Friday, 22 March 2013

O4. How to Avoid Impulse Buying

Photo courtesy of Morguefile. (MorgueFile free photo: you are allowed to copy, distribute, transmit the work or to adapt the work. Attribution is not required. You are prohibited from using this work in a stand alone manner.)

You walk into your favourite clothes store and see that 'must-have' dress. It's perfect, you think, as you try it on. The glitter and sparkles are just so chic, and the design? Totes amazing. So you walk up to the counter and buy it, swiping away $250 from your credit card without a second thought. get home. What was I thinking? The colour is all wrong, the style doesn't go with anything else in the wardrobe and sparkles? How did this happen?

Shaking your head, you promise yourself never to make another impulse purchase again. This is how to follow through.

Have a basic idea of what you want to buy and set a budget. Don't be too specific with what you want at the beginning, or you may find yourself limited and end up disappointed when nothing at the mall matches your ideal. Depending on what you are buying, your budget should be around $100 to $300 for clothes, shoes and make up (it could be lower or higher depending on your financial situation or the items you are looking to purchase).

If possible, carry cash and ditch the credit cards. Having about a maximum of $300 in cash when going shopping. When you pay with cash, it's easier to keep track of how much you're spending and it 'feels' more real than just swiping cards and putting numbers in (I personally did a lot of impulse buying when shopping online with credit cards as opposed to paying in cash at retail outlets). Let's face it, if you're buying a $500 pair of jeans, handing over a couple of precious greenbacks will make you think twice than swipe, click, 'congratulations your purchase has been accepted'.

***Of course, if you're making an expensive purchase for a special occasion, carrying large quantities of cash may not be practical or safe, so generally stick to cards (debit? this way you're spending your own money) when making purchases over $300. Additionally, if you live in an area where pick pocketing,  petty crime, muggings, beggars etc. are common, it may not be advisable to carry cash. If you shop at tourist-y or high density areas, it may not be advisable to carry cash either because of scammers and higher frequency of pick pockets. I generally carry cash, since I shop at suburban shops where it is extremely unlikely to be a victim of crime. Use common sense when deciding whether or not to apply this tip (you know your local shopping destination better than me).

Shop with one sensible friend or family member. It's good to have a calm head of reason advising you of the pros and cons of a particular purchase, so you are more likely to make a rational decision. Try to avoid shopping with a large group as they may either influence you to make an impulse purchase ("that top totes looks amazingggg on you! Forget about the price tag, just get it!!!!!"), or you may not have enough time to comparison shop.
Stop! Drop! Roll! I'm using the fire slogan we all learnt in primary school, but it applies in this situation here too.
  • See an outfit that you think looks great on you? Stop! Look at the quality, price tag, colour and fabric first. Ask yourself: (1) Does it go with anything else in my wardrobe? (2) Realistically, how often will I wear it? (i.e. do I really need a trench coat if I live in a reaaalllyy hot country town in Australia?) (3) Do I feel comfortable in it? Do I see myself wearing this in real life? (i.e. if I'm a preppy, polo shirt, ironed-jeans kind of gal, do I really feel comfortable in a bright red leather dress?)
  • Drop! the outfit (not literally). If you still like the outfit after carefully examining and analysing it, put it back on the rack or if possible, ask the shop assistant to 'hold' the item for a while.
  • Roll out of the store (once again, not literally). Do some comparison shopping or browse at other stores. You will start to think rationally once the outfit is out of your sights. Stay away for 15 minutes at least. If you still really feel that the outfit is perfect and reasonably priced, go back to the store and buy it. Then pat yourself on the back for making a rational, sensible purchase.
There you have it, how to avoid impulse purchases. Hope you find the tips helpful, and if you have any more tips, advice or stories, please share in the comments section.

No comments:

Post a Comment