Impulse buying occurs when you purchase an item, often expensive, without planning. You see it. You want it. You buy it. There’s no thought process involved. Sometimes the purchase is completely irrational because, perhaps, you could not afford it. Impulse buying can be dangerous because it can often put a strain on others who are affected by the purchase and may also hurt your finances.
How to curb impulse shopping
Make a list
Before you go to the grocery store, the department store, or the mall, make a list of the items you need. Be thorough, but only include what you need. Once you get to the store,do not justify unneeded items with sale prices and coupons. Stick to your list. If you want to purchase a package of socks and a pair of shoes, don’t be lured into buying a sweater and a pair of jeans because they are currently half-price.
Have time limit
The longer you are in the store, the more likely you are to put unnecessary items in your cart. Give yourself a time limit for the store, and once your time is up, head to the checkout line. You will be surprised how quickly you move through the store to pick up the items you need before your time is up, and how much time you don’t spend lingering.
Avoid shopping when bored or hungry
If you are going grocery shopping, eat first. If you are hungry, the food you do not need to purchase will be ten times better than it would if you were full. Eat at least one hour before you shop to prevent buying unnecessary food.
Shopping when you are bored can also lead to unnecessary items in your cart, even when you are online. If you are bored, don’t use shopping as your entertainment. Go for a run, play a game with a friend, or, if you are surfing the web, watch some music videos.
Stick to the right store
When shopping at the mall or a department, there are several departments and stores to choose from. You may find yourself wandering into several different stores you did not intend to visit and to come back out with your arms loaded. When you visit stores like this, try to stick to the department or store that carries the items you need. Browsing other outlets just sets you up for an impulse buy.
Whether you are at the grocery store, at the mall, or just surfing the web, impulse buying can be detrimental to your budget. Before you make that next unneeded purchase, use these helpful tips.