Impulse spending is a common behavior today. It can be classified as a sudden spur of the moment spending. It can be due to an emotional craving triggered by a product or reacting to a well-written message or copy.
Impulse spending can be on any purchase, relating specifically to small items such as magazine, chocolates, clothing etc. It can also be substantially large, that include a piece of art or jewelry. Basically, a large percentage of such items is unwarranted, and could lead to family problems and quarrels, and invariably ending in a feeling of guilt or disapproval.
Now that being said, it is incredibly difficult to stop this urge once it gets inside us. That is an incredibly super gadget, or great designer shoes or purse that we must have, is a common feeling experienced by most of us. Sometimes it could be like… well… that is a nice piece of cake, or sundae, or a magazine, which will not cost much. At the end, all add up in draining your wallet. If you are online, it could be powerful forms of marketing or advertising copy that you may not be able to resist.
First, try and honestly answer the below questions.
- Does your partner complain that you spend too much?
- Are you surprised at the end of each month when your credit card statement arrives?
- Does your credit card statement display an amount more than what your assumed?
- Do you have more clothes and shoes in your closet than you could ever possibly wear?
- Do you happen to purchase every new gadget just as soon as it is released?
- Do you buy random things that you do not know that you wanted?
If your answer was yes to even two of the above, then you have a problem. You can certainly be classified as an impulse spender. It is time that you curb and indulge yourself in some retail therapy.
The fun part is that all this can be overcome with some simple strategies. The trick, of course, is to think about it. Definitely, It is when the impulse urge is subconscious then it is the most dangerous.
Mentioned below are a few simple strategies to overcome impulse spending.
Create a thirty-day list
One of the simplest methods to curb impulse spending is to create a thirty-day waiting period list. In short, you will not spend on anything that catches your fancy, except provisions. Anything else will be cleared only after a thirty-day waiting period. Make a list and stick this list where you can see this regularly, perhaps on the refrigerator. Whenever you get the urge to spend on something, include it on the list with the date. After a month has passed, you can buy the item. In all likelihood, the temptation would have passed, and you can cut the item off the list. This works if you stick to your rule. Of course, this will not apply to groceries and other similar immediate necessities.
Try not to go to the mall at any chance you get
You only get the urge to buy on impulse if you are in a shopping area, or you are watching TV or when you are simply surfing online. So, prevent the urge from happening in the first place by not going shopping. Do not go to the mall or other shopping centers. Only go to a store if you have a specific necessity to purchase, and go with a list. Do not buy anything that is not on that list. Now get out as soon as possible. Remember that window-shopping will certainly tempt you, just like online stores that will create an urge to buy. Instead, stay away from these sites. Find other ways to have fun.
It is important that you curb your urges. If you are not in a position to do so, just write them down when such an urge arises. This helps you to become more conscious of the urge, which is usually something we do not even notice. The urge can appear in different symptoms, such as faster breathing or sudden excitement. By becoming more aware of the changes in our body, we can begin to get the urges under control. The primary issue here is to calm the urge. You can calm it through deep breathing, taking a small walk, self-massage, or even a glass of water could help. Try breathing deeply and you can immediately notice the difference.
Calculate your hourly wage
Assess your hourly wage and always keep that figure at hand as a ballpark figure. In the event that you get the urge to spend on something, take your calculator and do a small division. Evaluate the products value with your true hourly wage. In other words, calculate how many hours you would have to work, to buy that item. Sometimes the number of hours can be a revelation, particularly for items that are in the high expense bracket. Evaluate what you are willing to give up so as that the hourly wage is balanced.
Plan your purchases
Prior to going shopping, try making out a list that you REALLY want to buy. Try making it a habit to stick to that list. This will help you will eliminate impulse spending in small items. For other purchases, make it a habit to plan, save for them, shop around, and even see if you can get it free. Going through this process ensures that your purchases are more deliberate, and less on impulse. Plan ahead for holiday seasons, and other large purchases that you know are coming up in the month ahead and try to purchase them at sale or off-seasons.
Try leaving your credit card at home
If using your credit card is a problem, consider giving it up completely. In other words, use cash. However, if you feel that you really need it, only then use it. If you are still unsure, and you continue using it for every purchase then leave the card at home. Remember, a credit card is only to be used during an emergency, not to be used for regular purchases.
Finally, and not the last, always ask yourself, whether the purchase is important. Whether, it will have some use or importance. Is the purchase supposed to make you feel better? These are useful questions to help you evaluate the value of a purchase, and why you are making it. Although a certain or modest level of impulse spending can be harmless, an excessive level of impulse spending can lead to debt and unhappiness.
By putting a product back on the shelf and refusing to purchase it, will indicate that you are in a position to curb impulse spending. You are REJECTING THE IDEA that by purchasing a product, it will make you happier, better respected, or more complete. In short, exercising this control will make you a smarter consumer and definitely a happier person.