24 Hours. One Day. This short time period can make all the difference when it comes to sticking to your budget. It can keep your financial plans from derailing.
Why? Because 24 hours is long enough to stop you from making that impulse buy that was not part of the plan. The one that sends your budget over the top. The one that leaves you scratching your head wondering what forces prompted you to buy this thing anyway.
Apparently the vast majority of us are not immune to impulse buys. In fact, about 90% of us make occasional impulse buys (citation by Mediascope, Inc.). Many a study has been done on the motivation for impulse purchases. The most common factor that makes us reach for that “gotta have this moment item” is a sale.
That’s right, we become bedazzled by the SALE, SALE, SALE signs, the $1 hurry now bins strategically placed in the cart path, and the advertising warning us not to miss out on the deal of a lifetime. As you can image, impulse buying is especially bad around the holidays. I will fess up to that one, but largely because all I can think about is grabbing something and getting the heck out of the store before I am pinned to the wall by the holiday crowd.
And online shopping is just as tempting as those in-store displays. According to User Interface Engineering’s research, almost 40% of all money spent on e-commerce sites are impulse buys.
Aside from the love of sales, another factor contributing to impulse buys is emotion. Having a bad day? That new outfit is sure to cheer you up. Feeling inadequate after reading that glossy home design magazine? Those new throw pillows and wall art are bound to up your style points and social standing.
The problem is the shopping high doesn’t last long. Then, the guilt of blowing the budget kicks in.
So what can a person do to cut down on the impulse buy? Here are 4 tips for taming the impulse buying beast.
- The Biggie As Mentioned, Wait 24 Hours-See if you still feel strongly about buying the impulse item. Often times, the buying urge will have died down considerably. The 24 hours away from the bright lights and shiny displays will give you time to truly consider whether the item is needed or will be used more than once, if at all.
- Go to the Store or Online Prepared with a List-If you know what you are shopping for and are on a mission, you are much less likely to stray from the path.
- Avoid Shopping for Fun-According to Psychology Today, people who like to shop for fun are more likely to impulse buy. Makes sense that the more you exposure yourself to the retail environment, the more likely you are to run across tempting items. In bricks and mortar stores, a study shows that when you touch an item on the store shelf, you are much more likely to buy it (Wolf, Arkes & Muhanna).
- Pay Cash Whenever Possible-When you arrive at the store with a set amount of cash in your pocket to pay for purchases, parting with cash for an impulse buy tends to take a little more consideration. The cash only method will definitely give you more pause on the purchase versus the easy get it now and pay later credit card swipe.
While we may not be able to totally stop ourselves from impulse purchases in our consumption driven world, using these 4 suggestions above, can seriously reign in the unintended purchases. The budget and bank account will thank you!
For more money management tips:
4 Reasons I Turn Down Chances to Save Money
3 Things That You May Not Know About Coupons
Jamie @ All That Srocks says
Great idea! I always ask myself, “do I NEED it or do I WANT it?” but waiting 24 hours will def. help! Especially with bigger buys like a tv or computer, furniture. It will help with making the RIGHT decision… making sure we really love the couch before we buy it! Thanks for sharing at Pinworthy Projects!
So enjoy sharing at Pinworthy Projects.
Anne @ Money Propeller says
Ahh, the calming power of time! Plus, if you can walk away once, the hassle of returning yourself to the spot can also help prevent spending money 🙂
The hassle of going back to the store is such a great deterrent for me. Congratulations on your new book! Yes, the gravatar thing took me forever to figure out. So glad others do not have to suffer the confusion.
Sue at the Little Shack says
Thanks so much for sharing this on #DIYSundayShowcase. I am re-doing our budget after DH retired last month. Having to re-think every purchase and reduce spending by quite a bit. It’s rough. Early retirement is great, except for the reduction in income. We are only in our very early 50s. These ideas will be such a help in cutting down on unnecessary spending.-Sue
Congrats on the early retirement. Know that the spending rethinking must be quite a task. Sounds like you are very savvy in making use of the resources around you!
Life Breath Present says
These are good tips and ones we certainly use at our house! Overall, we can get pretty strict about our budget. Our biggest issue is food and probably always will be, but we do pretty good eating at home usually at least 27 or 28 out of 30 days a month! 🙂
Only eating out 2 to 3 days of month is great. Way to go! Thanks so much for stopping by. Sending G+ and Pinterest love back your way.
These are some great tips! Thanks for the great advice. We have been working on our budget lately 🙂 Found you through #loulougirls ! Would love for you to come to our party on Fridays #WeekendWindDown
Thanks so much for hopping over. Sending Pinterest love back your way.
Gail Akeman says
If I had used the rule of only buying with cash I would be much better off. I need to follow that rule.
Definitely takes more effort to get me to part with cash versus swiping the credit card. Send Pinterest love your way.
I love the 24 hour one -I find that it helps if I’m shopping on Amazon to put it on my wish list. When I go back to it usually I don’t even want it.
Vickie, such a great idea about putting on the Amazon wish list. Thanks for the great tip. Sending G+ and Pinterest love back your way.
Great tips! I love paying cash when possible, it is so much easier to go overboard with a card, and I try to avoid them as much as possible, even when shopping online, I prefer using a prepaid gift card to make sure I only spend as much as i planned! #pinned #turnituptuesday
Using prepaid gift cards is a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing this tip.