Impulse Purchases: Curb the Habit
Impulse purchases come from that little devil on the shoulder. When you’re out and about or online, usually with no intention to actually spend any money whatsoever, there will often be that one (usually more than one!) product that you, in that moment, decide that you cannot buy.
Impulse purchases are harmless in most cases and just encourage careful spending for the remainder of the month. Though normally small monetary amounts, these impulsive spending habits can quickly add up for some people.
Certain studies have actually shown that Brits, in total, spend over £3 billion in impulse purchases every month. Individually, the average is actually around £140,000+ in a lifetime – that’s a significant amount of money to spend.
So, what are these little unnecessary purchases that some of us make and what can we do to help put that money away? Whilst it might not be a lot to start with, saving here and there is a great way to break the mold and change your mindset.
It might not come as a shock to you that food is one of the most commonly bought items. Fast food chains and supermarkets alike are experts in subtle manipulation, using subliminal techniques and advertising to make you crave and subsequently purchase food that you otherwise might not have bought; even if you’re not hungry!
The best way to avoid unnecessary food purchases is to eat before you go out, or to bring food with you. Bringing a packed lunch to work with you every day is a great way to massively cut down on your costs, giving you more money to play with or put away at the end of each month. It will also be more likely to keep you healthy and alert, or in a much better place to make important financial decisions.
Also, another great tip to keep in mind is never go shopping when you’re hungry!
2. Think of Sale Items Differently
Those big red sale signs online or pinned to the windows of our favourite stores do a great job or luring us in with the promise of a great deal, convincing us all that we need to make a purchase there and then. The truth is, most sale items are marketing ploys to increase the companies conversions.
If you’re tempted to buy something that you otherwise wouldn’t, simply because it’s cheaper than it was a week ago, you’re falling victim to clever marketing tactics. A great way to avoid it is by jotting down a shopping list and sticking to it.
3. Online Shopping
The rise of internet shopping has made this a risky game to play, as spending money online is tailored to be as convenient as possible. Vendors now have the ability to target you specifically with that one overpriced product that you’ve secretly been dreaming about – and guess what? It’s now discounted… just for you.
Online shopping is an increasingly common way of curing boredness – even if there is no intent to buy any product, so many of us fall victim to scrolling through the web. From sudden flash sales, to well-targeted ads, it’s difficult to fully avoid it. Try to only ever make a purchase if you were planning on doing it anyway.
4. Be Conscious of Saving Money
Instead of making unplanned impulse buys, try to think about saving for something you actually need. Saving your money can then lead the way for a rewarding purchases. Here’s some considerations to start you off:
- Explore ways to reduce your spending
- Create a budget
- Set goals when saving
- Document what you spend
- Understand priorities