8 Ways to Overcome Impulsive Spending
All of us have done it at some time or the other: given in to impulsive spending and buying something we don’t need or can’t afford. Impulse buying is a formidable opponent to conquer, but you can still beat it with these simple strategies.
Avoid the mall: Don’t hang around the mall or any other shopping area unless you have specific purchases to make. Once you are done with the shopping, walk away from the area. Lack of temptation will make it easier to stick to your resolution.
Avoid online shopping: Whenever you make an online purchase, place it in the shopping cart for at least a day; the urge to buy often diminishes over time. If you are a regular online shopper, make sure that you unsubscribe yourself from notifications about sales and rebates from your favorite online stores.
Create lists: Make daily, weekly and monthly lists of the necessities you need to purchase. Don’t leave home without your list and steel yourself to avoid purchases that are not on the list.
Plan gifts: Buying gifts can be truly hazardous for the impulsive shopper. When a birthday or Christmas or any other occasion comes around, make sure your purchases are deliberate and planned. This will eliminate impulsive buys while you are scouting around for presents.
Be aware: Monitor your spending urges. Count the number of times you feel the need to buy impulsively. Being conscious of the problem is the first step to getting it under control. Once you are aware of your impulses, find ways to overcome them. When you are struck by the desire to make an impulse buy, calm yourself down by taking a deep breath or counting to ten or distracting yourself by thinking of other things. Once the moment has passed, you will find it easier to resist making the purchase.
Plan your spending: Carry just as much cash as required when you go shopping to avoid buying any item that is not on your list. Put away your credit card. Out of sight can often be out of mind and without access to an instant swiping option, avoiding impulsive buys becomes that much easier.
Get a shopping partner: Having your spouse or partner for support when you are out shopping can help you to stick to resolution and break the habit of impulse spending.
Track expenses: Keep track of every little expense, down to every last paisa. This will help you curb your frivolous expenses and tighten your budget.
If none of these gentle processes are working for you, get someone else to do your household shopping and give up shopping for a month. After the first few days of restlessness, you may feel more in control of your impulses and more motivated to break the habit. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you are unable to overcome the problem by yourself or with the help of your family and friends.