Six ways to curb impulsive shopping!

By Cannon Doyle | December 17, 2014

Credit Card in Ice

How often have you walked into a mall or a supermarket to buy some essentials like groceries and came out with a cart full of some unnecessary stuff? I can hear many ‘yes’ to this question. It happens with all of us. Or it might be on flash sales that popular websites like Flipkart or Amazon host these days, announcing products with discounts as much as 60-70%. Even if you don’t need it, many of us fall prey only because it is selling cheap.

It is that time of the year again!! Festivities, holidays, celebrations and shopping go hand in hand. And as said above, shopping is mostly impulsive. After we come out of the gratification that shopping provides us, we realise that it was not essential. But how do we avoid getting into these traps and make the best use of resources towards productive investments. Some simple pointers will help you sail through these impulses.

Beware of offers, discounts or sales: This is a very easy trick to lure customers and all retailers invariably launch these at regular intervals. And as consumers, it is enticing to buy 2 for the price of 1, or 3 or the price of 2. But very often these offers are limited and not applicable to all stock available at the store. We unknowingly we pick one among them. It also happens that we do not find 2 pieces that we really like and pick a piece just to qualify for the number required to get a discount. Whenever there is a sale going on, look for value buys. 1 at 50% off is better than 2 for the price of 1. Use sale periods to pick up those things that you have been in need for long and are getting them at a discount now.

Resist those touch and feel displays: Many items, such as gadgets or a new products are specially displayed to attract you. Studies say that touch increases the impulse to buy and acts well as lure to bring in customers. While in a supermarket etc, resist your urge to go, touch and feel a product on display unless you are in need for one.

Limited period offers: These offers last only for a limited period of time and we feel we would be deprived of the product if not purchased immediately. The less time you have to think about a product, the earlier the impulse to make that purchase. No wonder all online shopping festivals that we keep hearing of, run for a limited period and force us to be impulsive.

Along the queue  offers: Supermarkets especially on weekends have long queues for billing and many products on display all along, ranging from toys, to cosmetics, small eats, magazines etc. As you wait for your turn to bill, many products find way into your shopping trolley. Online shopping scores over regular shops on this count, where you do not have such temptations.

Surf and shop: We are regular with our social networking sites. Ads on these sites are alluring and before we realise, we have spent a couple of hundreds, if not thousands on one of these sites.

We are more prone to this, with smartphone being  the latest way to  kill time anywhere and everywhere. Mobile banking, which is catching up quite quickly makes it easier to buy anything anywhere. Limit casual surfing.

Credit card purchases: This is the most dangerous companion in your wallet, always read to jump out at the cash counter. We could avoid many a purchase when we do not have a credit card with us. Carrying limited cash is the best way to fight an impulsive purchase.

Resist those touch and feel displays: Many items, such as gadgets or a new products are specially displayed to attract you. Studies say that touch increases the impulse to buy and acts well as lure to bring in customers. While in a supermarket etc, resist your urge to go, touch and feel a product on display unless you are in need for one.

With these pointers, we can manage to stay away from impulsive shopping  but how do you channelize them into productive investments.

Plan your investments: In the world of personal finance, planning is paramount. If you can plan your investments properly, you can save a lot. If you would like to buy a vehicle or a big ticket gadget like a laptop or a television, you could time it during the festive season, when dealers or manufacturers come out with good offers. So festive periods are not at all that bad.

Wise use of credit cards: We all use credit cards to purchase online or offline. Credit cards come out with promotions of cash back or added reward points for shopping at particular outlets or sites. Make use of these offers to get more. They also earn additional discounts sometimes, which could be made use of. So shop wisely with your cards.

Reward yourself every time you resist from impulsive shopping: Here is how it is done. When you are intending to buy a big ticket product, may be a high end phone or a TV or something else, the amount required is quite high. Create a separate fund for it and each time you are able to save money by not indulging on impulse, transfer that amount (or a little higher amount) in to the fund . See how sooner you reach your target for that phone or a TV or anything else.

Happy holidays and happy wise shopping!!

 

 

 

 

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