boston, where I intended to purchase some items and restock my home for a few weeks. However, my intent of visiting the grocery store took a different turn after I met a friend who had come into the store to buy some items as well. We decided to shop together, which I eventually regretted.
I had budgeted only $500 for the groceries I intended to buy. But since I was shopping with a friend who had budgeted over a thousand dollars, I was compelled eventually to spend more than I had budgeted. I began buying things I wasn’t sure I would need. I spent almost a thousand dollars on groceries – something I never imagined I could do.
I’m not someone who’s used to impulse buying, but my friend influenced my decision that fateful day at the grocery store in Boston. Nevertheless, I learned my lesson, and ever since, I’ve been quite cautious about the things I buy and how I spend my money.
This post is an informative guide to help you avoid impulse buying by showing you practical steps to tame your spending habits.
If you have been pondering ways to avoid spending too much money, you should closely follow the information in this post.
What Is An Impulse Purchase?
An impulse purchase is the act of buying things spontaneously, without prior planning or thoughts towards the purchase.
There are times you would walk into a store, hoping to buy a few items and return home. However, you might end up buying more things you didn’t plan for, thereby spending more money than you intend to. That’s precisely what impulse buying or impulse purchase is.
Having understood this, you shouldn’t be confused about questions like what is impulse buying?
Why Is Impulse Spending So Bad?
Impulse buying can become a habit that’s very detrimental to your finances; when you begin to buy things you never planned for, you will start losing the money you don’t intend to lose.
The worse thing about an impulse purchase is the fact that you might not need what you’ve bought, and that automatically implies that you’ve just wasted your hard-earned money.
More importantly, you might begin to run into credit card debts when you don’t know how to stop impulse buying. In fact, this has become a common problem among average Americans.
Millions of people across the states are in debt because they don’t know how to control impulse buying. This is one reason why impulse purchase is so bad.
Thankfully, this post has covered simple, actionable steps that anyone can practice to avoid being broke and indebted due to impulse buying.
How To Stop Impulse Buying
If you want to stop impulse buying, you must be intentional and persistent about it. Also, it would help if you constantly remind yourself of the dangers of overspending your money and the things you stand to gain when you control the way you spend your money.
Most importantly, create some important financial goals that will always compel you to avoid spending money without control. Knowing that you have some financial goals to achieve, you would be encouraged to manage your income and save money.
12 Ways To Avoid Impulse Buying And Save money
As someone who doesn’t know how to control impulse buying, here are 12 feasible methods that can help you to avoid buying things uncontrollably:
1. Don’t Be In A Rush To Buy The Latest Items
Some people are pretty fond of following the trend by always buying the newest items on the market.
Each time new shoes, T-shirts, cell phones, and whatnot are launched on the market, this category of people doesn’t hesitate to purchase these newly launched items. This habit of impulse buying can attack your income and prevent you from sustaining your hard-earned money.
Don’t always be in a rush to buy the latest gadgets, especially when you know that you don’t have a lot of money. You should not follow the trend if it harms your finance. When you teach yourself how to avoid impulse buying, you won’t always be compelled to buy the latest items on the market.
2. Stop Shopping Over The Internet
If you don’t know how to stop impulse buying online, you should pay close attention to this. Billions of dollars are being generated annually by business owners in the United States who sell products and services online.
This implies that many people are spending so much money purchasing products online. Sadly, buying things online makes you spend more money than when you visit a physical store.
The main reason for this is that when you buy things online, it’s stress-free and effortless, and this convenience you enjoy when shopping online might encourage you to buy more items than you initially planned to.
Except you are ordering for a service, don’t buy things online. Visit a physical store and make your purchase. This would enable you to avoid impulse purchases and save money. But more importantly, you would know how to save money when you are impulsive.
3. Always Pay Cash
Whenever you visit a physical store, one thing that could subject you to impulse buying is purchasing items without physical cash. When you buy items with your credit card, nothing stops you from covering many expenses. But whenever you pay in cash, your spending is minimal.
Take, for example, when you go to a grocery store with only 100 dollars in your wallet, there’s no way you can buy items worth more than 100 dollars.
However, in a situation where you are with your credit card, you wouldn’t mind spending beyond your budget.
If you want to tame your spending habit, always shop with cash instead of a credit card.
4. Don’t Shop Frequently
When you are fond of buying items frequently, you tend to spend more money.
People who know how to avoid impulse buying understand the importance of buying things like groceries once in a while. Instead of buying groceries almost every day, buy them in bulk, so it doesn’t seem like you are spending a bit of money all the time.
