The Shopaholic’s Guide on How to Avoid Impulsive Buying

Is shopping therapeutic to you? Do you frequently end up with more purchases than you planned? Is the word ‘budget’ a familiar yet strangely unfathomable word to you? Do you make purchases that you later regret? Do you always feel you deserve every item that’s on sale?

If you’re a shopaholic, there’s a good chance you do a lot of impulsive buying. But you don’t have to be trapped by your compulsions. If you want to avoid impulsive buying, here are steps how:

Plan your shopping trips.
shopping-tips-and-tricksIf you stop by the mall for no reason, you’re more likely to make impulse buys. Stick to a schedule instead.

Don’t shop during or after the payday.
Payday deals are too sweet to ignore and refuse. Plus, being newly rich can encourage you to buy more. If you’ve just received your paycheck, wait a few days before deciding to shop. Better yet, keep a portion of your money in your savings account where it can be left untouched and use the remainder for expenses, including shopping.

Always make a list and stick to it.
Before you head to the mall or the store, make a list of the things you need. Take stock of what you already have and then write down the items that you need. At the end of a week, two weeks or whatever your buying period is, check the list and resolve to stick to it.

Bring the list with you when you shop. To avoid impulsive buying, never buy anything that is not found on your list.

Use coupons.
If you impulse-buy, consider clipping coupons. People who use coupons are 25% less motivated to buy items they don’t need.

Mind your numbers and your results.
Each time you make a purchase, keep the receipts in an envelope. Use two separate envelopes for necessary purchases and unnecessary (or impulse) buys. At the end of each month, review the receipts to determine how much you’ve spent. If you know where your money goes, you will have a better control over your actions.

Give time a chance.
If (and when) there is something in a store that you want to buy and it’s either not on your list or your budget won’t allow for it, think it over for the next two to three days. During this time, consider if:

    a) you need the item
    b) you have real use for the item
    c) you have money to buy it
    d) you can find a cheaper alternative
    e) you still want to have it

If the item is not that important, there’s a high likelihood that after three days, you won’t be back at the store to buy it.