Have you ever purchased something you didn't intend to buy that you didn't really need? Impulse buying can wreak havoc on a family's budget and often clutters homes with unnecessary items. According to a 2001 study conducted by Interface Engineering, almost 40 percent of shoppers' money is spent on spontaneous purchases. It surprised me to discover that the three things that most motivated impulse shopping were:
- Lowered prices
- Product on sale
- Free shipping
I claim that I was surprised by these three items. But should I be? In fact, I find myself enticed to make purchases by these type of promotions. A few days ago, I received a catalog in the mail. On the front cover was a credit card sized coupon for "50% off one item." I was so excited! "Wow, I must be a valued customer," I thought. I immediately whipped through the catalog and found a dress that I liked. Just as I was picking up the phone to make the order, I removed the coupon and noticed the small print: "see reverse for details." Sure enough, the opposite side stated, "Take 50% off one item with the purchase of three or more items." Grrr! Still. . . they almost had me. By now I was convinced that I needed the dress so I looked through the catalog again to see if I could find anything else I wanted. Sure enough, I found a couple of other things. Thankfully, after adding the cost of all three items together, I determined it would be less expensive for me to go to the store and purchase one and only one dress and passed. But, boy was I tempted! So maybe I shouldn't be surprised that people buy things not because they need or want them but because they simply can't pass up an attractive offer!
So if you or someone in your family has this problem, here are some solutions:
1. Keep an ongoing list of items you need to purchase at your next trip to the store. Go over the list prior to leaving and don't forget to bring the list with you.
2. Avoid looking at catalogs, opening e-mail store promotions, watching TV shopping networks, reading newspaper advertisements, window shopping, online store browsing and make as few trips to the store as possible.
3. Give yourself a time limit for how long you can spend at the store. Plan your trip in advance so you will STICK TO YOUR LIST.
4. Determine a monthly budget for miscellaneous purchases. Keep the money in an envelope in your purse or wallet. When the money is spent, do not buy anything else.
5. If you find something you really want, try waiting 48 hours to make a purchase. During that time, research and make sure you have the lowest price. After 48 hours, ask yourself, "Do I still need it?" "Do I still want it?" "Can I borrow it from someone?" "Can I make do with something else?" "Can I really afford it?" If you still want to buy it, do it then.
Sources: http://www.betterbudgeting.com/articles/money/impulsebuying.htm, http://personalbudgeting.suite101.com/article.cfm/how_and_why_to_avoid_impulse_buying#ixzz0mPf9F2st,http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/avoid-shopping-binges-impulse.html