Moreover, buying things like groceries in bulk can save you a couple of bucks. If the store you are buying from has a customer loyalty program, buying in bulk is safer than buying bit by bit.
5. Shop Alone
If you understood the story I shared with you earlier in this post; you would know by now that shopping with friends or a partner might subject you to an impulse purchase.
Here is the thing; your budget is different from your friend’s budget, and in most situations, your friend’s budget could be much higher than yours. Now, this is not safe for you because as your friend or shopping partner buys more items, you would be encouraged to buy more things as well.
However, you don’t feel the pressure to measure up with anyone’s standards whenever you are shopping alone.
6. Create A Shopping List
Whenever you visit a store, always go with a list of the items you intend to purchase.
A shopping list is like a guide that helps you make the right decision to buy things at a physical store. This is because your shopping list has already itemized the things you are supposed to buy, and this makes you feel uncomfortable when going beyond that list. Something inside you would compel you to stick to the shopping list no matter what.
More importantly, don’t stop at creating a shopping list. Also, take your time to review the list because by doing so, you might identify an item you don’t need.
7. Edit Your Junk Mail
Most items purchased as a result of receiving junk mail can amount to impulse buying because the adverts that compelled you to buy are unsolicited. You never asked for it.
Junk mails can make you buy things like clothes, shoes, and even household items you didn’t plan to buy. As someone who is yet to learn how to avoid impulse buying, you can easily fall victim and misspend your money.
To avoid this, permanently delete unnecessary junk mails whenever you have time.
8. Follow A Mandatory Waiting Period
If you’re very concerned about stopping impulse buying, then following a mandatory waiting period would be a perfect way to go.
For instance, it’s pretty expensive each time an iPhone is launched. However, if you wait and buy months later, the price of the iPhone would have been reduced a bit.
However, the mandatory waiting period doesn’t work for every product on the market, and some products would remain at the same price for a very long time.
So concerning how to control impulse buying, there is no point in following a mandatory waiting period. It’s best you buy items you know you can conveniently afford.
9. Be Clear About Your Savings And Budget
The importance of budgeting can’t be oversaid. When you are clear about your budget and savings, it becomes almost impossible to make an impulse purchase.
Budgeting helps you identify the expenses that swallow up your money, and most importantly, it enables you to allocate the right amount of money to what’s essential.
If you haven’t been budgeting your income, it’s high time you get started. On the other hand, saving a part of your income would also prevent impulse buying. Make sure you have a savings account that’s automated to collect a certain amount of money as soon as you receive your paycheck.
10. Give Room For Healthy Spending
Healthy spending in this context is simply a situation where you buy healthy things for your financial life. If you know that buying debts would hurt your finance eventually, find another way. Don’t buy debts.
If you are sure that going on vacation would make you go bankrupt, don’t go on that vacation. Perhaps when you have enough money, you can do that. Always give room for healthy spending, so you don’t regret later on for making impulse purchases.
11. Don’t Be Quick To Replace Gadgets (Repair Them Instead)
Some people are quick to replace household items whenever they feel the items are going bad. You must understand that not every gadget or appliance in your home should be replaced with a new one.
Replacing items all the time would amount to a waste of money. Sometimes, you can repair and clean spoilt items.
In fact, refurbishing the items you initially want to replace can save you a lot of money. The money you would spend on refurbishment is nothing compared to what you would spend on a replacement.
12. Do Something Else Asides From Shopping
Some people are habitual shoppers. This means that shopping has become a habit or hobby for them. This can be a pretty bad thing, especially for low-income earners.
It doesn’t make sense to shop for items all the time when there isn’t enough money. One would just be breaking the bank by doing this. If you are intentional about avoiding impulse buying and saving money, you shouldn’t always follow that instinct telling you to go shopping.
Whenever you feel like shopping, try to engage in another activity that would take your mind off shopping. You could go hiking, cycling, or even watch a movie. The idea is to distract yourself from what’s telling you to spend money on impulse purchases.
Final Thoughts On Impulse Buying
Avoiding impulse buying might seem like a challenging thing to do, but the crux of the matter is that this is not difficult at all. It all depends on your ability to prioritize and achieve your financial goals.
As a responsible individual who wants to grow financially and avoid debt, you don’t need anyone to tell you how to avoid wasting money at all.
Notwithstanding, this post has provided a valuable piece of information about always preventing an impulse purchase and saving money.
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