Have you ever bought something without planning to do so in advance? Maybe you spotted a beautiful dress, and you thought you should purchase it. Well, we all do it. This type of buying is called impulse buying, and it can become a bad habit that compromises your general savings and budgeting. Shopping can be enjoyable, but sometimes it’s just difficult to resist the urge to purchase an item you did not plan to purchase.
So what’s goes on in your mind when you purchase things you didn’t intend to buy.
1. Love for shopping.
The best way to explain this is that people feel a lot of pleasure from buying something new. As toddlers, people are often conditioned by their guardians to feel good about a new item. Even in these difficult financial moments, we can still spoil ourselves frequently.
2. The loss Aversion Switch.
Stores have discovered that we are at the mercy of the loss aversion switch. Loss aversion is the tendency to opt for avoiding losses or feeling bad in the future. Basically, this would influence our buying decisions by making us prevaricate over a purchase. Have you ever thought that you would feel bad if you bought something and didn’t have enough money to purchase something else? But walked into a store and found the item on offer, and you assume it won’t last forever, so you switch your focus to the fear of missing out on the discount. That’s it!
3. Twisted Heuristics.
Most shopping is time-consuming and too hard to carry out with conscious attention. For instance, if everything you purchased was cross-referenced with every other item available in the market: you would need to check the price, what the product is composed of, and maybe the reviews given by customers. This would definitely consume a lot of time.
So, instead, we use heuristics- simple strategies used to rapidly make decisions that we know would generally work out effectively. Sellers take advantage of this by adding free extras or packing up products as bulk buys. We assume that it must be of great value, and we go with this feeling rather than researching the product.
4. The Desire to save.
Many of us have a desire to save; retailers contribute to this by telling us how much we could save if we bought their items. You end up purchasing an item you had not planned to purchase.
5. Shopping Addiction.
A person who is addicted to shopping, maybe because it gives a sense of significance, is termed a shopaholic. People are attached to branded items such as designer shoes, bags, and other expensive products because it makes them feel recognized. Some do that due to lack of satisfaction in the previous purchase, while others get addicted to shopping to get rid of the pain associated with emotional or mental problems.
6. Unplanned Shopping Habits.
If you go shopping without planning, you will likely end up buying items you didn’t necessarily need. You will probably not have a shop list and hence buy at least two or three things you didn’t intend to buy.
These steps will help you overcome the temptation of impulse buying.
1. Create a budget and stick to it.
Develop a budgeting plan to reduce your impulsive purchasing. There are many budgeting methods that can be used. Having a budget should be among your top goals as it helps separate your funds into life goals money, essential need money, and emergency fund. It would be best if you strictly stuck to the budget.
2. Avoid temptation
Avoid visiting places that sell the items you want to buy, especially the stores with offers. This is the best way to minimize impulse buying. It could mean blocking your favorite shopping sites and avoiding malls. When you see things that interest you, you are likely to buy them. To avoid the temptation, you will need to keep yourself off shopping places.
3. Think about your motivations toward impulse buying.
Some people think too much about how people will perceive them. They want to look good in the eyes of other people by having a new item. Others buy items they do not need out of emotions. If you are struggling with calming down your emotions, you might make an impulse purchase to soothe yourself. Take time and think about your motivation before taking out your credit card and work on the root of your problem to minimize impulse buying.
4. Stay off social media.
The first thing you will see on social media is promotional posts and fancy items you would probably want to purchase. These days, social media is more of product placement than networking- even if you are connecting with your friends, you’ll be exposed to many ads. These ads are very influential; research shows that most customers purchase products from a social media channel. To avoid the temptations, you can use an ad blocker or stay off social media.
5. Limit your cash.
If you are going shopping, take cash with you. Avoid going out with your credit card, as card users spend more than cash users. You might also need to reach out to your credit card providers to freeze your cards if your problem is online shopping.
6. Remind yourself of your financial goals.
We all have financial goals; it could be saving for a vacation or planning to retire early. If you overspend on items that are not necessary, you won’t be able to reach these goals. It may not appear like a big issue to spend a little extra cash here and there, but be sure to affect your future financial plan.
I’m not saying you stop treating yourself once in a while; it’s fun but do it only when it fits your budget. Regular impulse purchasing is not a healthy financial habit. Hopefully, you will not make an impulse purchase in your next shopping as you are now armed with the tips to avoid it.