Ever wondered why you, or any person you may or may not know complain of running broke, either ‘suddenly’ or just a few days after payday? Do you, occasionally, scratch your head trying to figure out how you spent a huge chunk of your money? Do you, at times, find the need to scrutinize your receipts in a bid to determine the items purging holes into your budget?
Well, impulse buying might just be the reason behind all this.
Impulse buying refers to an unplanned purchase as a result of sudden whim or impulse. It may be the purchase of anything, be it clothes, shoes, cutlery, a house, a car or even an unplanned for road trip. The fact that the cost of these items was not included in your budget, means that on is continually emptying the money well that was intended for other purposes, for example, a routine medical checkup, regular commute to and from work, shelter, etc.
What does impulse buying really do to us?
- Disruption of financial stability due to unplanned spending.
- May drive one into debt, either manageable or not.
- One may not get value for their money since there is no time for window shopping and comparison of prices.
Remedies to Impulse Buying
- Proper Planning
No matter how old the cliché ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ is, it always makes sense when it comes to taming the beast that is impulse buying. Make a point of creating a list of your needs, and strive to stick to it when you finally go for shopping. It is a simple practice of self-discipline.
- Needs vs. Wants
A need is something you must have in order to survive or complete a task assigned to you. Like food. Clothing. Healthcare, receipt book, etc. a want on the other hand, is simply the desire for something, which you necessarily might not need. Like a new trendy phone, snacks, meals at high end restaurants.
Cutting down on wants, and fixing your budgets on needs only will go away in saving the cash otherwise spent in impulse buying.
- Taming Emotions
Sometimes, impulse buying happens whenever someone is feeling some type of way. Like sad. Angry. Disappointed. Or just having an emotional breakdown that you feel can only be settled by buying. At the end of the day, you may or may not have successfully ‘cured’ your emotions, but the dent on your finances will be visible.
If we could find other ways of calming our nerves, or rewarding ourselves; ways that don’t necessarily require spending, we could curb this habit. Think of visiting public museums, or reading an interesting book, listening to music, hanging out with friends or even cooking.
So, next time you want to buy an item on impulse, think of the headaches you would have to deal with afterward, and determine whether it is worth it.