In today’s consumerist society, everywhere you look, you’re being told to buy things, from the latest smartphone to the ‘perfect’ mascara—it can be challenging to resist. However, succumbing to the urge to splurge can put a massive dent in your budget, leaving you with many things you don’t need and another stressful time of finding ways to refinance your home and pay for your mortgage.
Overspending and impulse buying is experienced by many of today’s consumers since it’s easy to spend money online and off with convenient payment systems, leading many to struggle financially.
If you’re an impulse buyer yourself, here are some tips to help you curb the habit of excessively buying things you don’t need.
Check Your Spending Habits and Know the Damage
Preventing impulse buying starts with being aware. You might be mindlessly spending more than you realize. So prevent this by taking notes on what you’re buying to the very last detail. You can use excel for a better insight or a regular journal.
Stay Away from Temptation
An efficient way to stop yourself from buying things you don’t need is avoiding temptation altogether. For instance, if you’re aware you tend to buy excessive non-essentials compulsively, don’t tempt yourself more by going ‘window-shopping’ or go to the mall when you’re bored. Instead, go to the park or have a pot luck with friends.
When going shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, remember that everything there, from its layout to the lighting, is done to entice you in spending more. That’s why random things you’d never paid attention to before can look so appealing. Be mindful when shopping and only stick to what you need.
Do an Inventory Check
Doing an inventory check can help you see how many things you truly only need, and it can be challenging to tell what you have when you have so much. So assess what’s in your closet, drawers, and other things you already have. Taking the time to do an ‘inventory check’ can help your mind catch up with how much stuff you already have and convince yourself you don’t need to buy anything anymore for now.
Practice gratitude for all aspects of your life. Taking the time to appreciate what you have in life and thank the simple pleasures, such as a sunny day to more time with loved ones, can go a long way in making an ‘abundant’ mindset, which can help you overcome the ‘want’ to buy things or overspend impulsively. When you’re full of gratitude, you can avoid spending your hard-earned cash on useless things to fill emotional voids. After all, it’s tough to feel sad if you already have everything you need.
Do the ‘Waiting Game’
If you’re tempted to purchase something on a whim, think about it for at least 20 minutes to decide if you really want the item or not. Then, after clearing your head, think about how and when you’ll use the product. Instead of simply choosing to have something or not, take a moment about something you know better—such as having less debt and bigger savings. For larger purchases, ones over $100, extend your ‘waiting’ period to 24 hours.
Remember that It’s All Right to Buy Nothing
It’s not uncommon for individuals to buy something they don’t need because they don’t want to leave a store empty-handed since shopping takes a lot of time, and going out without buying anything can be frustrating for most. However, don’t fall for the belief that you’ve wasted time if you shopped and didn’t buy anything. After all, the reality is, purchasing things you don’t need gives you more ‘waste.’
Although there’s nothing wrong with occasionally splurging or buying something nice for yourself, doing it in excess is wrong. You can enjoy your day-to-day lifestyle making purchase decisions serving your actual priorities. The strategies mentioned can help you stay on track and avoid impulsively buying everything you don’t need—helping you make smarter spending choices.