Impulse buying can affect us all. We live in an instant gratification society, and there are advertisements on TV, in stores, even ads custom tailored after our internet searches on our iPhones and tablets. Retailers are quite aware of the enticement to impulse shop, hence the shiny aisle cap displays, and magazines and assorted goods available last minute at the register. We don’t need them, but somehow that extra Snickers and TIME makes it into the shopping bag.
So, how do we escape, when the temptation to buy is everywhere? Here are a few lifehacks that helped me escape the impulse buying trap!
Take Your Time
Did you see the new and exciting product on the internet, TV or billboard on the drive home? Don’t order it immediately, just wait! Simply putting off a purchase for a few days can help you work out if you really need it. Sales tactics such as “doorbusters” and “limited stock available” can create a sense of urgency, and a push to buy immediately both in the store and online. This is especially prominent in commission-based retailers, such as car dealerships and large electronic stores. We all have heard, “Buy now, it could be gone tomorrow!” It is better to walk away then to feel forced to purchase something you didn’t want, with money you needed to spend on something more important.
Buy What You Need
Always have a list when you shop, and stick to it! Many stores sell in bulk, such as Costco. Buying in bulk can sometimes be cheaper, however if you decide to buy in large quantities, you can often wind up with more than you need. Only take advantage of bulk deals if you know that you’ll use it all.
Some sales, such as “buy one get one free” can be great, if you needed two of that item! However, sales such as “buy one get one half off” can have you spending more money than necessary if you end up buying two of the same product just to get the sale price. It’s not a sale if you didn’t need it! According to Betabit, 88% of impulse purchases are made because the customer feels like the deal is just too great to pass up. Don’t jump at a great offer if it is something you have no need for!
Be Mindful Of Your Finances
Ask yourself the important questions: Do I need this right now? Could I find a better deal on this somewhere else? How is my savings account doing this month? Is this in my budget? Would I buy this if it wasn’t on sale or display?
Do The Right Research
Always do your homework before making a big purchase such as a TV, computer or vehicle. Do you need all the features of the brand new model, or will last year’s model do just fine? Is there anything about the more expensive choice that makes it perform better, or will the lower cost option work just the same? Consumer Reports and Amazonare great places to stop in and check reviews before buying, to make sure you make an educated decision about your purchase.
Choose Your Shopping Companions Carefully
Only shop with people you know will tell you the truth, and won’t pressure you into buying. Remember, not everyone is on the same budget as you, and they aren’t in charge of managing your finances. Don’t shop with someone you know is a bad influence on your spending habits. Instead, choose someone who will ask the right questions such as “Is this something you know you will wear?”
Shop With A Plan And A Purpose
Don’t shop when your emotions are clouded. According to Psychology Today, Studies show people who go shopping without a purpose, or while they’re not in a clear state of mind end up buying things they don’t need and can end up with buyer’s remorse. During 40% of store visits, shoppers make on average three impulse purchases. Usually, impulse shoppers consider buying because they feel bored, angry, guilty or stressed.
Have Some “Splurge” Money
Make sure to set aside a certain amount of money each week or month that’s just for fun! Having some money that you can spend and play with, even if it is a small sum, will make you feel like you have freedom to splurge.
“Impulse buying easily compares to a fad diet. As soon as you start the diet, you desperately crave whatever you can’t have. You don’t want to starve and then binge, either with food or money, so set aside some money for small impulse buys. Fit small impulse buys into your budget as a reward for something you’ve accomplished.” -Hillary Price