You can get your shopping expenses under control with these habiting changing ways to stop impulse shopping.
I used to have a have a huge problem with impulse buys. Shopping was one of my favorite ways to de-stress, waste time and spend an afternoon. This led to many impulse buys that I found I didn’t even have a use for. I had clothes hanging in my closet that still had tags on them months later, duplicate buys because I had too much stuff to begin with and a lot of things that I had no room for that sat out cluttering up my spaces. On top of the practical reasons to not impulse shop, there are the financial ones. I was shocked at how much money I wasted every month on impulse buys. I set out to change this and get control of my shopping habits and so I came up with these habit changing ways to stop impulse shopping.
Habit Changing Ways to Stop Impulse Shopping
Do the math and look at the big picture – Spending $20 on something may not seem like a big deal at first, but what if you only make $10 an hour (or even $20?) Is this item you want worth that much work time put into it? Would you willingly work for 2 hours at your job just to have it? Is it worth missing time with your family at work for it? Many times, I find that the idea of working the hours something costs just not worth it in the end. This way of examining an impulse buy before I do it a great way to put things into perspective.
Give yourself 24 hours before you buy something on a whim – For certain purchases, especially larger purchases, I give myself 24 hours to sit on it and think. I set my limit for something being ‘big ticket’ starting at $50, but you can make it whatever makes sense. If I still want it after that time, I am forced to drive back to the store and get it. Sometimes, even doing that isn’t worth the effort and it makes my mind up for me.
Always shop with a list – Make shopping lists for every store you go to. Stick with it diligently for a period of time until you have more control over your impulses. I give myself a tiny bit of wiggle room at grocery stores because I tend to run into great sales for my stockpile, but I set a budget for off-list items so I don’t just add anything to my cart.
Freeze your credit cards if you need to – There was a time I froze my credit cards for 6 months so I could get a handle on my spending. Most cards don’t mind doing this as long as you continue to make your payments on time. You may even get lucky with your card and be offered a lower interest rate while on a freeze. I once brought a card from 26% interest down to 6% for a six-month freeze. This allowed me to pay it off more and not be tempted to spend.
Skip shopping alone – When I shop alone, I tend to buy way more than if I bring a friend or my husband with me. I am able to discuss potential purchases and this leads to a lot of putting things back. I also find that a friend can hold me accountable as well.
Don’t shop at discount stores without a plan– I tend to spend unnecessary money at places that offer deep discounts on departments store goods like Ross or Marshall’s. The problem is I go there with no plan and just ‘to look’. Combine that with the urgency to buy on the spot because it won’t be there the next time you come back and it’s a disaster for my budget. Now, if I go to these places, I go for a specific reason (sneakers, for example) and skip the rest of the store.