5 Tips for Avoiding Impulse Buying

tips-to-avoid-impulse-buyingIf you are someone who runs into the grocery store to just pick up a gallon of milk and comes out with the latest celebrity gossip magazines, enough snacks to feed a small country, and an array of beauty products only to get home and feel guilty for your purchases…there is a good chance that you could be an impulse shopper.

Not to fret, there are many others out there, who like you, can’t resist a buy when money is burning a hole in their pockets. However, there are ways to revamp your shopping habits even when tempted by the latest ‘As Seen on TV’ merchandise gleaming on store shelves. Check out the following tips for resisting the urge to impulse buy:

Tip #1: Limit the shopping. Create a strict shopping schedule so that you don’t make unnecessary trips to the drug store, mall, etc. Plan a trip once a week or once every other week to shop in bulk. When you make several mini-shopping excursions each week, you are more likely to have an “I need that” moment and succumb to impulse buying.

Tip #2: Make a list. Before heading out to do your shopping, make a list of everything that you need. When at the store, make sure that you stick to this list, promising yourself not to buy anything that is not on it—it will be difficult at first, but adhere to the list you must. Avoid aisles filled with things that didn’t make the cut. If you don’t need new makeup, steer clear of the makeup counters and continue on your way!

Tip #3: Pay Cash: Of course it’s easy to lay down the plastic for purchases; however, credit card use is also an easy way to spiral out of control with impulse shopping. When using a credit card, shoppers tend to blindly spend with a “want it, need it, got to have it” philosophy. To throw this mantra out the window, it’s best that you also ditch the credit card. Psychologically, it’s harder for us to fork over cold hard cash…so those who do tend to spend less and avoid frivolous buys.

Tip #4: No window shopping. Even if you tell yourself you are just going to “look,” window shopping can be devastating to someone trying to regain control of their spending habits and kick impulse buying to the curb. Let’s face it—when you go window shopping, the urge can be overwhelming to buy something while you’re out and about. And although a seemingly small purchase may not spiral you into financial ruin, the habit is still poor for your financial health. If you don’t window shop at all, you won’t even have to face the temptation!

Tip #5: Skip the sales. You’d probably think that the best time to shop is during a sale…but not for a reformed impulse shopper. Sure, you can snag some great items for great prices, but you also will find yourself justifying purchases and running the high risk of piling a ton of unnecessary merchandise at the register and into shopping bags.

About the author: Sabrina Jackson is a guest post author who shares with us her tips for refraining from impulse buying. .

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