One of the major reasons why it’s so difficult to stick to our respective budgets is impulse buying. We always find ways and reasons why we need to buy a particular stuff regardless if we really need it or not. We easily get carried away by the raging consumerism waves created by the marketing hype we see on TV, Social Media websites and other forms of media.
To be honest, it really is hard to save money. It has become a culture, a norm in our society to splurge or to buy this and that even sometimes without asking ourselves if we could really afford the things that we are buying.
However, if we truly want to achieve financial independence, we really need to change our behaviour in terms of spending our hard-earned money.
Here is our list of 10 Effective Ways that could Help You Stop Impulse Buying:
Eat First Before you Go to the Supermarket
Always make sure that you are not hungry when you go to the supermarket. Hungry shoppers always have the tendency to buy items that appeal to their senses right away even if those items are never part of their shopping list.
A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has linked unsatisfied hunger to a desire to buy non-food items. There are 379 participants who joined this study and the results indicate that although hunger motivates eating, it’s influence also extends beyond food consumption to the acquisition of non-food items that cannot satisfy the underlying need.
Create a List of Things to Buy Before you Go to the Mall
Before you leave your house, make sure that you know why you’re going to the mall. To make things easy for you, use your smartphone’s notepad to list the items that you need to buy. Making a list make shopping more efficient as it will save you time walking around aimlessly along the corridors and hallways of shopping mall.
In certain cases, there are similar products that are available in the market. I highly suggest that you don’t always go for the cheapest alternative. There are reviews about almost anything nowadays available on the internet and I highly suggest that you check those reviews the night before your scheduled trip to the mall.
Do Not Go to the Mall (Especially if there’s an Ongoing Sale)
Avoid shopping malls if you are in the process of building your savings account! Here in the Philippines we got used to going to the shopping malls as part of our recreation activities with our families. If you want to spend time with your families and friends, you might as well go to parks or do other activities such as joining marathons, swimming etc. Malls are of course created as a shopping haven which means that everything inside the malls have been thought of to attract people and encourage spending.
Going to the shopping malls during their sale period can also be a not-so-pleasant experience if you’re not used to huge crowds. The traffic is also so bad during this time and it would be better to let the shopping madness subside.
Do Not Shop When You are Emotional
Our emotions sometimes cloud our judgement and it may not be the best idea to go shopping when you’re angry, frustrated or sad. You will end up buying things that you think will make you happy for that day. But we all know that it will only bring you a minute of happiness and a pile of credit card bills.
Nowadays, with the continuous progress and development of our society, we become more and more busy managing both our work and personal life. Oftentimes than not, we even have to schedule ahead with our friends if we want to meet just to hang out. If you’re going through some emotional pains, I highly suggest that you go to other places instead of the shopping malls. Why not pay a family member a visit, or if there’s a friend close by, even them for an hour or two at the coffee shops.
Go to the nearest park where nature abounds. Being surrounded by nature is really therapeutic and its known to have healing impact to our well-being.
Track Your Expenses and Savings
Tracking your expenses will help you monitor and analyze your spending habits. This will also help in keeping you stay on track when it comes to your financial goal. Track the growth of your savings as well and you’ll be surprised on how looking at it every now and then helps keep you motivated.
There are various free app available on both IOS and Android that you could use to help you track your expenses.
Surround Yourself with Like-minded Individuals
It will be very difficult to stop impulse buying if all of your friends always talk about the latest trend in fashion, the newest smartphone, the ‘It Bag’ of the year etc. It will only increase your craving in buying these things. Look for people who also have a financial goal similar to you. Hang out with people who likes to talk about growing their investments instead of spending their entire paycheck as soon as they get them.
And this also extends to your social media apps and feeds. If your Instagram is so full of the latest fashion feeds then chances are, this will be embedded on your subconscious and might influence your shopping desire for the next payday.
If you intend to save money by not shopping or by minimising your shopping. I highly suggest that you also observe what you feed your mind with. Are you constantly expose to the latest trends via your Facebook, Instagram and other social media accounts? If so, observe if it has. a strong influence on your spending habits. Maybe, it’s time to consider a digital detox.
Ask Yourself Before You Make a Purchase
Do you really need this new pair of shoes?
Is there a cheaper but similar item available in the market?
Do you have enough money to buy this in cash?
Contemplate first before you hand the cashier your hard-earned money or before you hand them your credit card.
Remind Yourself the True Cost of that Item
Before you swipe your credit card for the latest model, high-end smartphone, remind yourself the real cost of that item. If you are earning P20K per month and if you’re buying a P40K phone, then that means that the phone is equivalent to two months of your working life.
Is it really worth two months of your life working long hours in your office and going through that long commute just to be able to have that latest phone?
Practice, Practice, Practice: Train Yourself
We love to go to shopping malls because we all love to shop! Who doesn’t love shopping right? Especially if you grew up in Manila where going to the shopping mall has been part of our existence. It’s difficult to just suddenly change our behavior. I suggest that you teach yourself and instill the discipline that you know you need in order to attain your financial goals.
Try going to a mall and leave without buying anything. Keep doing it if you have some spare time and monitor your urges. Remember that your impulses and desires are just a part of you and not your entirety, try to master this and you’ll be golden.
‘ll leave number 10 to you guys. Do you have additional tips or suggestions on how to stop impulse buying? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.