There is something fun about looking for sales, deals, and offers. Shopping is a fun experience where you get new items in your life. Some use the activity to feel good and call it retail therapy.
That is because shopping can release endorphins and dopamine in the brain, which gives you a pleasurable sensation. But there is a point when shopping can become detrimental to your financial situation.
An impulse buy is a purchase you make at the spur of the moment. You had no plan to buy the item but were enticed by a special offer, or it caught your eye. Impulse buying small items may be okay for your wallet, but if the habit translates to big-ticket items, you may start to have problems.
Think Later, Buy First
Not all impulse buys are inherently wrong. Some may be a good idea since you found a good deal. Recognizing the difference between consonant and dissonant will help you manage your finances and risk.
Consonant impulse purchases can be good since they align with your goals. Since it’s in line with your situation, goal, and resources, making the purchase is easy and can be beneficial in the long run.
For example, if you eat frozen pizza once a week and find a deal that encourages you to buy more, it can be considered a consonant impulse buy. Although you may not have planned to buy so many pizzas, you gained a bargain and will eventually eat them in due course.
A dissonant impulse buy comes with constraints that may cause problems in the future. Buying the item will result in future issues, such as credit card debt or health risks. There are several ways that a dissonant impulse buy can be constraining, such as being too expensive, unhealthy, too much of the item, and having no long-term use or appeal.
A few characteristics can help you determine if you have a shopping problem. These include;
- Having difficulty resisting unnecessary buying items.
- Getting yourself into financial trouble because of your shopping.
- Spending a lot of time shopping for unnecessary items.
- Trouble at school, work, or home due to your spending habits.
- Spending too much time looking for shopping deals on necessary things.
Cutting Impulsive Costs
Impulsive shopping can be detrimental to your finances. Many people suffer from it, but there are steps that you can take to overcome it. To keep your spending in check, you should try these strategies.
Go By the List
Before you go shopping, create a list. Once you are out there, stick to that list. That way, you avoid picking up extras you don’t need.
Pay in Cash
Technology is excellent, but it makes it too easy to swipe for items and run up your credit. Switch to paying in cash. Cash forces you to stay within your budget as there is no magical portal with tons of money waiting for you.
Leave Your Wallet Behind
Leave your credit cards at home; that way, you won’t be able to fund an impulse buy.
Think on It
If you feel the urge to buy a big-ticket item, try to wait a week before making the purchase. The time lag will reduce the thrill-seeking euphoria of an impulse buy and give you perspective.
Lean on a Friend
Go shopping with a friend for support. They can help you stick to the list and make you more accountable for your shopping habits.
Start tracking your spending. It’s an accountability exercise that will inform you of the depths of your spending. It’ll also give you insight into the items or shops that take up your unnecessary expenditure.
Adopt New Hobbies
Develop new hobbies that can take your time and focus. Some people turn to shop because they are bored or use it as a stress reliever. Alternatively, turn to more productive and healthy activity.
Unsubscribe From Promotions
Online shopping has made it even easier to indulge in overshopping. To avoid temptations, you can unsubscribe to emails and block websites from contacting you.
Regulating House Expenses
Managing your spending habits is essential, especially when you are part of a household. Holding the checkbook is a responsibility you should take seriously and apply yourself well. You can avoid expensive purchases by making price cuts in necessary spending like a gym membership, eyeglass frames for women, household appliances, etc.
Shop and Save
Shopping can be fun and a financially rewarding experience. But if you find it detrimental to your finances, you may have to reconsider your habits. Take the time to get a hold of your shopping to save your finances.
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