By Connie Mei
I use to be the queen of all impulsive shoppers.
In the past, whenever I walked into a store, I would walk out with at least one item….or two or three. There was no such thing as window shopping to me. If I went out and was anywhere near a store, I just had to buy something. This was also around the time I was really bad with money and had a bunch of debt. Yep.
That was then. This is now. I’m glad to say that I’ve learned to successfully tame my impulsive buying ways. It’s definitely not easy but it can be done. Here are 5 tricks I use to fight impulsive purchases:
Set a 24 hour rule
I prefer to do most of my shopping online. While that makes it a lot more convenient to buy things, it also means that it’s that much easier to buy anything at any time. Yes, very dangerous. Whenever I’m making a purchase (aside from the necessities, like toilet paper), I’ll add it to my ‘shopping bag’ but let it sit there for 24 hours. After mulling it over for a day, I tend to realize that I don’t need it after all and just forget it altogether. While 24 hours works for me, you may want to use a shorter or longer period of time.
Unsubscribe to all promotional emails
Whenever I bought anything online, I would get subscribed to the retailer’s email list. As I mentioned, I use to shop a lot online, so that meant a lot of emails…. every single day. My inbox would be bombarded with emails about promotions, new launches and freebies. It would be hard not to get tempted to take advantage of these deals. Instead, I unsubscribed to almost all those promotional mailing lists, except for a select few. Out of sight, out of mind.
Use cash only
I don’t really like to carry large amounts of cash with me, so that’s partially why this method works. If I’m feeling particularly impulsive, I might go out and only bring a small amount of cash with me, leaving all my credit cards at home. That way, I only spend what I have. I don’t do this often since I hate not having a credit card on me in case of emergency but it’s a method that definitely works!
Don’t shop alone
Whenever I shop alone, I tend to buy more since I can’t get a second opinion. It’s just me and that little voice in my head telling me to “buy, buy, buy”. I like to shop with friends not only because they keep me company but also because they can be the voice of reason. Caution though, choose who you shop with wisely. Two impulsive shoppers together is not a good sign for your wallet.
If in doubt, don’t buy it!
Lastly, if in doubt, just don’t buy it. If you have to think about it that hard, it means that you’re probably trying to tell yourself something. The things you need to buy you should be able to identify immediately. If you need to think twice about something, you probably shouldn’t be buying it.