● By Siew Ching
Friends share how they contained their impulsive spending with tricks and tips that worked for them.
You see that dress/shirt while walking back from lunch. You don’t really need it but something made you stopped in your tracks. Well, I have been working hard and could do with a treat… you find yourself saying. No harm just going in for a closer look…. the conversation continues.
Ten minutes later, you walk out of the store with a paper bag in tow, containing your new purchase.
What just happened? Welcome to impulse buying, something I am sure everyone reading this is familiar with. Don’t think this is you? Well, be honest with yourself – out of everything you spent on that past three months, how many of them were bought on a whim because a) you wanted to treat yourself, b) you’d feel so good, so good just having it, and c) you just felt like shopping and buying something that day.
I am guilty too. Oftentimes before bed, I find myself logging onto Shopee just to browse. Before I know it, I’ve added to cart a few things because of free shopping and vouchers. Why not, right?
While impulse buying can feel so good (who doesn’t love to buy new stuff), there are many reasons why it’s so bad too:
#1 You made a dent in your budget
Our budgets often don’t include impulse buys so when you buy that watch because it looked good when you tried it on, you’re making a dent in your budget that’s taking you further and further away from your saving goals. Worst still, it could take the money you need for next month’s rent!
#2 Savings, what savings?
A lot of people who impulse buy don’t have plans to save. They are more likely to live paycheck to paycheck, with significantly less money for their monthly expenses because they’ve spent most of their money on impulse buys. We don’t have to remind you what a dangerous position it can be to have no savings!
#3 Buyer’s remorse
You know that guilty feeling of spending when you shouldn’t have? Or how you have to constantly hide your online purchases from those at home because you don’t want them to know you’ve been shopping? That’s buyer’s remorse and that guilt can seriously eat into you if impulse buying is something that happens on a regular basis.
Now that we know why impulse buying is bad for you, how do we curb it? To get some real ideas, we speak to some friends who’s guilty as charged when it comes to impulsive spending and how they worked through their issues.
“Delay, delay, delay! That is the only thing that really worked for me. Whenever I add stuff to cart on Lazada, I stop short of checking out. I leave it in there and do more research or really think if I really need that water flosser or if it is an impulse buy. Works all the time and the bonus is you sometimes get great vouchers making your buy more worth it!” Kayla Chen
“I save my money first and then only if I have some extras to play with, I put it in my e-wallet balance and use that money for impulse buying. Let’s face it – there will definitely be times when you just want to give yourself a treat. And you shouldn’t always deny yourself! But if you pay yourself first by depositing money into your savings account, you won’t feel so guilty about using money that’s really meant to go towards your saving funds.” Michael T
“I literally had to delete my credit card information from all my online shopping accounts and from my phone! And I leave my credit cards at home. This makes it hard to just whip them out and make payment whether using the physical card or online. By doing this, I’ve managed to stop myself from some impulse purchases. It works most of the time and for me, that’s good enough to curb the unnecessary spending.” Murni M
“My impulse buy weakness is at the supermarket! I go there wanting to buy milk only but come back with cookies, cereal, drinks that I don’t need. And I sometimes buy things I already have in my pantry. Now, I make a list before I shop, check through my pantry to make sure I don’t double stock. Then I go to the supermarket and stick to that list! It’s hard sometimes, especially when there is a discount or a promo going on. I suppose buying one treat cookie once in a while is fine but so far, I’ve been sticking to the programme!” Letisha K
“E-wallets are so easy to use.. and so easy to spend money! Problem is you don’t see the cash going out so you don’t feel the physical ache of spending money. Now, I carry and pay with cash to help limit my spending. It’s a good trick if you want to keep track of your budget!” Miriam S
Photo by CardMapr.nl on Unsplash.
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