Have you ever purchased an item and regretted it afterwards? Has being an impulse shopper kept you from gaining control of your budget? These four tips will help you learn how to control impulse shopping and get your budget back on track.
1. Cool Off
When you have an item you want to purchase, trying backing off for a day or two. Give yourself some time to think and consider if the purchase is really the right choice.
While you may be used to doing this for larger purchases, it’s also a helpful tool for small purchases. The new set of sheets will still be at the store in a few days.
After you’ve had time to think about your purchase, do you still want the item?
Often, after the initial thrill or excitement wears off, we discover that we don’t really need it.
I’m a sucker for sales and tend to buy an item if it’s a great deal. I’ve found that giving myself a day to think about a purchase is a great way to stop impulse buying!
2. Can you use a substitute or re-purpose another item you already have?
Think about what you already have at home. Do you have an item that you can reuse?
Maybe you have a vase in another room in your house that you can use instead of the one at the store. Or something you can use as a vase.
Instead of buying a new item, you can save money by re-purposing something already in your home. Maybe you have something in another room that would serve a better purpose in a different spot!
3. How much would it cost in the long term?
This is a great trick to curb spending on little purchases that add up over time. I love shopping at Target, even if it’s just to browse around. But I swear Starbucks calls my name every time I walk in there!
Think about how much it would cost you over the course of a year. If I stopped and got Starbucks every week while shopping at Target, that adds up to $250 in a year.
The $5 coffee might not seem like much but when you add it up over the long term, it gives you a different perspective. Think about what you could buy with the $250 saved!
4. How long did you work to afford that?
When you are feeling the impulse to buy something, think about the cost in work-hours. How long did you have to work (or your spouse have to work) to buy what in your hand?
Look at pair of shoes in your hand and realize you had to deal with grumpy customers or a horrible boss for 4 hours just to afford them. Thinking about purchases in terms of how many hours you put in at work is a great way to prevent impulse buying.
How To Control Impulse Spending
Try these mind tricks and see if they help you get you stop impulse shopping. Before making a purchase, take time to consider if you really need it and if you have another item at home that can serve the same purpose. It is also helpful to consider how much small purchases add up to over a year and to think about how long you had to work to make a purchase. Use these ideas and stop regretting those impulse buys!