There’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence – as long as you can afford it. If you’re running errands and spot something appealing, it’s okay to splurge a little and treat yourself. We all know the thrill of impulse buying and advertisers and retailers know how to exploit it.
Why is it so hard to avoid impulse items at the store? Maybe how aggressively they’re advertised and the prominent real estate they’re given on endcaps or near checkouts. Unfortunately, indulging in these fun but frivolous purchases on a regular basis can have serious repercussions onyour finances. It’s estimated that the average American spends about $450 each month on items they don’t need and initially didn’t intend to buy. That’s money you could useto pay down debt, save up for a dream vacation or build a down payment on a new home or car. If you want to save money and meet your financial goals, you’ll need to learn how to curb your impulse purchases.
Give It a Moment
One of the best ways to reduce impulsive spending is to become a disciplined shopper. When you are more mindful of your financial habits and behaviors, you exert more self-control over your spending. For instance, if you consider shopping a hobby or something you do to pass the time, find another less costly activity. By training yourself to shop only for necessities, you can avoid overspending on nonessentials. The less temptation you are exposed to, the easier it will be to overcome it. Following this strategy also can make the occasional (preplanned) splurge more special.
When you come across a potential purchase that tests your resolve, a brief cooling-off period might help you overcome the urge to buy. Be critical of the item you’re about to put into your cart. Is it something you can use frequently, or are you simply caught up in the thrill of acquiring something new?
Manage Your Money
Most of the time, we make spur-of-the-moment purchases because we have a little extra money (or a credit card) burning a hole in our pocket. Managing your finances strictly can be a good way to keep this from happening too often. A good first step is to establish a weekly household budget, if you don’t already have one. Many people find it easier to limit their spending when they know exactly how much they have left in the bank after expenses. This also makes it easier for you to plan ahead for larger purchases. If you’re having trouble controlling how you use your credit card, leave it at home and take out only as much cash as you will need to purchase your shopping list essentials.
Of course, being too strict with your budgeting may leave you feeling overly restricted, so be sure to build some breathing room into your plans. A lot of people have a “mad money” fund for this purpose. Regularly setting aside a small amount of money that can go toward anything you want can provide some freedom and help scratch the impulse-buying itch without allowing it to become a habit.
Today’s society makes it easy to become obsessed with always having things that are new or different. Although this can feel good in the moment, the feeling can quickly fade. And when it does, you’re left with a cluttered house, bulging closets and the worst part, an empty bank account. For more tips you can use to getyour impulse purchases under control, take a look at the accompanying infographic.
Courtesy Of Balance Credit