Bridget C. Williams
Impulse buying is unplanned spending where the decision to buy is made immediately before purchase. Impulse buying is normally motivated by emotional thinking where there is a perception that a purchase will bring a change in mood, such as happiness, pleasure, it’s a high like a drug, and you feel better when you’re doing it. It’s a temporary fix for what’s really going on in your life. The opposite effect of the buyer’s remorse and feelings of guilt following the purchase. It was once thought to only apply to small purchases, like those that appear at the grocery store check-out: Winners, and Grocery stores, they all have things by the cash register is to entice you to buy. Another thing is that bargain prices 50% off sales, closing down sales, or promotional deals. We get trapped into believing we just got a deal of a life time.
Hunger and Decision Making Shopping on an empty stomach is more likely to lead to impulse buying, as did making decisions in the spur of the moment. I remember when I was pregnant and hungry, I went to the grocery store to shop and I just picked up everything. My intent was to get a few things, but my mind took over and hour later I had 2 grocery carts of food. I just couldn’t wait to get home to dive into the smorgasbord. I picked up lots of fruit they had in the store and made this huge fruit salad….it was so good. After I ate, I said why the heck I spent all that money.
Realize that you don’t know when you’re being irrational. The best way to avoid impulse buying is to make it impossible. Take your credit cards out of your wallet, and don’t take money with you unless you are shopping for a specific item you have already decided on.
Have you ever regretted a purchase or been a victim of impulse buying? What do you do to stop it?
For more on this topic: Frugal Spending – How to live frugally on a tight budget
The book and guide are on Amazon