We’ve all done it: made that impulsive purchase that we didn’t really need. Don’t play stupid. If your credit card was on Tinder it would be getting nonstop action. But instead of meeting a lovely match you get stuck with this clingy guy named debt. Debt sucks. Debt keeps coming back even when you don’t want it. Debt is literally all up in your business. If you’re looking to kick debt to the curb, and manage your finances better than you’ve come to the right place. Starting being a smart shopper with 7 foolproof tips to help you stop impulse buying.
1. Make a budget
Okay, this seems obvious but I bet a lot of us don’t actually have a budget. Budgeting is key to keeping track of your finances and even if you aren’t good at numbers, technology has a bounty of free budgeting apps that will do all the work for you. Easy, peezy. Check out the best apps to track your money and budget here.
2. Leave credit cards at home
This one also seems like a no-brainer, but probably is something most of us neglect to do. Try keeping your credit card in a drawer instead of your wallet, that way if you plan to use it, you’ve likely put a lot more thought into the purchase. In the time it takes to go get the card, you may have deduced that it’s not something you really need.
3. Carry cash
In a card happy world, it seems like many of us no longer carry cash, especially with functions like touch and apple pay. Although, when we only pay by card it’s a lot harder to track purchases. If you set aside a predetermined amount of cash each week then you’ll always know how much you are spending.
4. Plan your purchases
Create a list of splurge items (this excludes groceries and living necessities) that you want to purchase and use the 30-day rule. Let 30 days pass and if the urge still remains, buy one item off the list. You will notice after some time passes you may no longer want many of the items on your list. Simply cross out items you no longer want.
5. Ask questions
Similar to planning your purchases, asking questions makes buying things more of a methodical process. Rather than giving into the urge and swiping your card without a second thought, ask yourself a series of probing questions. Examples would be: Do I really need this purchase? Will the purchase make me feel better? Will the purchase ultimately improve my life? It made sound silly, but doing this will give you that extra bit of time to really think it through.
6. Only buy things you can return
If you really have a problem with impulse buying make sure the stores you buy from have good return policies. A lot of the times the shame sets in after the purchase has been made or you realize a few days later you have no money to eat. Thank god you can return the item if you really need to!!!!
7. Don’t shop when you’re upset
Do not under any circumstances shop when you’re upset! In the short term buying something new and shiny will make us feel better but it’s likely something we don’t actually really want or need. Whether it’s food, clothing, or something else it ultimately won’t fix the situation and you’ll feel even worse when you realize your account balance is $5. Oops.
8. Freeze your credit card
If you’ve tried all of the above and still find yourself barreling through the mall making purchases at a frightful rate, then you may need to try something a little more drastic. Yes, you read that right, freeze your credit card. Put it in a ziploc baggie with water, seal and stick in the freezer. When you want to make an impulsive purchase you literally have to dethaw your card, giving you ample time to really think it over. Most of the time you’ll find the urge to buy will pass.
Do you know any other good tips on how to stop impulse buying? Let us know in the comments!
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