If you often give into impulse purchases, find out how to stop buying things that you don’t need with these six simple tips.
We have all been there. We’ve strolled into a store, swiped the card like a queen, completely basking in the momentary thrill, only to regret it the moment when we’re home.
Let’s get one thing straight. I love shopping and the last thing that I am going to do is to tell you to stop shopping. Instead, I’ll share tips on how to shop smarter and make sure that your purchases are the ones you really love.
#1 Start a wardrobe inventory
You don’t need an actual excel sheet or physical list: The point here is to keep track of what you already own. Make a note of the items that you use regularly. If they are still in good condition, there’s no reason to purchase another similar piece. For the ones that you have long forgotten about, you’re really not likely to wear these, ever. Make a note to avoid these like the plague — so that you don’t make the same mistake again.
#2 Keep a list of things that you really need
Yes, of course there are times when you genuinely need a new white tee to replace your current one with all the odd stains. Keep a list of the must-buys that you are looking out for and check to make sure all of your purchases are on this essential list; move on from those items that aren’t.
#3 Pause to think about your purchase
When you come across something that you want to purchase, pause and make yourself wait for a certain amount of time before making the purchase. It can be a day for small ticket items or up to a month for big purchases. If you can still justify this purchase within that time frame, then go ahead.
This is really effective for two types of shoppers: The office ladies who head to stores after work for impulse purchases and the women who stay up late at night doing frivolous online shopping, by adding things into their shopping cart without thinking twice.
#4 Stay away from the shopping sales and seasonal discounts
I’m equally guilty of these; I always feel like I am losing out if I don’t participate these timed discounts and flash sales. It’s as if I never realised the existence of this pair of platform sandals until it was on 30 per cent off and then bam, I feel like can’t live without it.
If you find yourself in a familiar situation, do yourself a favour and try unsubscribing yourself from the stores that tempt you the most. Visit the sites directly only when you have a specific item that you want to buy.
#5 Set a budget for each shopping spree
You are much less likely to go overboard when you set a tangible budget for yourself before you head out to the shops. One useful trick is to bring the exact amount of money that you are willing to spend in cold hard cash instead of swiping cards. You feel the ‘pinch’ more when you literally see the actual money depleting before your eyes.
#6 Start a savings plan
It’s easier to resist the urge to purchase things on whim when you’re planning to save up for a holiday or when you’ve a stipulated amount you would like to save in a year. Keep these goals in mind to remind yourself about how these impulse purchases can affect them.
It’s easy to give in into a $100 purchase in the spur of the moment. Remind yourself that it’s $100 unaccounted for, in your long-term saving plan; it all does add up if you’re spending that $100 every week.