For those who might not familiar with impulsive buying, it is when you were walking casually at a shopping mall and suddenly you see a pair of jeans you like. The next thing you know, you were already on your way home with the jeans.
Impulsive buying is actually not a bad thing if you have excess money and you really needed the items. But for those who were on a budget, it will ruin everything. Hence, compiled below are some of tips I would recommend to combat that budget wrecker.
1) Don’t go there
How can you spend money at a mall if you were not there in the first place. I’m not saying we should collect dust at home. I’m just saying, that if there is nothing to do, just relax at home or do other thing productive instead of window shopping at the mall.
I would define Window shopping as the process of convincing yourself that there are things to buy
2) Walk away
You’ve been dragged to the mall. It would be unwise to walk with your eyes closed. And now that you’re there be prepared to be tempted by attractive things. But when you did see something you think of buying, just physically walk away.
Make it as if your leg is being remote-controlled by another person. What I personally do is to convince myself that if after a thinking period of ONE DAY, and I still want that item, I will come back and buy it. Most of the time, by the time I’m home, I’ve already lost interest
3) Research first
I make it a rule, that anything with a price tag of 3 digit figure will require some research before buying. This especially applied for electronic items.
Go back and do some research. Check for review and complaints from other users. If the long hour researching doesn’t dampen you desire, the whining complaints will
4) Don’t go to mall after salary
There’s something about how our brain works that when we just received our paycheck, we are more compromising when it come to buying things. “I earned this”, “Money can only have value when spent” – these are some of the persuasive argument that WILL definitely comes to mind
5) No credit card
Thanks to the financial system around the world, we can actually time travel to the future and borrow money from our future us. Using your credit card is like you are receiving your paycheck everyday. The best way is to give it to your spouse. The more frugal the spouse the better
6) Minimum cash in wallet
Why do we even need to have $1000 in our wallet? Leave some at home, or better yet save it in the bank. Here’s a more cruel way. Start by only having $100 in your wallet. Maintain this for 2 months. After the 2 months, if you think $100 is definitely not enough. Increase it by $20.
7) Never talk to the sales person
These people are trained to convince you that you will die if you don’t purchase the item now. Not later.. now No offense to the sales person reading. You are all so good, it is terrifying
Only talk to them when you know more about the product that them, which generally means.. research research research.
8] Write your dream in a paper
If you want to own a house in 2 years. Put it all in paper. If you can include the price and how much you have saved now, that would be great.
When that impulsive buying gene kicks in, take out that paper and read it out loud (not to the sales person please, that would be embarassing)
9) Video yourself advising
Now that almost all mobilephones are equipped with video camera, why not we record ourselves advising us not to give in to that desire. Make it a 1 minutes video.
I can guarantee you that after watching the video 10 times, you will no longer need the phone to watch. It will be replayed over and over in your head. Annoying but very productive (money wise)
10) Understanding marketing
Do you know why there are so much colorful junk food very near to the cashier counter? Believe me, they are all intentionally. Cashier counter is the one place in the mall where you actually spend several minutes there in line. Bored, you will be looking for something interesting to look at, and what do you know, there’s a lot of colorful junk food there
There are a lot more. And when you understand this, you will know what it is you are fighting for. Why else do you think the items used the most almost always at the end of the shop?
11) Bring someone
You must know a friend who is very frugal, in other word stingy. This friend is the most useful when you bring along to buy items. Seek advice from them on whether it is necessary to buy or not. Most of the time, they will offer their advice voluntarily. Another “Annoying but very productive” case.
12) Make it rewarding to walk away
It take a lot of effort to see an item you really like and to walk away from it. Reward this. I would recommend giving yourself $1 for everytime you succeed in walking away from impulsive buying. The reward money is a no-guilt money, meaning you can buy anything you want with that money. No question asked.
– I wonder –
Do you have any other tips to combat impulsive buying? Please share
———- Personal Note ———-
There’s a very fine line between being stingy and frugal. It is in my opinion that stingy is when that expenditure is obligatory and still you want to avoid it. A stingy man will not repair his car seat belt in the name of being frugal. While a frugal man will not tolerate safety. He will try to save from other mean.
Suddenly I remembered the classic movie of Haji Bakhil Bin Lebai Kedekut