I’ve mentioned before that I used to be a shopaholic. I was the queen of overconsuming and buying things I didn’t need, didn’t want and couldn’t afford. These experiences helped me become the conscious, environmentalist that I am today.
You see, everything has a carbon footprint. Everything takes resources to be made and in a world that over consumes and shops only to discard, this is a huge problem. And the media doesn’t help. Every time we turn on the TV or go online we’re being told what we need t buy to be on-trend, to be popular and to be happy. Impulse buying controlled my life for a long time.
What is impulse buying? Impulse buying is basically purchasing anything you didn’t intend to purchase. Like when you go to the mall for a new dress for that special event and end up with a new pair of shoes, purse, belt, and hat too. It’s not always that extreme though. The isles by the cash registers in grocery stores filled with gum, candy and more are also impulse buys.
In my opinion, impulse shopping and over-consumption are some of our planet’s biggest threats. So how do we stop?
How to stop impulse buying:
1. Stick to a budget
Whether you’re shopping in person or online, it’s a really good idea to have a budget in mind. When you go in with no budget we’re way more likely to over-send and purchase things we didn’t set out to purchase. Challenge yourself to set a monthly budget and stick to it.
2. Budget monthly for “want” purchases
One of the biggest pitfalls when it comes to impulse shopping is going shopping and coming across something you just “want” so badly. Along with budgeting so you don’t overspend on impulse buys, try budgeting a small amount for things that you do want. That way you have some money for the things you want but you also have a budget within that s you don’t just end up buying all the things you want.
3. Wait at least 24 hours before buying
Something I’ve implemented over the past year is waiting for a period of time when I come across something I want. For smaller purchasing, I’ll give myself 24-48 hours and for big purchases, I’ll give myself at least a week. This gives me time to not only think about it but continue giving my life without it to see if I really need it. A lot of the time, I end up changing my mind or forgetting about it altogether.
4. Unsubscribe from retail emails
The last thing we need when we have no intention of buying something is an email telling us that something is on sale. It takes only a few seconds to hit the “unsubscribe” button and eliminate temptation!
5. Ask yourself if you would pay full price for something
A lot of my impulse buys came from clearance items. I never went to the store to buy that thing but then I saw it was on sale and realized I just needed it. Of course, I didn’t actually need it but I was able to justify the impulse buy because it was 25% off. If something you need is on sale, that’s great. I love saving money. But most of the time we probably wouldn’t buy it if it was full price. And that’s a surefire way to tell if it’s an impulse purchase or not.
6. Ask yourself why you’re shopping in the first place
I used to shop a lot to fill vids. I shopped when I was sad, upset, happy You name it. I really let my emotions drive my purchases. This obviously led to a lot of impulse buys. Try not to go shopping when emotions are high. That whole “retail therapy” thing doesn’t work. It’s sleeting. Not only that but when we shop emotionally we end up with a lot of things we don’t really need or want and they usually end up in the landfill. Nobody wins in “retail therapy”.
I hope this post helps you learn how to stop impulse buying. I won’t lie, it’s not an easy habit to break but it’s so worth it. For your finances, your mental health and for the planet.
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