We’ve all done it, of course, and it can be incredibly difficult to stop the urge to buy once it’s in us. There’s an incredibly cool gadget that we have to have, a great pair of shoes or jeans, a book or magazine or dessert that won’t cost much. If impulse buying has been secretly undermining your monthly budget, here are 5 simple tricks for beating the urge.
1. Create a 30-day list
Make a new rule: you can’t buy anything (except necessities) until a 30-day waiting period has passed. Put a 30-day list on your refrigerator, and when you have the urge to buy something, put it on the list with today’s date. After a month has passed, you can buy the item. Many times the urge will have passed and you can just cross the item off the list. This works if you stick to your rule. The only exceptions would be groceries and other similar necessities.
2. Don’t go to the mall
You only get the urge to buy on impulse if you’re in a shopping area (or if you’re watching TV). So, prevent the urge from happening in the first place by not going shopping. Don’t go to the mall or Walmart or other shopping areas. Only go to a store if you have a specific necessity to purchase, and go with a list. Don’t buy anything not on that list. Now get out as soon as possible. Don’t just walk around window shopping for entertainment, or you will be sorely tempted. Find other ways to have fun.
3. Don’t go to online retail sites
Just as the mall will create the urge to buy, so will online sites such as Amazon. They make it too easy to buy something. Instead, stay away from these sites.
4. Monitor your urges
Make it a point to monitor your urges, if it’s a big problem. Keep a little piece of paper, and put a tally mark on it every time you get the urge. This helps you to become more conscious of the urge, which is usually something we don’t even notice. Different symptoms can appear, such as faster breathing or a faster heart rate, when we have the urge. By becoming more aware of the changes in our body, we can begin to get the urges under control.
5. Take a deep breath
When you do get the urge, there are ways to calm it down. Deep breathing, self massage, walking around, and drinking water can all help control the urge. Take 10 deep breaths, and the urge will often be diminished enough to resist.