Are you the type to have an overflowing closet with clothes you’ll never wear? Do you buy new gadgets that go unused, or tools to start a new hobby that never truly becomes your thing? These spending habits are likely the result of impulse buying.
Typically, we impulse buy because of the rush of endorphins one receives when they buy something that makes that makes them feel good. Impulse buyers opt for items that have an emotional value, items that promise savings, and items that promise to improve their lives.
While impulse buying is heavily tied to emotions, it is not the only reason we buy unnecessary items without much thought. Distracted shopping is a main contributor to impulse purchases, particularly at the grocery store.
The urge to impulse buy can be controlled with these healthy shopping and spending habits.
Change in Mindset
Urges to impulse buy can be subdued when you reframe the context of your purchase. Instead of thinking, "how much is this purchase?" ask "how many hours of work will pay for this purchase?" This question is an easy way to understand the reality of a purchase.
While scrolling online stores or perusing the mall- remind yourself of how you earned your money. The efforts of your time and energy should not be wasted away for an impulse purchase.
Break Up with Your Food Delivery Apps
I hate to break it to you, but you are in a toxic relationship with your beloved food delivery app.
We know how it goes. You'll log on because they seem to have so much to offer you. And after all, there's nothing quite like the thrill of ordering late night take out. You'll choose whatever fast food is closest, and you'll double down on your decision once you see the long list of fees attached to the greasy meal. (They never spilt the bill!) Once the meal arrives, its lukewarm and soggy leaving you disappointed (as usual.)
It's the toxic cycle you need to break. It's the obvious solution you've already known you needed to do; we’re just giving you that extra push. Don't worry, you can have ice cream and flowers to mourn the relationship, but you’ll have to travel to the store yourself.
Make a Wish List (And Check it Twice)
It's time to connect with your inner child and capitalize on some holiday nostalgia. Remember the lists of toys and gadgets you'd make for holidays so your family (or Santa Claus) would know exactly what you were wishing for? Now that you're in charge on your finances, you are the master of your own wish list.
Instead of impulse buying everything that catches your eye, add it to a wish list and take time to ponder it. Set special times throughout the year to buy something off of your wish list. This will ensure that you are spending responsibly and buying items you know you truly want.
Visualize Your Shopping Cart
When you have a cart full of clothes or decor, try this tip to consolidate your purchase.
Close your eyes and imagine each item you have. Recall how it looks, how it feels, and how you would style it with your current belongings. If you cannot picture the item in your head, put the item back on the shelf.
Avoid the Temptation of Marketing
In today's day in age, advertisers come straight to you, making it nearly impossible to avoid the temptation of targeted marketing.
Your email inbox is likely filled to the brim with sales and exclusive offers, and your social media feeds show you exactly what you'd like to purchase. To avoid online impulse buys, limit the ways that brands can contact you. Unsubscribe from emails and unfollow brands on social media (maybe even block retailer's social media accounts.) Out of sight, out of mind.
If you rely on the coupons that retailors send you, create a new email account specifically for promotions to be sent to. This will keep unwanted notifications out of your daily routine without sacrificing potential savings when you need them.
Phone Your Frugal Friend
Sometimes all we need is a lifeline. Find the most practical person in your inner circle and keep them on speed dial. If you ever sense that you may be making an impulse purchase, give them a call and see what they think. A good frugal friend will keep you on track with your goals and encourage responsible spending.
If you don't have any penny pinchers close to you, visit Saving Genie- we will tell you like it is.
After you listen to enough good advice, you'll be able to conquer your spending impulses on your own. Just think, W.W.Y.F.F.D? That is- What Would Your Frugal Friend Do?
Sleep on It
Impulse purchases happen fast, so give yourself time to process before buying any non-essential items. Don’t worry, your online cart can wait, and stores can put items on hold if need be. If you feel rushed to follow through with a purchase that is a good indication that it’s an impulse buy.
Take your time to think things through, your bank account will thank you.
Leave Room in Your Budget for Healthy Spending
In order to adhere to your new healthy spending habits, it’s important to allow yourself the budget to treat yourself every once in a while. You are more likely to impulse buy if you deprive yourself of any reward.
We recommend that you give yourself an allowance for purchases off of your wish list. You can save the non-essential allowance for a large purchase or spend the sum on little things once you budget the cash. However, you decide to spend it, it is essential to keep this allowance within reason to your budget. Remember- this allowance is meant to help you stick to your budget, so don’t get carried away. Don’t let the thrills of an impulse buy keep you from advancing your financial goals