Dealing with the impulse buy devils
Jul 13, 2012, 8:42 a.m.
Impulse purchases can send you to the poor house, especially if you don't know how to exercise restraint. Experts tell us that refraining from making impulsive buys is one of the most effective money saving tips, since more than half of all purchases we make when we go shopping fall into that costly "last minute" category. Are your impulse purchases causing you to have to dig deep to pay bills? If so, we've got a few helpful tips that'll keep those impulse buy devils at bay.
- Shop less frequently. When you think about it, this solution is pure math. If you make fewer trips to the store, you'll end up making fewer impulse purchases than if you were to find yourself picking up essentials on a daily or weekly basis. To achieve status as an infrequent (but well stocked) shopper, make menus for several weeks in advance and do all your shopping in one fell swoop.
- Wait it out. If you think you absolutely have to have something that you've found at the last minute, impose a waiting period on your final decision. Resolve to come back and buy that item the next time you're at the store -- doing so might just give you enough time to realize you don't really need that enticing item after all.
- Keep a list of remorseful purchases. Anytime you buy something that you end up giving away or throwing in a corner, add it to your list. Study this list frequently, and especially prior to going shopping. It'll act as a reminder of your previous foolhardy purchases.
- Always pay in cold hard cash. Parting with your hard earned money is a lot more difficult if you're paying in cash than if you're using a credit card or even a debit card. By bringing just enough cash with you to buy what you really need, you'll find it far simpler to refuse impulsive buys.
- Refrain from casual online shopping. One of the great advancements that's come our way as a result of the advent of the internet is the ability to find anything you need online and have it delivered to your doorstep. But if you engage in online shopping too frequently, you're bound to find things you really don't need.
Ultimately, exercising restraint is one of the most beneficial money saving tips. And just like with physical exercise, the more you do it, the stronger your will becomes and the easier it'll be for you to just say no.
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