Do you remember Confessions of a Shopaholic, the book series by Sophie Kinsella? It is my understanding that we all have a shopaholic inside of us, and to control your internal Rebecca Bloomwood, you’ll apparently need to wipe on means to control impulse shopping.
The movie highlights, Bloomwood as a person living in a state of financial mess. The story probes the journey of Rebecca Bloomwood and her stressful financial drive because of her impulsive shopping. She can’t control her urge to shop and was clueless about the debts she has been accumulating. Her personal life in the movie seemed as confusing as her financial state. Thankfully, as the movie proceeds, she is made aware of her situation and takes steps to improve her finances and get her expenses under control. For all of us not living in a movie, this is probably easier said than done.
What Causes Impulse Buying
1. Shopping addiction
Many people undergo a temporary state when they acquire something new and feel excited to use the item. People are pleased with novelty, and encountering new things can clear doping in the brain, causing people to feel good.
Even the prospect of buying something new can make a person feel good. As you walk around the store feeling excited that you are about to buy something, you don’t want that animation to go away, so you end up buying the item whether it’s of your use or not.
2. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
If everyone is buying something that has hit the ridges, you are inclined to follow it too. People want to have similar experiences that their friends are having. It often leads them to shop something that they would not otherwise get.
Additionally, if you find any new article in a store that you really like, you may feel motivated to look through every aisle of the store in case there is anything else that may interest you. You have a fear of missing out on the perfect item, so you proceed to look around to make sure there is nothing else that you may surely require. This form of FOMO opens you to products that you would not have looked at and raises your chances of making a purchase on impulse.
3. You want to feel good
Impulse buyers are typically the people who are seeking ways to be happy and may buy things as a way to uplift their mood. It is common to believe marketing tactics declaring that a product can uplift your state or may enhance your lifestyle. However, people also fall for such tactics because they want to feel good and they don’t consider the fact that a product may also not work the way, marketers describe. Eventually, everyone wants to experience pleasure. Moreover, shopping can be fun.
Why is Impulse Shopping a Problem?
If you follow a budget as most people do, impulse shopping will disrupt your budget. Without proper planning for buying, you are using money that you initially intended to spend somewhere else and using it to buy something you don’t necessarily need. This may leave you with little to no money to buy the things that you do need. Adopt a practice to budget your personal finances.
Furthermore, it prevents you from building good and lasting financial practices. If you teach yourself how to save and be cautious with your money, the habits will lead with you throughout life and will enable you to save money for bigger purchases.
Impulse shoppers are not likely among the people who weigh the possible consequences of their spending. They feel satisfied to get what they want now without worrying about the circumstances.
How can you avoid impulse shopping?
1. Create a 30-day waiting list for big purchases
If you see something that you crave to buy, pen down the name of the product the shop, and stick it away somewhere in your house or your car. After a month if you are still pondering about the product and feel like it would serve you, go ahead and purchase it. But if you are no longer interested in the product in a month, consider yourself smart for holding back on the purchase because you didn’t actually need the item. You saved your money there.
2. Avoid visiting online shopping websites
Online shopping is critical. It is because you are able to see one item after another very quickly. Also, online retailers target their marketing towards products that you may have bought in the past, hoping you will want to buy it again. If you have something in mind that you need, go to the store and actually pick it up, or try it on to make sure, it is exactly what you need. Spending a large chunk of your income in shopping for clothes and shoes every month is not a good financial habit.
3. Try to pay earlier credits first
If you’re prone to impulse buying and you are aware of the fact, but still, you kept on buying things, and now the pile of your shopping bills has gone too high. Then it’s high time to bring yourself into senses and look for ways to repay your debt. Due to your shopping addictions, there are fewer chances of any savings remaining with you. Hence, an instalment loan can help you pay your purchase bills and credits. Even if you are a person with bad credit scoring situation, instalment loans for bad credits can prove to be your saviour. This loan also acts as an Alternative to traditional Payday Loans. This will enable you to clear your bills and at the same time, it will hold your cravings for impulse buying.
4. Avoid using credit cards
If you have multiple credit cards and you’re planning on hitting the mall, take one for emergencies and intended purchases. Also, check your credit limit before you head out. This way, you know how much you can spend while still having some left over if an emergency strikes. There’s nothing worse than spending hours on a shopping trip, only to get a flat tire on the way home without any money to repair it. Keeping your other cards home saves you from wasting way too much, and ending up growing in over your head.
These measures will help you restrain against your impulse shopping habits and will help you determine whether you want to buy something just because you feel you “have to have it,” and you’ll be able to step back if you understand that you are merely spending because you’re stressed, or because you feel you’re truly going to create the constant pleasure that might come from buying something expensive.