It’s hard to resist the seductive lures of impulse buying. Scrolling through online shops and landing on a must-have item at an unbeatable price can excite our hearts.
The sense of joy may be short-lived, especially when the financial consequences – from mounting credit card bills to empty wallets – become a reality.
Fortunately, there are practical ways to still enjoy life’s little pleasures without burning your resources too quickly. Let us explore ways to save for future goals while giving you plenty of tips about conquering impulsivity.
- What is impulse buying?
- 1. Understand the psychology behind impulse buying
- 2. Identify triggers that make you more prone to impulse spending
- 3. Set financial goals and make a plan to reach them
- 4. Set time-based limits for yourself when shopping
- 5. Avoid shopping when you’re emotional or stressed out
What is impulse buying?
Impulse buying is a type of shopping behavior in which an individual purchases without research or consideration. It often occurs when a person feels overwhelmed by emotions, such as excitement, curiosity, or impulse.
Impulse buying typically doesn’t plan to make the purchase and may need to be aware of the total cost associated with the purchase. Impulse buying can contribute to debt accumulation and financial instability.
One must be mindful of one’s spending habits and practice self-control when purchasing. Setting limits on spending, such as keeping track of budget goals, can help individuals manage their finances more effectively.
1. Understand the psychology behind impulse buying
At its core, impulse buying stems from our innate need for instant gratification. When presented with an attractive item or offer, whether a new phone, pair of shoes, or vacation package, we often feel drawn towards it without thinking through the consequences of our actions.
When you know the psychology behind your impulse, you can control your spending habits. Recognizing that impulsive decisions are rooted in your desire for short-term satisfaction can help you break free from the cycle of impulsive purchases.
2. Identify triggers that make you more prone to impulse spending
A trigger is a specific event or situation that can cause you to react in a particular way. It’s a catalyst for an impulse purchase without thinking about your budget and finance.
Examples of triggers include:
- Feeling overwhelmed,
- Wanting to reward oneself
Understanding your triggers can be beneficial as it gives insight into why you are attracted to certain items and why you can’t always resist the urge to buy them. Perhaps, boredom or wanting to reward yourself can be your triggers.
For instance, you always splurge on luxury bags while watching live selling. You don’t even think about whether or not you still have enough money to pay for the item you tagged as “mine.”
Whenever you see live sellers offering great deals on Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, and Chanel bags, you can’t help but spend more.
Understanding your triggers allows you to set boundaries and create strategies to avoid impulsive purchases. You can prepare for situations where you may be tempted to buy spontaneously. In connection to the example above — just unfollow all online live sellers.
3. Set financial goals and make a plan to reach them
Set clear and attainable financial goals and devise a plan for achieving them. Focus on being smart about your spending and enjoying the fruits of your labor in the future.
- If you want to save for a car, you can determine how much money you must set aside each month for the downpayment.
- If you want to take an overseas trip next year, you could plot out a monthly budget that factors in income, expenses, and saving towards your goal of traveling.
- If you want that Chanel bag worth ₱350,000, you better set aside a certain amount each month instead of charging it to your credit card.
Create emergency funds or saving accounts designed explicitly for big-ticket items like these.
Setting financial goals encourages fiscal responsibility today so that you can enjoy life’s pleasures tomorrow. It helps put things into perspective so you don’t succumb to impulse buying.
Instead, you’ll be able to see what’s truly important in life — having the security of savings while achieving dreams through careful planning and execution.
4. Set a 30-day rule before purchasing an item
Limiting how long you have to think about an item can give you the time and space to weigh the pros and cons before spending your hard-earned money.
Create a 30-day rule for yourself — if you come across something you like but aren’t sure it’s worth the expense, wait thirty days before making the purchase decision.
During this time, ask yourself questions like:
- Do I really need this item?
- Can I find a cheaper alternative?
- Can I afford this item if I pay in cash?
If after 30 days you still want the item, it may be worth investing in.
When you step back and think things through before making purchases, you are more likely to make wiser decisions with your money than impulsively buying an item that will likely end part of your clutter at home.
5. Avoid shopping when you’re emotional or stressed out
Emotional shoppers are more likely to buy items that may not be necessary and can lead to overspending.
When you’re emotional, you act on a feeling or emotion without thinking about the consequences.
Say you feel sad after a breakup or a loss in your life. You may end up using shopping as an escape and eventually regret it later because of how much money you spend at the moment.
Stressful shoppers may need to realize they are making unwise choices while they are in this state.
When stressed, you feel overwhelmed with too many tasks or worries, making decision-making difficult.
For example, you could be trying to prepare everything for Christmas while dealing with family drama. It could lead to stress shopping if you try to find gifts at the last minute.
When you step back and calm down before making big purchases, you can think through the decisions more carefully and make sure you need the item rather than just buying it in the spur of the moment.
Understanding the psychology behind impulse buying and knowing your triggers is essential to establishing healthy spending habits.
Learning to recognize what sets you off and devise a plan for avoiding it can help you reach your financial goals.
Remember, this isn’t about depriving yourself. It’s about taking control of your financial future. We’d love to hear your strategies for managing your finances, so let us know what you think in the comments below.