Dealing with overspending or spending on impulse can be difficult. Wherever you go, retailers are trying to get you to buy more and spend more. You want to stick to your budget and avoid purchases that you later regret.
There is hope. Try the following simple steps. Do this before, during, and after your next shopping spree.
1Shop On A Full Stomach
Eating first has always been an effective way to spend less on groceries. It works on other items, too. You think more clearly and feel less pressured when you're well-nourished.
2Make A List
Etch your purpose firmly into your mind. You may still decide to pick up unexpected bargains. But with your goal etched fully in mind, you'll be less likely to wander around and gather random stuff.
3Reduce Your Exposure To Advertising
Hit the unsubscribe button on those junk emails. Throw catalogs directly into the recycling bin. Do some leg lifts while TV commercials are playing.
4Conduct An Inventory
Take a good look at what you already own. Maybe there's an old desk in your attic that you can spruce up with some paint rather than buying a new one. Pondering ill-advised purchases will also reinforce your determination, not add to them.
5Do A Good Research On Prices
Learn what constitutes good value. That way, you'll be less vulnerable to extravagant claims. A jacket that's marked 80 percent off may have started with an inflated price.
6Exercise Your Mind And Body
A Washington State University study found that students who performed regular mental or physical exercise for as little as two weeks were less tempted to engage in impulse buying. You can take a daily walk. Also, you may read more books.
7Focus On Non-Material Rewards
Seek gratification from helping others. You should be spending time with loved ones and improving your mind. It will make the mall look less interesting.
8Limit Your Browsing
Whether at the mall or online, limit your shopping or browsing time. Make your purchases and leave. The longer you linger, the more items you'll be tempted to buy.
9Shield Your Eyes At The Cash Register
Grocery store tactics are spreading. Checkout lines everywhere are now surrounded with candy and other last-minute temptations. Distract yourself by checking your phone messages or planning what to make for dinner.
10Pay In Cash
Studies show that customers who use cash spend less than those who use credit cards. Using cash makes you more aware of how much money you're forking over. In that sense, it's better to pay in cash.
11Give Yourself Time To Cool Off
Slow down when you're shopping. Give yourself time to think before deciding to complete a purchase. The bigger the price tag, the more time you may want to devote to getting it right.
12Be Skeptical About Limited Offers
Some marketing campaigns try to make sales by talking about limited-time offers and limited quantities. Vermeer's are rare. Nail polish and sneakers are not.
13Remember The Cons To Any Purchase
It's easy to get caught up in how much you want that shiny new gadget, so keep the whole picture in mind. Most products are very temporary. You may have more important uses for the money.
14Bring A Friend
Shopping with family and friends may provide you with more objective feedback than you'll get from a salesperson who is working on commission. A second opinion should come in handy. That's especially true when you're trying to make a sound decision.
Protect your financial well-being. Get more pleasure out of your possessions by becoming a smart shopper. With a little thought and practice, you'll learn to manage your impulses.
You will also feel good about your purchases even after you get them home. Use the above information. It gave you the steps on how to free yourself from impulse spending.
Jackie Wing is an Alaska native who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut or as she likes to call them Thing 1 and Thing 2.