Impulse buying is something that so many people can be guilty of, and it’s harder than you might think to get out of the habit. You spend money because you’re bored, because something catches your eye, or just because you feel like you’ll miss out if you don’t. Though it’s always nice to treat yourself from time to time, there’s a fine line. Doing this too regularly can ruin your finances, and can even plunge you into debt and despair.
It takes discipline and hard work to break out of the cycle, but you can do it. Here are some strategies that can make a big difference…
Create a budget – and stick to it!
A budget is absolutely essential if you’re serious about keeping a firm grasp of your finances. The beauty of a budget is that it’s entirely yours, and you get to make the decisions about where your money goes. Some people will be happy to cut down on their grocery bill, for example, but others might be better suited to making changes in different areas.
The key is that you’re putting yourself in the driving seat, and you instantly become more conscious of your spending habits. If you haven’t tried budgeting before, get started right now. It can help you to become much more purposeful with your cash.
Don’t treat shopping like a hobby
How do you spend your weekend afternoons? If you often find yourself browsing through shopping malls just to keep yourself entertained, then that’s something that you might want to knock on its head. It’s a recipe for impulse spending, and it should be avoided!
Instead, consider diving into hobbies that you’ve been neglecting recently. You might want to go out for a long walk, and improve your health and wellbeing at the same time. You could visit the local library and lend a couple of books. You could even set yourself a challenge to make £100 this weekend!
Create a waiting list for big purchases
Now and again, big purchases are entirely necessary. They aren’t the sort of things that you should just do on a whim though. It makes sense to set yourself some firm rules and boundaries in this respect. For example, you might decide that if you are going to spend more than £50 on an unexpected item, you must wait 30 days before you make your decision.
This will help you to act with reason instead of impulse. By the time you have reached the 30 day period, you might have realised that it’s an item that you really don’t want or need.
Unsubscribe from promotional emails
Do you regularly get emails from your favourite retailers? These can prove to be really tempting, and they’re really not helpful if you’re trying to slash your spending. All too often, you’ll be tempted by sales, offers, or even just new products that you hadn’t budgeted for.
Dedicate half an hour to going through your inbox and hitting unsubscribe. You’ll have less digital clutter to deal with on a daily basis, and less temptation to spend money on things you don’t need.
Impulse spending is a tough thing to tackle, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to completely change your behaviour overnight. It begins with being mindful though, and conscious of your habits.
Do you have any extra tips that you’d like to share that have helped you to banish impulse spending?