- Personal Finance»
- Frugal Living
Ways You Can Avoid Impulse Spending
Impulse spending when done excessively can deplete what money that you may have. You may think that your purchases are to satisfy your needs. But are you certain that you really need the items that you’re purchasing or are you just indulging in impulse spending?
Questions to ask if you indulge in impulse spending
Try and answer the following questions honestly and determine if you suffer from impulse spending.
1. Do you hear your spouse or partner accuse you of spending money excessively?
2. At month’s end when you receive your credit card bill, are you amazed that the amount charged is always more than you thought you have spent?
3. Is your wardrobe filled with shoes, clothes and accessories which you hardly wear?
4. Do you feel that you need to have the latest gadget on the market?
5. Are you driven to purchase an item you haven't needed before but felt that you have to own it after seeing it displayed at a store’s shelf?
An affirmative answer to any two questions above would suggest that you are an impulsive spender and find pleasure and comfort in buying more and more stuff that you probably don’t need anyway.
Why you shouldn't indulge in impulse spending
Indulging in impulse spending and being an impulsive shopper will only benefit the advertisers and will only strain you financially. This behavior will keep you from saving money for the more important things in life like owning a house, paying for your children’s education and most importantly saving for your retirement.
It is imperative that you change your behavior and set long term goals and avoid spending on things which turn out to be of no use in the end.
This habit will also affect your personal relationships when your excessive spending become a point of contention between you and your significant other. And if you value your relationships, you should find ways that you can avoid impulse spending.
How you can avoid impulse spending
The ways to avoid impulse spending are many and are not as difficult as you may think. All you need is a little discipline. You must begin by determining what you need and what you want. By separating the two, you would come to realize that what you want is not really necessary and you can still live comfortably without it.
Firstly, you should be aware that advertisers want you to spend and would persuade you with images and words that may weaken you to indulge in a little shopping. The secret is to allow yourself a cooling-off period when the urge to purchase overcomes you. Put off the purchase and see if you really need the item. Most likely you’ll find that you’re able to survive without the purchase.
Secondly, do not reward your abstinence by going shopping. This will only defeat the whole purpose of curing yourself of impulse spending. Reward yourself in other ways that do not involve spending any money.
Thirdly, if you need to shop for groceries and other necessities, write up a list of what you need to buy and bring just enough cash to cover the purchases. Do not carry your credit cards. In fact, leave them with someone you can trust like your spouse or your best friend and remind him or her not to let you have your cards even if you beg for them.
And lastly, when there comes a time that you need to make a big purchase like buying a new television set, take at least two weeks to decide if the purchase is necessary or if it is something that you can live without. Maybe the old television still works and you don’t really need a new television.
Impulsive spending is a habit that can be cured. Use the various ways discussed above to avoid impulse spending and you’ll find that you’ll no longer be indulging in impulse spending and will have enough savings for the really important things in life.