With the e-commerce boom, the shopper in us can jump out on any given day. What’s worrisome is that our jumping-out has developed a pattern, according to our browsing history, credit card transactions, and the delivery guy who knows our full names by heart.
Impulsive shopping is basically an unplanned purchasing spree. Experts say we do it because it makes us feel good, but that good ends when our inability to pay starts. To correct our impulsivity, our typical solution is to remove the factors that trigger our urges, like social media, sale announcements, and even our own emotions.
Instead of shutting down those systems, why not redirect our energy to what’s ideal for us? Here are some tips on how to avoid impulse shopping online.
Distribute your excitement to other things
For most of the day, we are consumers. We are emotional by nature. And the retail industry won’t go anywhere for sure. What you can do is divert your attention to something else whenever you are tempted to press the order button. Put your phone down. Distribute that excitement to other activities. Walk around. Drink a glass of water. Water your plants. Check out Netflix and see the latest movies or K-dramas. When you’re back to your phone, ask yourself if you still badly want the item. If your enthusiasm has subsided, then maybe it’s not worth buying at all.
Look for valuable alternatives
There is a train of purchasing opportunities that would stop at your “attention station” every now and then. If you can’t stop the train, then customize it. Find valuable alternatives.
If you come across a chocolate bar, why not check out other snacks? Opt for healthy snacks or support new food businesses opened by those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
If you see a new pair of shoes with a five-digit price, think of where else you can spend that money on. How about saving it for a trip with your family and friends once the lockdown ends?
Create a reward box
It seems easy to avoid impulse shopping when you are trying to save money during the pandemic. However, one of the possible consequences is you might spontaneously splurge once you get your finances back on track. Saving money doesn’t mean depriving yourself of pleasurable things. You just have to decide what these are and when you can have them.
To make things exciting, you can create a reward box. Inside this box are pieces of paper on which your rewards for the month or week are written. You will randomly pick out a paper from the box every week or month. Your reward could be food or drinks, a lavender oil spray for your house, or new comfortable sleepwear – things that won’t break the bank but can make you feel better day to day.
Open a “Good Times” account
If you’re into long-term and bigger rewards, then why not open a “Good Times” bank account? If you have savings, emergency fund, and investments, your “Good Times” fund is for your big splurges like a vacation or a luxurious item that you believe you deserve. Having a “Good Times” account can help you avoid impulsive shopping because it gives you options. It’s either you save for that one huge dream or spend your extra money on a series of smaller purchases.
Hang visual reminders on the wall
If you stare at a blank wall while thinking of buying an item, you will lose to the festive design of shopping sites that are filled with exclamation points and numbers screaming how much you can save if you “buy now.” Create your own visual reminders for your shopping list, household budget, a saving challenge, goals, and even your debts in haunting big numbers.
Another fun thing to hang on the wall is photos showing your past accomplishments, such as promotion, travels with your family, and your first car. Hopefully, these will remind you of how hard you worked to achieve them and what you sacrificed to save money for those dreams.
Got other ideas on how to avoid impulse shopping? Let us know in the comments below!