How to Avoid Impulse Buying

by Gily Tenorio on January 12, 2012

in Personal Finance

Consumerism is becoming a norm these days and we can see it everywhere, even in our own country where there are many poor persons. People who wants to buy more material things are continuously increasing each passing day.

In the media and Internet, you can see lots of advertisements encouraging and convincing people to buy stuffs because it will give satisfaction and happiness to them. However, the problem with too much consumerism is that people buy things even though they don’t need it and they cannot afford those pricey items.

One example I want to mention is there are many people who are buying expensive slippers ranging from P1,000 and above. Maybe you know the brand or manufacturer of these slippers which are really enjoying good market in the Philippines. The problem here is some of these people buy this kind of slippers to make themselves feel better and richer but in truth they are not. I assume they don’t have even a savings enough to cover their one month expenses.

Other people, on the other hand, buy stuffs out of impulse or what we called impulse buying. These are the type of people who buy things without clear knowledge on why they buy those things and most of the time, they don’t need those stuffs.

In this article, I want to share and give some tips on how to avoid impulse buying so you could use your money on more important ones like saving it for the future, giving to the needy or investing.

1. Avoid going to malls for window shopping

First on the list is avoid going to malls for recreation or window shopping. I’ll tell you there is a big chance that you will spend more money while you are in the mall than in parks or zoo. Have you ever wondered why there are many shopping malls in the Philippines? It is because they are very profitable business! There are many people going to malls even though they don’t have plan to buy something.

Sometimes, on the other hand, I cannot blame other people because you know there are only few good places in Metro Manila or in our country as a whole where you can go without spending big amount of money. I wish in the future, our government will establish and create more public parks, libraries and zoos.

2. Make a list of the things you want to buy

I’m encouraging my wife to list all the things that we need during our grocery shopping because most of the time, we tend to buy more and forget what are lacking in our supply. If you can do this habit regularly, you will lessen and avoid impulse buying in the long term.

In addition, list all the things you want to buy especially those expensive items and put in a holding period for 30 days. After that period, you should asses your financial status if you have the money to buy it and whether if you still want that item or not. Most of the time, you will be surprised to know that you don’t actually need those items.

3. Cancel your credit card

Although credit card is really meant for good of the user, sometimes it become a tool to dig your hole in the ground because of lack of discipline. If you’re an impulse buyer, it is better to stop using credit card instead use a debit card or just pay cash for your purchases. It is easy to cancel a credit card, you only need to call your card company and tell your reason why you want to stop using it.

4. Pay only cash

Like what I mentioned above, most of the time, paying cash is an advantage especially in the Philippines. If you don’t have a credit card yet, don’t plan to apply for one if you cannot control your impulse buying. However, if you don’t like to carry cash because of security reasons, you may try to open a debit card which you can use much the same as credit card, only you should have enough balance to be able to use it.

Paying only cash can be a good prevention for impulse buying because the idea of letting go your money can be a little painful psychologically. It is harder to spend money when you use it as cash than in the form of credit cards.

5. Create a plan and stick to it

One tip that would be helpful to prevent impulse buying is by making a plan of the things you should only buy for a month and you must stick to it. If you successfully accomplish what you indicated on your plan, you must reward yourself for doing a great job. What you should include in the plan is the maximum amount of money that you can only spend in a month.

Here is just a short list of things that you can do to prevent yourself from impulse buying. I hope this tips help you in some ways. Do you have any idea on preventing impulse buying?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Vic @ Business Tips Blog January 14, 2012 at 08:29

Hi Gil. This article should be read by a lot of people, including myself. I’m also one of those people who is impulsive in buying, especially when going to the malls. Sometimes, we need to find other ways of relaxation aside from shopping. 🙂 I wish that your goals for 2012 will be achieved. 

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learnfe January 16, 2012 at 13:24

Hi Vic,

Thanks for the visit. More power and blessings to us this year 2012!

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