Impulse buying can be fun, but that excitement quickly turns into despair when you check your bank statement afterwards.
From those extra sweets at the supermarket to the new pair of sneakers right off someone’s WhatsApp status, every purchase that wasn’t previously planned or budgeted for is an impulse buy.
Impulse buying can tell on your finances in the long run, so here’s how you can get this habit under control.
1.) Identify Your Triggers
The first step to curbing impulsive spending habits is to identify the scenarios that expose you to it in the first place. Pinpoint these triggers and make efforts to avoid them.
Unsubscribe from mailing lists that send you tempting deals, avoid shopping or ‘window shopping’ when you feel emotional, and friends who encourage this habit.
2.) Make An Impulse Spending Allowance in Your Budget
Creating a budget is one of the popular pieces of advice to stop impulse buying.
However, impulse buying is IMPULSIVE, not something you plan.
What you can do is create an allowance for impulse purchases. That way, it becomes easier to stick to your budget as a whole while indulging yourself occasionally.
See Also: 5 Money Habits you should Master
3.) Switch From Card To Cash Payments
Migrate from paying for items with your card to paying with cash. That card swipe is too easy and doesn’t let you consider the effect of buying that item on your finances.
Studies have also shown that handing out cash is psychologically harder, so if you’re prone to impulse shopping, leave those cards at home, and take the exact amount you need.
4.) Give It Time
Another helpful tip is to take the ‘impulse’ out of impulse buying.
Whenever you feel the urge to spend on something outside your budget, WAIT, no matter how great it looks.
Also, we recommend waiting 24 hours to consider what you’re buying and get over your emotions if they’re what triggered the purchase.
5.) Work With A Shopping List
Of course, it’s always a great idea to plan what you’re going to buy before heading out.
Don’t go shopping with the idea of just ‘picking up stuff’, or you’ll most likely end up with things you didn’t plan on buying.
Regardless of how useful you think an item is, if it’s not budgeted for, it’s a no-no.
While you apply these steps, it’s possible to slip up once in a while. Remember to be kind to yourself and don’t give up. It’s not an easy road, but you can stay motivated by reminding yourself why you need to do this.
It helps to have an accountability partner who regularly checks up on you and enables you to stay on track. The secret ingredient is staying disciplined and avoiding exposure to situations that can tempt you to shop on impulse.
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought on impulse? Tell us in the comment section!