Have you ever gone to a store and bought an item you didn’t need? For example, you might have walked past a shoe store and suddenly thought, “I got to buy that!” Well, you’re not alone. This type of behavior is known as impulse buying, and many fall into this trap.
Americans tend to spend 18% of their budget more on unplanned or impulse expenses as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Needless to say, spending nearly $200 monthly on unplanned expenses isn’t a smart move and is not friendly to your budget. Therefore, knowing how to control impulsive spending habits is a must.
What Is Impulse Buying?
Impulse buying is when you purchase something that you weren’t planning to buy and didn’t need. It means that the purchase is not within your monthly budget. It can be anything (big or small) you thought of at that exact moment without planning.
For example, when the pandemic broke out in the US in 2020, the leading impulse purchase was cleaning supplies. An estimated 42% of Americans buy these items needlessly. It was also accompanied by toilet paper, hand soap, and sanitizer.
Not Giving In To Impulse Buying
Making an impulse purchase would mean that you’ll be hurting your savings and budget for the month. If you’re not careful, you might suffer more than you expected financially. Thus, to avoid experiencing these impulse buying effects, here are several tips that can help you out:
Create a Budget and Stick to It
If you want to make your finances more manageable, it would be best to create a budget. Include your income and all expenses in it, and once you’ve successfully done that, just stick to it.
Set Aside a Fun Money Fund
Yes, it’s always recommended to stick to your budget, especially when it comes to your necessities. However, it’s also essential to set aside cash for fun or recreation. Give yourself enough money to spend on things you like or foods you want to eat, as long as you still have the means to pay for what’s essential.
Depending on your current financial situation, you might be able to afford to set aside fifty dollars or a hundred a month. However, ensure that the amount is reasonable and not too much for your budget. The next time you see something you like at the mall, you just have to look at your fun money fund and make the purchase without hurting your monthly budget.
Wait a Day Before You Buy Something
The best way to ensure you want to buy something is to wait a day before you decide. Most impulse shopping happens when you’re relaxing at home while scanning your smartphone. It’s easy to see something you like and click on buy it.
Give ample time before you click the checkout button. Then, after waiting a day, you can ask yourself if the thing you like is worth it and reasonable to your budget.
It’s also vital to watch out for deals that only last for a couple of hours. Remember, items on sale or with limited deals don’t necessarily mean you can save money. Sometimes, they are just marketing strategies companies use to attract customers.
Shop with a Plan
One of the ways you can beat impulsive buying is shopping with a plan in mind. It means before you go to any store or shop online, figure out what items to buy and how much your budget is. If you do this, you’ll be less likely to overspend.
Bring Someone When You Shop
If you know someone willing to stop you when it comes to impulsive buying, bringing them when you shop is recommended. It’s vital to remember that accountability goes a long way. They can help you limit your spending and save more money.
Bring Only the Cash You Need
Since you already know what you need to buy, bringing the right amount of money every time you go out would help. Doing so would compel you only to buy necessities, not unplanned items. Also, if you want to go the extra mile, you can leave your debit or credit card at home.
Keep Your Goals in Mind
One thing is for sure; impulse buying will not bring you to your financial goals. You might be targeting to pay off a debt or invest in your future. Overspending or giving in to impulse purchases will only take hold of the extra cash you set aside for your goals.
To Sum It Up
Believe it or not, spending hard-earned money is satisfying and fun. However, it’s crucial to note that those feelings will not last forever, especially if you’ve already drained your finances. So if you don’t want to overspend or make impulse buying a habit, it would be best to follow the essential tips provided.