How to stop impulse spending? – Honestly, you cannot stop impulse buying or impulse spending abruptly. You need to do it slowly and steadily. One of the simplest things you can start now is to create a budget and stick your spending to it strictly. However, it is easier said than done. In some cases, before you even think, you have already spent your money. Hence, it is important to limit your spending soon.
In this article, you will learn about why it is easy to delve into impulse buying and why it is important to stop it sooner. However, before that, the article will discuss why impulse spending is significant and widespread. Finally, you will come across some of the most effective tips on how to top impulse spending. Hence, to learn more about impulse buying, read on through to the end of the article.
Impulse Buying: Why Does It Matter?
According to CNBC,
“An impulse purchase is defined as an unplanned and spontaneous decision to buy something. This sounds pretty straightforward, but there are some nuances. There are many different reasons that someone could suddenly decide to purchase something, such as their emotional state, effective advertising tactics, cultural factors, wanting the feeling of instant gratification, and others on top of that.”
Impulse buying happens in the spur of the moment, where the consumer does not think twice before buying a thing that is not necessarily required. Furthermore, with the advent of the Internet and more eCommerce platforms, it has become more common. This is because, with faster access to products and easy payments, people want more instant gratification.
In most cases, people buy small things out of impulse buying. However, in some cases, some people also buy big-ticket items like a car or a bike, which they simply intend to test drive. Furthermore, many researchers claim that more than one-third of people claim that the majority of what they buy contains impulse purchases.
There are four main types of impulse buying:
- The most common type of impulse buying is pure impulse buying. Here, an individual makes a sudden decision based on an emotion.
- A reminder impulse buying is when you are buying something and suddenly remember a separate item that you need to buy.
- Suggestion impulse buying is more rational than the other two, as your mind is creating the place for the item you want to buy. Here, a marketing message is convincing you to buy something.
- When you buy something that you don’t need now, but you have thought about it before. Here, you are making a purchase because of certain discounts or promotions. This is called planned impulse buying.
Why Do You Keep On Impulse Spending?
There are a variety of reasons why people keep impulse buying. A major reason for impulse buying is emotions, as the latter plays a big role in people’s personal finances. Moreover, one can learn about the stability of someone’s personal life by looking at the person’s money habits. Suppose someone is having a rough day, and after doing some impulse buying, that person can feel the much-needed instant gratification.
A big reason for impulse buying is that people love to shop. According to Ramsey Solutions,
“This love of shopping, in and of itself, isn’t a bad thing. What’s dangerous is when all that impulse buying adds up, and your love of shopping turns into a shopping addiction. Your body starts relying on that dopamine hit, so you continue to feed it with more and more spending. But the point here is that it’s easy to like shopping on impulse—science says so.”
Marketers know these aspects in the general public, and hence, they play on the emotions of people through advertisements. Hence, people feel the urge to make a purchase that they actually might not need. This leads to another significant reason for impulse buying, which includes deals and sales.
People love to avail of a good deal for different products. As a matter of fact, customers can buy something that they see worth 50% off, even if they do not need it. Furthermore, many eCommerce sites offering the free-shipping option also add to emotional imbalance. Such factors make people feel that they are receiving the best deal they will ever have.
Other factors for impulse buying include external influence, social pressure, family pressure, etc. Some customers delve into impulse purchasing so as to boost their social status.
Why Should You Stop Impulse Spending?
One of the major negative effects of impulse buying is that you spend money unnecessarily. This leads to a financial drain. However, one impulse purchase once in a while does not make a lot of difference. But, if you do impulse buying from time to time, it is concerning.
Financial drain will make you lead a “paycheck to paycheck” life, or even worse. Many consumers struggle to even live in what they earn, which leads to debts. Hence, if you do not have a substantial income, you must start limiting your impulse buying habits now.
Furthermore, impulsive purchases also lead to buyer’s remorse. In this case, if you buy something without planning it or thinking about it, you might experience negative emotions. This happens after you realize that you have bought something which is of no use to you. This also occurs when there is a rush of positive emotions after the purchase. This releases dopamine in your brain.
In addition to that, due to financial drain, it might lead to an unmanageable debt. Moreover, the credit system works in such a way that it makes you spend that money that you actually do not have. Apart from that, if you use your consumer credit card irresponsibly, it will also harm your credit score a lot.
All in all, you can see how impulsive purchases affect your life. You can see that although it might satisfy your desire through instant gratification, you are actually limiting your potential. Basically, when you are purchasing something you do not actually need, you are spending the money that you could have used to achieve your long-term goals. Hence, you are shifting away from achieving the life that you dream of.
