Retailers online and in stores are masters at getting us to spend more money than we planned. They're called impulsive buys and can bust any budget.
"They will rush to a store and buy something, usually something that they don't need, usually something that they have lots of already, that causes them to become financially ruined," said Ralph Cash, Ph.D.
This description of compulsive buying disorder may not describe you, but everyone is guilty of the occasional impulse buy.
How to stop it:
- One time-honored method? Making a list, and never buying anything that’s not on it.
- Putting time on your side. Make it a rule to wait from an hour to a week before you buy.
- Leaving the plastic at home and bringing just enough cash to buy what you came for is a sure-fire way to stop impulsive buying.
- Shopping alone. Bringing kids or spouses who act like kids is a sure-fire way to leave the store with more than you came for.
One way merchants get us to fall for impulsive buys is sales. How we resist them is to remember that not buying something we don't really need will always cost less than any sale.
Next, be aware of how you feel. Don't stop for food while hungry and don't stop for anything while upset.
Final idea? Create a splurge budget, so you can pick up the occasional impulse buy.
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