ways to curb your impulse buying

Need to spend less?
Want to have more to show for the money you are spending?

These are my comments based on the category suggestions from the article: Six Simple Ways to Curb Impulsive Buying, by Mary Hunt, Debt-Proof Living Newsletter, January 2014. I have helped several friends and coworkers to pay down debt and spend their cash wisely over the years.

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In my case, I am already in and out of the mall in an hour or less, so this would not work for me. I walk way too fast to wear heels at the mall! The writer suggests that you would get uncomfortable earlier, but that will only work if you are unused to wearing heels.

Usually this works for me. I do give myself a credit card allowance weekly as a way of purchasing and getting points for movie passes. Since I pay my card off in dull every two weeks, this works for me. Groceries & gas are paid in cash, so once the money’s gone, we have to make do.

Never shop hungry. Good advice. I try to go right after a meal so this doesn’t have me shopping hangry!

Set a time limit to make sure you really need the item. 1 hour, 24 hour, 1 week….this really helps you make sure the item is needed, and not a gut reaction to a crappy day!
As well, set a time limit for how long you will shop…
I would add this to:

SHOP WITH PURPOSE (my category)
Don’t go shopping just coz with credit or debit cards. Go to a coffee shop instead if you need to kill time. No purpose for being there, don’t be!

People who are impulse shoppers or reckless with their money are not the best to take shopping with you. Kids can fall into this category ( I have one who is more impulsive than the other, so I carry cash when out with that one!) Shopping with someone with an unlimited budget can encourage keeping up with the Jones’, which doesn’t end well.

Online or on site can impact how much you spend. You know yourself, so decide which way works better for you and stick with it. Have an accountability partner hold you accountable if you need help.

SHOP WITH A LIST (my category)
This means you know what you are looking for, likely have a budget and will be more successful at avoiding impulse buys! No matter what it is, whether clothes, gifts or groceries, make a list. Check it twice. Stick to it, no matter what.

AVOID CROWDS (my category)
Do your homework. I avoid Black Mondays and shopping after Christmas until well into the New Year, because i am not comfortable in crowds. I don’t like the jostling and grabbing that occurs with avid sales shoppers. Competition for items doesn’t being our the best in people, and you may take an item you doing really need home just so that lady doesn’t get one. Sad reality, but i have seen it happen.

NEW VS SECOND HAND? (my category)
If you are on a tight budget, try finding the item you need (not undergarments or socks) second hand. I have organized a few clothing swaps to help my friends and I add a few new pieces to our wardrobe without spending a penny. Borrowing a fancy dress for an event is also a great way to save money. With food, this can be….

BRAND NAME vs STORE BRAND. There are a few things (laundry soap and toilet paper) where I buy the brand names, but most are generic store brands or on sale. This can help cut your grocery budget and save money when things are tight.

MEALS FROM HOME (my category)
I try to bring food from home 3/4 of my work days. As I work from home on the 5th day, I allow myself one day to eat Thai out at lunch (when its cheapest), and have a latte or tea twice a week. Otherwise, I bring my meals and snacks from home. This can add up to significant savings to your spending money. I find I portion control better when I prepare my own food.

There are many different resources you can use to help you get your spending in order. Dave Ramsey, Gail Vaz-Oxlade and financial planners can help you set your budget and goals. It won’t happen over night, but over time you will become used to bring more thrifty, and spending wisely will become your new norm.

The Bible says a great deal about being wise with your resources. Ask Him to guide your decisions about spending. When we work with a team, we are likely to stay the course.