How To Stop Impulse Spending? – Major Tips And Tricks
Regarding the timing of impulse purchases, they increased, especially before the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, impulse buying declined during high inflation, when the prices of items were higher than normal. Hence, you see that limiting your impulse spending is not impossible. All you need to do is think and ponder over your purchase and know how to save money.
The following are some of the major tips that you will need to follow to stop impulse spending:
1. Create A Budget
It comes as a no-brainer. If you do not maintain a budget, you will need to create one and stick to it. You can do it now by downloading a simple budget app on your phone. However, maintaining a budget notebook will keep you away from smartphone notifications.
Ramsey Solutions explains –
“A budget isn’t a magic wand that will suddenly make all of your money behave. It’s on you to tell your money where to go each month and then follow through with that plan. If it’s not already budgeted for, don’t spend the money. Yep, it’s as simple and as hard as that.”
2. Start Using Cash
One of the best ways of reducing impulsive buying is to create a cash-only budget. Here, you bring out only the cash that you have planned in your budget and stick to it. Here, you pay to others only using cash and not using your debit or credit cards. This will also make you think twice about purchasing anything since you are constantly looking at your cash.
3. Think Before You Buy: Plan Ahead
“Think before you buy” – this is easier said than done. However, you can significantly stop your impulse spending if you start thinking of the pros and cons of your purchase. This is one of the most important aspects of impulsive buying, as the latter only happens when you fail to think about your purchases.
CNBC writes –
“While they still might be impulse buys, planning ahead and creating an overall strategy can help you keep your spending in check and hold yourself accountable for your purchasing habits. You can add impulse purchases into your budget, but make it a reasonable amount. On average, people spend $151 a month on impulse purchases, so consider starting this section of your budget at $50 or $75.”
Always constantly ask yourself whether you really need the thing that you intend to buy. Ask whether you can spend the same money on something worthwhile that will actually benefit you in the long term. Once you start pondering over those questions, you will start reconsidering your purchases.
4. Stay Away From Your Phone When You Feel Emotion
Most people delve into impulsive buying when they feel emotional or when they are not in the right state of mind. If you feel stressed or sad, you might feel that you want to reward yourself with gifts. Once you are tired, you will be able to limit your inclination towards the purchase.
Hence, it is really important for you to stay away from your phone or your computer in such situations. This is because you will feel the temptation of opening the shopping app, or you might receive notifications on your phone about offers. Rather, try to read a book or go out for a walk, as these will lead to cheer up your mood.
5. Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
You can significantly limit your impulsive purchasing habits in the long run if you keep a healthy lifestyle. People who work out, read, and eat healthily are less likely to succumb to their emotions. Furthermore, working out and eating healthy requires immense discipline. Hence, you will be able to lead a more disciplined lifestyle. Hence, you will not make impulsive purchases as easily as you do now.
6. Challenge Yourself Not To Spend
“No-spend challenges” are extremely helpful in limiting impulsive purchases. In this case, you are basically designating a time period where you spend only on living expenses. Once you take those challenges, you will be amazed to find out the things that you actually do not need.
Furthermore, you will also be able to save the money that you unnecessarily spent on non-essentials. This is because you are prioritizing your spending and thereby saving money for the future. Also, you shall realize how little a human being actually needs to lead a simple life.
7. Stop Your Notifications
Go to the notification sections of your phone and stop the notifications from all shopping apps and social media platforms. Do it now. Also, do the same on your desktop/ computer. This way, you can limit your impulsive spending significantly.
Some More Simple Tricks On How To Stop Impulse Spending
Here are some other steps you can take to stop your impulse spending:
1. When you are out shopping, bring a shopping partner with you who knows that you are trying to stop impulsive purchases. You can also ask a friend to share useful financial tips with you.
2. Always maintain a shopping list when you are out shopping. This will help you to stick your purchases with only the things that you need to buy. This way, you can limit overspending as well.
3. Start creating a long-term financial plan. That is the only way you can raise your wealth. Having clear financial goals will also help you pay off your credit and save for your down payments for your home or vehicles.
4. Set aside some money for some discretionary spending from time to time. Treat yourself when you successfully save a certain amount of money.
Hope this article was helpful for you to learn how to stop impulse spending. Here, you need to identify your purchasing habits and act accordingly. Also, you need to realize that your lifestyle affects your buying habits and vice versa.
Do you have some more recommendations on how to stop impulse spending? Consider sharing some inputs with us in the comments section below.