Fight the Impulse
Are you trying to stay on a budget or live within your means? Do you accumulate a lot of unnecessary clutter in your life because you can’t control your impulse to buy things you shouldn’t.
Impulse buying can cost you hundreds and even thousands of dollars a year. Just $25 a week in impulse spending equals $1300 in excess spending a year.
Here are some facts on impulse buying:
• 88% of impulse purchases are made because the item was on sale.
• Impulse buyers tend to make purchases because it improves their mood – not because the item is useful or necessary.
• Shoppers make an average of 3 unplanned purchases during 40% of all store visits.
• 25% of unplanned purchases are clothing items. 14% are food items.
• When people shop with the purpose of buying immediate needs or forgotten items, the rate of compulsive buying drops 53%.
• Shoppers who drive to the store, rather than walking, are 44% more likely to make an impulse purchase
• When the shopping trip is unplanned, impulse purchases go up 23%. Some tips to avoid impulse purchases it takes some effort and willpower, but you can curb your impulse spending!
• Plan your trip. Then make a list and stick to it. For those of us on a budget, impromptu shopping trips and shopping without a list can be a treacherous situation!
• Go on foot when possible or park far from the store. If you have to carry your purchase any distance, you’ll think twice about whether you really need that alluring item.
• Shop after you’ve eaten. You know this one! When you shop hungry, you’re more likely to buy items you don’t need simply to satisfy immediate cravings rather than the actual needs of your pantry.
• Think on it. If you really want that item badly enough, you’ll still want it just as badly two days from now. Most stores will let you put an item on hold for up to a day, allowing you to decide whether or not you really want it.
• Give yourself an allowance. Sometimes little splurges really do make you feel good, like little presents to yourself. Give yourself a set “splurge allowance” for the month, and stick to it. You’ll begin to look forward to picking out your “impulse” purchases!
• Pay cash. Studies show the average person spends less when paying with cash and much more when paying with credit, possibly because when you use a credit card it feels as though you are not parting with "real" money.
• Use the buddy system. Go shopping with a friend and simply confess to them that you are going to resist the urge to buy anything other than your intended purchases. You are less likely to violate your pledge if you’ve told it to someone who will witness your change of heart.
• Read books such as Why We Buy, so you understand retailer tactics that are used to get people to buy things they do not need. Get the books at the library; no need to buy them!
• Buy online, there is less overhead and that often results in lower prices. When buying online, there's a good excuse to plan in advance and wait. You'll have to wait for the shipping time anyway so impulse purchases diminish. Window shopping for good items online for days or weeks while planning the purchase can actually increase enjoyment by anticipation, getting packages can feel like Christmas.
• Before you buy anything, ask yourself these questions. Is the purchase going to improve your life in some important way? Is the purchase supposed to make you feel better? Does it help you meet one of your life goals? Will it simplify your life? These are useful questions to help you evaluate the value of a purchase, and why you’re making it. Be honest with yourself!
• Get in the habit of NOT buying anything on impulse. Instead, take a picture of the item and write down the date and price of the item. Then go home and do some research online to see if it's cheaper. As long as you agree not to buy the item THAT second in the store, giving yourself that time to reflect and compare prices at home, will put enough distance between you and the impulse that you may come back for it.
And before purchasing see if they earned the Women Choice Award so you can purchase with confidence know that 9 out of 10 women would highly recommend that business. Buying from a trusted source can save you a whole lot of money and headaches down the road!
Delia Passi, CEO of WomenCertified® the Voice of the Female Consumer is a leading consumer advocate. WomenCertified awards business with the Women’s Choice Award based on customer satisfaction scores. JM Lexus has been a recipient of the Women’s Choice Award for two consecutive years and the first Lexus dealership in the US to earn this prestigious award. WomenCertified is on a mission to sign on one million women to grow the voice of women in America. Join us at www.womencertified.com.
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