Do you wish that you could stop impulse spending? It's all too easy to fritter away large sums just by buying bits and pieces that aren't expensive on their own, but added up they amount to quite a lot. And if you impulse buy larger purchases, you could be throwing away a lot of money. Here are some tips to help you stop impulse spending …
1. Carry Cash
One of the easiest ways to stop impulse spending is to only carry cash, so that you can only spend a limited amount. You will find that you think much more carefully about spending, and may even find that you hang on to all your cash. Leaving your cards at home will avoid the temptation of picking up any expensive luxury purchases.
2. Stay Away from Shops
Do you go shopping when you're bored, or to occupy yourself during your lunch break? If you're prone to boredom spending, look for a better way of spending your time. Get together with friends, lose yourself in a book, or go for a long walk well away from shopping temptation.
3. Avoid Online Browsing
Online shopping may be very convenient, but it can also be the downfall of the impulse shopper. You can add an item to your online basket with just a few clicks, which can lead to blowing an awful lot of cash very quickly. Somehow it doesn't seem like spending money. So stay away from shopping sites, and don't even browse.
4. Wait before Buying
You see something that you like and want to buy it. But instead of giving in to your impulses, walk away and give yourself 24 hours to think about it. Chances are you'll lose interest in the item or realise that you didn't like it anyway. And don't pick up an item on the grounds that you can always return it - you almost certainly won't, and it will just sit in your closet with the tags still on.
5. Beware 'Reward' Shopping
Many people go shopping because they feel that they deserve a reward for working hard, or because they're feeling down and want to cheer themselves up. But there are many better - and cheaper - ways of rewarding yourself. Get into the habit of buying yourself gifts as a reward, and you'll end up spending every single time you've had a tough day at work.
6. Don't Install Mobile Shopping Apps
Mobile shopping apps make shopping even more convenient, but they also make it a lot easier to impulse shop. Don't bother installing them on your phone, and you'll avoid a lot of impulse buying.
7. Save, Not Shop App
The one shopping-related app that you should install is one that will help you not spend. It's easy to lose track of how much you've spent over, say, a week, so look for an app that records how much you would have spent, like this one for the iPhone:venturebeat.com. Every time you think about spending, log how much you would have spent - you'll be surprised at how much it adds up to over a period of time.
Learn to curb the habit of impulse spending and you'll have more money to spend on other things - or save up. You may even find that you can afford things that you thought were out of reach - it's about spending wisely. What do you tend to buy on impulse?