Impulse purchases, we all make them and almost always end up regretting them later. Decisions involving money should always be well thought out. For me at least, impulse buys almost always end up being bad decisions. They are bad choices because you haven’t taken the time to decide if you really need the item or you just want it. Since you also did not spend any time doing any comparison shopping, purchases made on a whim will cost you more.
So how do you stop yourself from making these bad choices time and time again? Here are five ways you can stop your impulse purchasing habits.
Carry cash on you instead of credit cards. This is a surefire way of not overspending on things you do not need. If you only leave the house with a certain amount of dollars you can’t do any more damage than that. Spending cash will also have more of a mental impact on you. It hurts more to physically see your hard earned money disappearing, which is not the case when using a credit card.
Keep a list
Making and sticking to a shopping list takes planning and self-discipline, two of the things that impulse shoppers rarely have. But try and make it a habit to create a shopping list before you go out. Stick to buying only the items on your list. If you see something you like and it’s not on your list, don’t buy it because it wasn’t important enough to make your list in the first place.
When you go shopping, shop alone. When you shop with your friends you can succumb to peer pressure. You wouldn’t want to be left out if your friends are buying things and you’re not. So don’t put yourself in that situation in the first place.
To curb your impulse purchases, create a monthly budget and stick to it. In order to get out or stay out of debt you’ll need to take a realistic look at your financial situation. In your budget, set money aside for your bills, your debts and make room for your savings too. Any money left over after that can be your impulse buy budget.
Don’t go on a shopping spree to cheer yourself up. Much like emotional overeating is bad for you, so is emotional shopping. While shopping may temporarily make you feel better you’ll feel much worse when you get your credit card bill.