Impulse spending is the enemy of everyone on a budget. There is no way around it and there is no way to avoid it. Impulse spending happens when people go into a store for no reason and they see something on sale and they decide to purchase it. It also happens when people just browse through their favorite websites and happens upon a sale. These purchases can start with a few dollars sporadically but it can add up to hundreds of dollars by the end of the year. Impulse spending is something that people should curb if they are serious about improving finances.
Are You Guilty?
There are some that are in denial of their spending habits. There is nothing wrong with shopping when it’s affordable but if there are more than two yes’s to the following questions, there may be a problem.
1. Do you complain about the shape of your finances at the end of the month (not enough to pay bills)?
2. Does your partner complain about your spending habits?
3. Do you get surprise charges on your credit card statement?
4. Do you buy things you didn’t realize you wanted when you go to the store?
These are questions that people should ask themselves when they begin to think of impulse buying. If there are more than two yeses in the responses, someone may be an impulse spender.
How to Avoid It
There many different ways to avoid impulse shopping. It’s not an incurable disease but it is something that should be addressed before it becomes a huge financial burden.
Here are some tricks and tips to use to avoid impulse spending:
· Avoid going into stores when emotionally upset or vulnerable
· Don’t go shopping without a list in hand
· For large purchases, wait 24-48 hours before buying (if you forget about it, you don’t need it)
· Take only enough cash into the store to pay for what you need (leave credit cards and all that at home in a safe place)
· Pay cash for everything
· Say no to the kids
· Eat BEFORE shopping
· Limit the time spent in a store
· Plan for splurges
There are many other things that can be done to help curb impulse spending. There is nothing wrong with impulse buying if it’s something that is well controlled. Impulse shopping becomes a problem when it starts to interfere with relationships and one’s ability to pay their bills. When impulse buys begin to interfere in normal, day to day living and relationships, it’s time to put things into perspective and regain control.
Impulse buys shouldn’t lead to a lifetime of regret or a mountain of unreturnable items.