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Have you ever strolled the shopping malls and returned home only to realize that
half your purchases were things you didn’t need? Are you easily enticed into buying
things just because it was on bargain, near the cash register, came in your favorite
color, or in some fanciful packaging? Tell me, are you an impulse shopper?
Ask yourself these questions:
Does your spouse or partner complain that you spend way too much money?
Are you surprised each month when your credit card bill arrives at how much more
you charged than you thought you had?
Do you have more makeup, shoes and clothes in your closet than you could ever possibly
Do you own every new gadget before it has time to collect dust on a retailer’s shelf?
Do you buy things you didn’t know you wanted until you saw them on display in a store?
If you answered “yes” to any two of the above questions, then you are an impulse
shopper and indulge yourself in retail therapy pretty often.
Impulse spending is not a good thing. It will prevent you from saving for the important
things like a house, a new car, a vacation or retirement. You must set some financial
goals and stop spending money on items that really don’t matter in the long run.
Do you know that impulse spending not only put a strain on your finances in the long
run but your relationships, as well? To control the problem of impulse spending,
the first thing you have to do is learn to separate your needs from your wants.
A need is something which is essential irrespective of your financial conditions
(you have to have) while a want is something you would like to have.
Advertisers blitz us hawking their products at us 24/7 so the trick to stop impulse
buying for good is to give yourself a cooling-off period before you buy anything
that you have not planned for.
How to Stop Impulse Buying
When you go shopping, it’s a good idea to make a list in advance to impulse purchases
and take only enough cash to pay for what you have planned to buy. Leave your credit
cards at home. By doing so, you are less likely to buy things that you do not need,
using future money. Once the cash is gone, it is gone forever. This is a simple yet
effective strategy to help you not get into credit card debt.
Also, do not spend your spare time browsing aimlessly through the mall. The longer
you linger, the temptation of impulse spending becomes greater. Leave the store when
you are done with shopping.
If possible, shop alone. Your spouse, children or friends can coax and influence
you to buy something which you have no intention of purchasing.
If you see something you think you really need or like, give yourself some time,
say about two weeks to decide if it is really something that you need or something
you can easily do without. You can always come back later if you really want it.
By following these simple tips, you will mend your financial fences and your relationships.
Remember, you should not spend money that you do not have to buy things that you
do not need, to impress people you do not like. Good luck!