Impulse purchases happen typically because we want instant satisfaction. And of course that feels good, but it’s usually temporary. Plus, buying on impulse regularly can lead to bad financial habits, empty wallets, and possibly even debt. Here are 3 tips to stop making those unnecessary impulse purchases:
Identify your triggers
There may be a lot of reasons you buy something on impulse. A few more common ones are:
Taking advantage of sales
You don’t really need anything, but it’s on sale so it’s hard to resist. If this is the case, unsubscribe if you receive sale emails and only go shopping if you really need something.
Feeling sad or depressed
It’s kind of like eating when you’re bored or sad. Shopping sometimes can fill a void in people just by purchasing something that’s not really needed.
Wanting to reward yourself for something
You just finished a huge project at work or that research paper for school and you ‘deserve’ something nice.
Determine how making impulse purchases make you feel
Is buying something shiny and new making you feel better, happier, or rewarded? This is likely that instant gratification working it’s magical, but short-lived ways. There are other things you can do instead of spending money though…read on.
Find other ways to satisfy that feeling
Once you’ve figured out how making impulse purchases makes you feel, figure out how to replace the shopping with something else. The possibilities are endless – you just need to determine what works for you. Take your dog for a walk, play with your kids, clean or organize, cook/bake, exercise, sing karoake, dance, etc. If you’re self-rewarding with impulse purchases, find a cheaper alternative like buying or making yourself a fancy dessert. Or better yet, start saving for something that you really want.
Impulse spending is one thing, but building up debt takes it to another level.
So I’m not trying to say that all shopping is bad when you don’t need something, in fact I do it sometimes, too. However, if you find yourself shopping when you know it’s not affordable, that’s when you need to take back control and stop shopping.
It’s crucial that you stop using credit cards if you carry balances on them. LSS can help you come up with a plan to pay them off and faster than on your own. Give us a call today at 888.577.2227 for your free financial counseling session or GET STARTED ONLINE at your convenience. Don’t let debt hold you back!
Author Elaina Johannessen is a Program Director with LSS Financial Counseling.