At some point in our lives, we’ve all bought an item we did not need. Been there. Done that. Too often, we get carried away by the strong desire to buy something. Without any thought, we are already at the checkout paying for it. Impulse buying has been worsened by e-commerce through sites like Amazon, eBay, Etc, which make any item you can think of available, at the click of a button. However, these purchases almost always end up harming our finances because we realise it’s something that we really don’t need.
If you struggle with buying items on impulse, there are solutions to help you kick impulse buying to the curb and never spend an unplanned dollar ever again.
In this article, you will learn practical ways to quit impulse buying and spend according to your personal budget.
What is Impulse Buying?
Impulse buying can best be described as the act of purchasing an item you never planned on buying. If it wasn’t previously planned in your budget but you bought it anyway then it was an Impulse buy.
Impulse buying could be as simple as picking up a toiletry or some flashy item that caught your attention at the shopping mall which wasn’t on your shopping list or, it can be as huge as walking to a phone dealership “to get a glance” and you end up walking out with the latest iPhone 12.
As interesting as impulse buying may seem it has innocently wrecked a lot of financial plans. Read on to find out why you need to overcome impulse buying.
Some of the most frequent items bought on Impulse are:
- Beauty Products
Buyers of beauty products spend quite a lot of money on impulse buying mainly because of the attractive packaging and beautiful adverts
With beautiful and irresistible designs, shoes are never enough. We all need shoes for different weathers and seasons (summer, autumn, winter, spring), different events (weddings, birthdays, beach parties, official meetings) and different appearances (Red carpet, Media interviews). This leads to a lot of impulse buying.
- Apparels and Clothing
You can count me in on this one. Statistics have shown that 62% of most impulse buying is under this category. Believe me when I say it takes a lot to look away from your favourite brand’s latest collection. Especially if they had put up a discount on a lovely outfit. It can really be tempting and hardly can a buyer resist making an impulse buy on items especially when they’ve been put on a discount price.
Everyone goes through the feeling of hunger and it is difficult to pass by a grocery store without stopping to pick up your favourite burger. Stumbling on a “Buy 1 and get 1 free” promo tag on foods and groceries intensifies the desire to ‘just’ buy it.
Other items bought on impulse are:
- Books and Magazines
- Gadgets and Devices
- Jewellery, E.T.C.
Reasons why we buy on Impulse
The Urge for Instant Gratification
Sometimes we may go through negative periods where we experience agitation, anxiety, stress, and irritable feelings. Some people overcome these negative feelings by instantly gratifying themselves by shopping or binging on food. Unfortunately, the satisfactorily feeling you get after carrying out impulse buying is only temporary, even worse, leaves you with debt on your table and a feeling of guilt.
2. You deserve a good life.
Truly everyone deserves time to relax and get off all the struggles life brings, you too deserve good relaxation time. However, make sure that this relaxation time fits your budget. And if it’s outside your budget, ensure that it is not above your means.
Stopping over at a friend’s place to spend some time with her. She invites you to come join her in the kitchen and your jaw drops at the beautiful utensils in her kitchen. Now you want yours too.
The next day, you hit the shopping mall. You are ransacking the Kitchen Section at Home Depot, picking exact matches of your friends utensils.
Now you’re stuck in a pitiable financial state because of competition that leads to impulse buying.
4. Discounted Prices
Everyone loves to get an item at a lower price, I mean who doesn’t love discounts?
It’s funny but true that whenever we shop we begin to think of something we feel we need some time in the future. The house will look good with a new set of curtains, the lights should be changed, the game will suit better when viewed on a bigger TV screen. Coincidentally, if any of these items are with a discount sale tag, you know what happens next.
Here are proven ways to defeat impulse buying;
- Have a Fixed Budget
First and foremost, you need a budget, if you don’t have one already. This is the first strategy to overcome impulse buying. Make a budget that you will be willing to stick to and follow through.
It’s not so hard, you see!
- Make a Fun Financial Budget
Yeah! I just told you to make a budget and stick to it, I remember and it’s alright.
Aside from having a financial budget to keep you on track you also need a separate fun financial budget, this gives you permission to spend within your fun budget. Be careful with the numbers so whatever your budget is, it will still be affordable and won’t wreck your financial plans.
- Have a Shopping Plan
It works most of the time. Be sure of the items you’re going to purchase, put them down on your list, don’t fail to attach the prices of each item and go with just the amount of money from your list. Don’t forget to stick to it.
- Give the Item Some Time Before You Buy It
Do you remember when you resisted the urge of buying something that caught your attention only for you to realise afterwards that you totally forgot about it, yeah and you’re still doing just fine?
Next time you’re on that online store, walking past that mall, stumbled on a discount sale, take a break and wait for some extra time. Give it two days or three, you’ll know if you truly needed that item.
- Stay off Temptations
There are a lot of temptations online, especially on social media. You know what your temptations are.
You may need to unsubscribe from some marketing lists, unfollow certain influencers, stay off “low price” shops, removing online shopping platforms. All these can help stay within your financial budget and avoid tempting yourself.
Summarily, overcoming impulse buying is achievable, give it a try. You’ve got this.