Shopping with Smarts
Have you ever looked at your bank account and thought to yourself, "How does my money keep disappearing?" There is nothing wrong with spending money. It is yours after all! However, your funds may be dwindling because of impulse shopping.
Have no fear, the tips below can help you become a smarter shopper and regain control of your money habits. Here are 7 ways to keep your head on straight and beat impulse shopping:
1. Stick to a List
Making a list can really help you control your impulse buying. On your list you write down items that you are in need of. By sticking to your list, you will hopefully not be tempted to make any last minute purchases. Adhering to your list will enable you to be efficient and productive when shopping. Lists keep you focused so that you aren’t wondering down any tempting aisles.
2. Buy Online When You Can
Online shopping has become a phenomenon with our generation. Some may argue that online shopping can get you in a financial nightmare—adding things to your cart without realizing how much you’ve accumulated—online shopping can actually help you, if done correctly.
You see exactly how much you are spending. Voucher codes, there are no surprises at the check out—the total is already prompted for you, There are no physical impulse buys at the point of check out—candy, magazines, makeup, trinkets.
3. Don’t Touch Your Credit Card When You’re Emotional
Some say that money can buy happiness and at times when you’re emotional, this seems true. Cheering yourself up with some “retail therapy” or the “treat yo’ self” mindset can be healthy for your mind, but toxic for your wallet.
Emotional shopping usually means buying without thinking, which puts you at risk for overspending. When your emotions are heightened, you are using shopping as a means of instant gratification. Stay away from this and instead, let out some steam on a run!
4. Read the Fine Print
Sales with big markdowns can make impulse buying very tempting. Even though a big red "SALE!" sign seems irresistible, make sure you go through sales with a fine-toothed comb. Often times sales are hyperbolized when they shouldn't be. The “SALE!” sign in itself can make you think, “Hmmm, I really want this and its on sale, so why not!”
Before making your purchase do some research. Is this so called "SALE!" really getting you the most bang for your buck? Look into it and read the fine print!
5. Give it a Minute
When I fall in love with anything else in a store I never buy it right away. Instead, I will walk around and keep shopping and if I keep thinking about the item I’ll go back and put it on hold. After, I’ll go home and sleep on it. If I don’t wake up in the morning desperately wanting whatever it is I fell in love with, then I won’t buy it! This also probably means you didn’t need it in the first place. BOOM! That’s how you overcome impulse buying—just give it a minute.
6. Check Your Bank Account Regularly
As much as it pains people to check their bank accounts *cringe* it can help you monitor impulse buys. If you see your money starting to slip away, that should motivate you to stay on track—spend money on things you need and save for what you really want.
7. Keep the End in Mind
It is proven that people who have personal goals are more likely to achieve their dreams than those who do not think about them at all. With that being said, when out and about shopping and you are tempted to buy something that doesn’t necessarily add value to your life, think about that vacation to the Maldives, MacBook Pro, camera, or designer dress that you’ve been saving for.
When you keep your end goal in mind its easier to crush any impulse that hits you while walking through the mall.
When you practice self-control and keep your end goal (something you’ve been saving for) in mind, it is that much more empowering and rewarding when you finally reach it. Take control of your impulse buying—you and your bank account will thank you!
WHAT ABOUT YOU? ANY TIPS YOU'LL LIKE TO ADD TO THIS LIST?
Sophia Zigmond / Writer