Who doesn’t like a little bit of retail therapy! While it definitely helps put a smile on our faces, if left unchecked, this can turn into a very bad habit for your financial health. Especially with so many great online shopping sites and apps, it can be hard to control your impulse purchases.
If you’re looking to curb impulse buying, these tips will help you for sure.
- Think before you buy
Though the most obvious piece of advice, it can be quite difficult to execute if you’re addicted to impulse purchases.
Start small – every time you’re about to buy something, ask yourself some simple questions. Why do you need to make that purchase? Can you make use of something else you already own? Have you researched about this product/brand vs the competitors? Can you get a better deal from a different store?
- Create a monthly budget
The important thing to understand is that budgeting is a healthy habit for everyone – no matter how much or how little money you have. Create a monthly budget, dividing it into various categories of expenses. If you are able to allocate an extra part of the budget to impulse purchases, go ahead and do that. Though it won’t solve your problem completely, it will help you get a control of your spends.
- Avoid looking at sales and online offers
Cutting yourself from the temptation cycle can help. Unsubscribe from all e-commerce newsletters and avoid looking at offers online. The more you are exposed to such offers, the more will you be tempted to buy something. If you really want to take it one step further, uninstall all shopping apps from your phone so shopping isn’t at your fingertips.
- Calculate value in time
Calculating the value of money against the value of time can be an eye-opener. Planning to buy a cool gadget? Just imagine how many hours of work you had to put in to earn Rs.1000. Now imagine the hard work you put in and if the purchase is really worth it.
- Get a credit card with a small limit
Getting a card with a smaller limit is a logical decision if you frequently buy things on credit. Putting a limit to the amount will also ensure less spending and less money out of your pockets.
- Use cash instead of credit
If your shopping habits are taking a toll on your credit card maintenance, consider using cash. Keep your credit cards away and withdraw cash from your account. This way your money will physically disappear if you buy impulsively and it will keep you in check. Where credit cards make buying easier, using cash will make you think before you buy.
- Start saving, stop spending
Change your mindset from spending to saving. Think about retirement and emergencies where you will really need money to survive. Instead of spending money on personal expenses, plan for retirement and for creating an emergency fund.
A good trick to use is to set a short-term goal as a reward for yourself. For example, you can set aside Rs.2,000 every month for a year in a financial tool like KyePot’s digital chits. At the end of the year, you would have saved money, earned dividends on it, and will even have access to a larger sum throughout the year if any urgent need arises.
In conclusion, these tips are just suggestions that can give you a head start, but they won’t be helpful unless and until you decide to help yourself. So stay on track and spend wisely. Good luck!