One of the most important things I need to learn is how to stop impulse shopping. I try to justify many unnecessary purchases but ultimately end up regretting it. I still have items that I’ve only worn once or haven’t worn at all and, even worse, I’m not interested in wearing them anymore. When I think about the amount of money I could have saved had I not been so reckless with my money I would be a better place financially. Because I don’t want the same thing to happen to you I would like to share my tips on how to stop impulse shopping.
1. Give Yourself an Allowance
No matter how old you are or what your income is, budgeting is the key to financial success and very important for how to stop impulse shopping. Figure out a reasonable amount of money that you can put aside for your monthly clothing allowance. Once you have the numbers crunched, you’ll be less likely to impulse shop if you know you can’t afford to.
2. Leave the Plastic at Home
Whether it is your debit or credit card, carrying your plastic around gives a false sense of a big shopping budget. Plus, having a few hundred dollars sitting on your cards will encourage you to buy something you want, not need, because the funds are readily available. Lastly, since you can’t visually see the money leaving your wallet you don’t always realize how much you really spent until the bill comes. Instead, keep $20-$30 dollars in your wallet for emergencies and keep your cards at home.
3. Walk Away and Think about It
When you find something that you just adore, take a step back and walk away. Go to a different section of the store or leave the store entirely for a while – even leave the mall and go back a few days later if your schedule permits. If that cute sweater that you saw on Monday has slipped your mind then you know it’s lost your attention and is not really worth the buy.
4. Don’t Buy What You Already Have
Before going on a mini-shopping spree at the mall, evaluate what clothes you already have in your closet. There’s no use in buying a cable knit sweater if you already have three at home. Or even worse, buying something that doesn’t go with anything you own. Also, don’t give in to buying in to too many fads or you’ll be buying something today that will be obsolete in two months.
5. Avoid Your Favourite Shops
If you have a store that you are very loyal to or are easily convinced by the sales associates to make a purchase then avoid it! Resist the temptation to walk in. Once you’ve saved enough money and it’s time to treat yourself you are more than welcome to drop some dough at your favourite store. However, when your funds are running low, your safest bet is to postpone your trip to your favourite shops.
6. Take a Friend
When you go shopping, take a responsible friend – preferably someone who has a similar income or expenses to you. He/she will remind you that those cute pair of shoes at the mall are a want and not a need and he/she will give you a friendly shove to keep on walking. With that being said, make sure not to take a friend who is careless with their expenses or makes significantly more than you or they will encourage you to buy more than you can afford.
7. Avoid Going to the Mall
The mall is a great way to kill time but if you don’t need to go then try not going at all. Go to lunch, the movies or the park with your friends instead or stay in and read a good book. Stepping in to the mall is the first step in impulse shopping – once you enter the mall it’s difficult to leave without buying something.
Shopping is fun – in fact it’s proven that shopping gives some people a natural high. Although retail therapy is relaxing and it’s exciting to gloss over your new purchases once you get home, it’s easy to impulse shop for something you don’t want or didn’t really need. A significant amount of impulse shopping can be damaging to your bank account and credit score as well. How do you avoid impulse shopping?