We all struggle with impulsive spending at some point in our lives, I included. Since I started matched betting, I’ve had a lot of extra cash in the bank to manage, so I have first-hand knowledge that it is hard to control behaviours like impulsive clothes shopping or impulsive home ware shopping without having a second thought.
However, I also understand how important it is to stick to a budget and stop buying things that are completely unplanned for. Having self-discipline, among other things, is a vital weapon in the war against impulsive spending. But, here are some other tips that I suggest to help avoid impulsive spending:
Make a shopping budget
Making and using a shopping budget helps me to control my spending. In my budget, I included some small amount of money that I will use to buy a random thing. This way, I’m able to stop my self from wasting extortionate money to buying unplanned things and end up just buying one, smaller, cheaper item.
This doesn’t completely stop the impulse spending, but it helps to restrict it. Having a shopping list definitely helps me avoid buying anything else, and I tell myself that I will add it to my list next time.
Schedule shopping times
This helps in cutting unnecessary purchases. For instance, when I was out of something, like cereal, I would go to the local shop to get some, which would then likely end up in me also grabbing some milk or ice cream too. I’d always feel like buying one item, was jut a bit pointless and felt I had to buy more. This always meant spending money on extra unplanned items which I didn’t require.
Scheduling my shopping helped me control this behaviour. Every week, I make a list of everything I need, got to the shop and buy all at once. Spending a lot of money on these things means my impulsive spending urge was numbed and I’d rarely make unnecessary purchase.
Do not take your credit card shopping
Having my credit card with me, I’d usually impulsively spend. Leave it at home. Seriously, it will only lead you to trouble. I would always convince myself that the purchase is small and won’t cost much, which is right, but once you’re in the habit of “YOLO shopping” Those small items become big items, and it’s all downhill from there.
When I started leaving my credit card at home, eventually, I had to stop buying things randomly, as I was forced to use cash, and I’d always make sure I brought just enough for what was required. When you don’t have money on hand you cannot make impulsive purchases.
Avoiding online clothes shopping
Online clothes shopping is one of my weaknesses. Trying to control myself after the Boohoo or Asos advert has popped up on my screen can be pretty tough. They will always have something that I want to buy.
With enticing offers like buy one get one free, 50% off if you buy today, Free delivery when you spend over £40′ they are hard to ignore.
The first step is avoidance. Once you spot the advert, or the thought pops in your head, stop. Because, once you’re on the shiny website, temptation will be too much and you will cave.
I’m not saying don’t shop online at all, as you know, I do still regularly shop the internet, but only for necessities like meat, foods, or everyday things on amazon that I actually require and can’t buy from a local shop.
However, with clothes shopping, my advice is, do not visit the sites at all, unless you are looking for something specific.
Know your store layout
Knowing the layout of the stored helped me avoid browsing, because browsing usually leads to picking up and putting in the trolley. “Ooooh what a nice pan, I’ll just pop you in here….”, NO.
Knowing where a particular item is placed, I can walk straight to the aisle and get what I need. I can pass many unnecessary items along the way without even noticing them and being tempted buy them.
Spending less time in the store will create fewer chances of temptation, and reduce the likelihood of impulsive spending.
Unsubscribe to shopping alerts
My email inbox was always filled with special events and sales that eventually would lure me into the store. These emails made me purchase items that I did not necessarily need but because I thought it was a great offer; I ended up buying them.
Unsubscribing from these newsletters left me unaware of the things that these stores are offering. Out of sight, out of mind.
I’ve surprised myself by how much I was able to save when I started avoiding impulsive shopping. Because I know that every penny spent unnecessarily is a penny lost, controlling my daily spend has really benefitted my outlook.
The above are some of the tips that worked for me and helped me avoid impulsive shopping. I suggest you try them for yourself and see how easy it is to avoid the impulsive shopping temptations.