Impulse purchases: curb the habit
Impulse purchases affect us all. When you’re out and about, usually with no intention to actually spend any money whatsoever, there will often be that one (usually more!) product that you, in that moment, decide that you can’t live without.
Most of the time, this can be something as benign as the new sandwich from your favourite fast food chain, or treating yourself to a bottle of your favourite fizzy drink. Sometimes, however, people are inclined to spend a lot more money on new clothes, games or other vices without considering their finances.
Impulse purchases are harmless in most cases and just encourage careful spending for the remainder of the month. Though normally small amounts, these impulsive spending habits can quickly add up.
Certain studies have actually shown that Brits, in total, spend over £3billion in impulse purchases every month. Individually, the average is actually £140,000+ in a lifetime – that’s a significant amount of money to spend.
So, what are these little unnecessary purchases that we make every single day and what can we do to help put that money away? Whilst it might not be a lot to start with, any savings can drastically reduce the risk that you might need to take out some form of payday loan in the future!
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.
Another great tip to keep in mind: never go shopping when you’re hungry!
2. Sale Items
Those big red sale signs 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: something is only really a bargain if you were going to buy it anyway.
If you’re on the way to buy a t-shirt anyway and realise later that it’s been marked down, that might be an excellent coincidence for you. 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 set up by bigger corporations.
This doesn’t just apply to high street clothing brands; every retailer employees similar techniques, and a great way to avoid it is by making a shopping list and sticking to it.
3. Online shopping
Window shopping is nothing new. Since before shopping had even been conceptualised, people have been eyeing up that one item that they wish they could afford, only to look through the fogged up window of a shop.
The rise of internet shopping has made this a risky game to play, as now online vendors have the ability to target you specifically with that one overpriced gadget that you’ve secretly been dreaming about – and the catch? It’s got a discount, just for you.
Online shopping is an increasingly common way of curing boredness, even if there is no intent to buy any product; it’s just fun to look. From sudden flash sales to well targeted ads, it can be a dangerous game to play. As with physical sales, you should only ever make a purchase if you were planning on doing it anyway, and if you can, try and buy it in person – at least then you’ll have a chance to try it out!
4. Saving for a rainy day
Instead of making unplanned impulse buys, you may wish to put the money away to save for something you actually need. In today’s market, it’s extremely difficult to save any amount of money, so every little really will help in the long run.
Saving money can be a great way to make thought out and rewarding purchases. It can even give you a head start on the property ladder!
Don’t worry if you do need a bit of short term help for now: Loan Bird has all the tools you need to quickly apply for a loan. If you’re interested in decent interest rates and seeing what deals are available to you, our website might help.