Want to treat yourself? With just a few clicks, you can buy pretty much anything you want online and have it delivered to your door in a matter of days, if not hours. Sure, that instant gratification feels good and activates our pleasure centers, but all those impulse purchases can pile up, both financially and physically, and end up stressing you out.
It’s not just the money, it’s all that stuff that we probably don’t need and don’t have room for anyway. So if you want to be more thoughtful about your shopping habits and buy less in general, these tips from finance pros can help.
- Identify your spending triggers - A good place to start is figuring out why you buy things in the first place. “Are you buying something as a reward after a bad day at work, or can’t resist a sale? If so, look for other ways to avoid these situations,” suggests money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. Unsubscribing from retail newsletters that tempt you to shop may help too.
- Write down things you want before shopping - Marchand Bozarth, senior financial specialist at Country Financial, advises writing down the things you’d like to buy to help curb the impulse to actually buy them. Then when you are ready to make a purchase, consult your list and choose one thing to get.
- Organize your house and see what you already have - Go through your closets and cabinets before you shop and take inventory. Jennifer Beeston, senior vice president of mortgage lending at Guaranteed Rate Mortgage, says just seeing all the stuff you already have may be so overwhelming, you won’t want to add to it.
- Shop with cash - People tend to spend more freely when they’re paying with cards, so limit yourself to cash and you might buy less.
- Try the TEN-TEN-TEN tool - Wealth advisor Matthew Grishman came up with this technique to reel in his own impulse spending and buy less. “The first TEN is a pause button,” he explains. “Wait, stop, don’t buy this right now. Take ten minutes to put it down and walk away.” Then think about how you’ll feel about the purchase in 10 weeks versus 10 years and you may talk yourself out of it.
Source: Apartment Therapy