I will admit this is the first of two posts because I thought I should start with the sensible one. So here are three tips to avoid spending on impulse. Basically buying things you don’t really need and can’t really afford, but you just have to get. Impulse buys. We all do this. The problem with impulse spending is that it can lead to overspending.
The best thing, however, about buying things on a whim (impulse buying) is that it is fun! Well fun at the time. Until you regret it. Or until you stare in wonder at the item you purchased and don’t know for the life of you why you thought it was a good idea. I still have an Armani dress in its box in the cupboard. Far too expensive and far too small for my backside and waist to get into. It is lovely though. I live in hope that if my backside reduces enough to get into it the fashion may have come full circle and I will be able to wear it. Anyway on to the sensibleness. Here are the best tips I could find that have worked for me.
1. Have a budget plan
Budgeting is boring. Actually it may be exciting for some people. But if you are like me, i.e you like spending money, it is a necessary evil. At least to avoid you being completely skint (Scottish for having no money). Being skint is rubbish and means you end up having to budget anyway. So you might as well start each month with an idea of what you realistically want to spend.
The point of this tip, yes I am grudgingly getting to it due to the fact I find budgeting difficult, is this – if you know how much you have to spend, you probably won’t make stupidly impulsive buying decisions. Probably. Not fail safe…but helpful. Excel and Numbers both have basic budgeting templates that are pretty easy to work and there are apps you can download. I would avoid the bank ones – but that is just me. I always think they might use the data to tell me off at some point.
2. Have a wish list
This tip is pretty self-explanatory. If you have a wish list of the exciting stuff you want to buy but can’t afford you won’t (hopefully) be tempted on a whim to spend any spare cash on something else. If you have savings well done for being an organised person! If you can manage to save anything and do this regularly then you might get through your wish list.
I have a long wish list. In my head. This does not always work out so well and I am taking my own advice and listing one today. Some big things are on the list like a new kitchen (to sort the feature wall disaster), a new boiler and new bathroom. But I also have things like a Dyson curly hair thingy on the list too. So any spare cash I get – I will be more likely to have a check on my list to see if I can get something I really want. If I am doing this I am definitely not being impulsive. Fanciful maybe but not impulsive.
3. Don’t shop after Alcohol and/or with impulsive friends
Internet browsing after a wine or two is a bad idea. I have ended up with a heat face lamp thingy that apparently helps boost collagen, a car seat massager and some other things I won’t admit to even on an anonymous blog. So I try my very best not to shop after wine. This is hard given my shopping trips in Edinburgh often start with a cocktail just to celebrate the day. Which leads me on to wayward friends (and family for that matter).
Don’t shop with people who encourage you to spend money. Technically I am one of those people. A colleague at work took me along once to buy a watch purely because he knew I would encourage him into spending a load of money. He was far too sensible and needed the push. If you are far too sensible you are probably not needing tips on how to avoid impulse buys so this won’t matter to you. Me…I need people around who tell me I will get things online cheaper, that something isn’t worth it, or even that I look horrible in that dress I want.
How do you manage it?
I have other things I do but in reality these are the three things that work best for me. Add in the act of cutting up my credit cards and you could almost say I have finally matured.
It doesn’t always work though which is why this is the first of two posts (second one here). Constant splurges would be really bad. But sometimes a little or even a kind of rare expensive splurge is ok.
Anyway I would love to hear how you manage to curb your spending on impulse buys. Feel free to give me your tips even if I don’t put them into practice. Also appreciated are amusing examples of things you have bought on a whim and wholly regretted after.