You might have experienced running tight on your monthly budget at times and you buy something with no prior intention of purchasing before. This sudden gush of decision making in buying unnecessary items merely glare at a particular moment can turn out to be a very dangerous habit in the long run. That is how many people opt out of unnecessary purchasing by making hasty decisions and it is commonly known as the impulse buying.
What is Impulse Buying?
Putting it in simple words, impulse buying is the unplanned spending where the decision to buy is made immediately before purchasing a particular item. When you ponder over this sudden behavior of yours, you would realize that impulse buying is normally motivated by your emotional thinking, with a perception that a particular purchase would change your mood significantly.
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There is a slight delicacy which distinguishes impulse buying from your normal shopping and it is commonly associated with a feeling of guilt after the purchase.
Treating yourself to a new item of clothing or shiny gadgets on the spur of a moment might seem a lot of fun at that time but your entire joy would wear off when you find out that you have spent too much on something which will rarely be in your use.
How Your Brain Tricks You into Impulse Buying
The National Bureau of Economic Research of United States recently conducted a research and presented the result by stating that impulse buying is a psychological phenomenon and it is more widespread than the first thought. They have related this sort of behavior to a type of psychological bias known as 'projection bias'. In this particular state, the mind tends to think that current conditions would continue in the future as well and that the ongoing scenario would remain the same as well. The brain of the buyer expects the future to be like the present, no matter if the logic dictates quite the opposite of these thoughts.
How Impulse Buying is imposed
In retail industry the marketing gurus have created a science of up-selling. There are many techniques through which they make sure if a customer comes to buy something; they sell them some more related to that item. In this way they try to get more from one customer in terms of money.
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For example, a woman buying clothes can be forced into buying beautiful embellishments for her dress. Or you are offered to get up-size of coke and fries at Burger King.
Ways to Stops Impulse Buying and Purchasing Only What You Need
- Realizing Your Irrational Behavior
You must understand the irrationality of your behavior for avoiding impulse buying. The easiest way to refrain from this is to make impulse buying impossible for you. Take away the credit cards from your wallet and do not carry money unless you have planned shopping for particular items.
- Plan Your Purchases
You should outline a purchasing plan whenever you go for shopping. Make a list of items to buy from the market and do not deviate from the list at all.
- Use a 30-Day Purchase List
Do not purchase expensive items until 30 days have passed. Once this time period is over and you find out that you don’t need those items any more or at the very least, you would not only avoid buying on the impulse but would also be much satisfied. Delayed satisfaction would lead to a greater satisfaction in the long run.
- Eat Before Going Shopping
The above mentioned research also highlights that impulse buying was noticed on a higher rate when people go for shopping empty stomach. You would most likely to purchase edible items and it would cost you money. Same is the case when you are upset while going for shopping. Your existing irrational mental state would lead you to think that a particular purchase would make you feel happier.
- Track Your Spending
Keeping a good track of your expenses would make it easier for you to prevent future spending.
- Set Your Financial Goals
You better have short term and long term financial goals to avoid any unnecessary spending. You can keep sticky notes on the inside of your wallet or purse to keep you reminding the financial goals you have set for your future.