Everyday we are constantly being bombarded with messages to spend our hard-earned money on things that we may or may not need. And for those of us connected to our phones 24/7, the barrage of tempting offers is endless. However, there are steps we can take to make smarter shopping decisions and save more of our money. In today’s post, I’ll be sharing 3 tactics to stop impulse shopping.
Unhealthy Shopping Habits
Although we understand the pitfalls and addictive nature of online shopping, often times we fail to realize we have an issue with our spending until bad habits become ingrained. Whether we’re addicted to buying makeup, shoes, or the latest gadgets there are endless ways we are tempted to spend our money.
Beyond the multitude things we can buy, the act of impulse shopping is an issue on its own. With methods of online shopping becoming easier than ever, are there tactics to stop impulse shopping?
3 Tactics to Stop Impulse Shopping
1 | Wait it out
Impulse shopping is the enemy of smart consumer spending. I have made so many stupid purchases on things I don’t need because I wanted something at the moment. To help myself squash this impulse, I try to wait out making purchases.
I find it helpful to make a list of the non-essential items that I feel tempted to purchase, particularly makeup. More often than not, when I am dedicated at tracking the items I feel tempted to buy I end up deciding not to make a purchase. However, if I do end up buying something, I know that I truly wanted the product. The hype machine didn’t suck me in.
The above being said, I know that the temptation from limited edition releases and sales is completely changes things. If limited edition releases or sales are your weaknesses, ask yourself the following questions:
Would I want this item if it weren’t on sale?
Do I need this item or do I have other suitable alternatives?
Do I already have backups of the same products?
Will a similar sale arise in the future?
Too often we trick ourselves into thinking we need something due to an exciting sale or promotion. In those cases, we downplay issues that we may have with a product. We get caught up in the excitement of finding a good deal. In fact, sometimes we trick ourselves into making a purchase even when we know it isn’t right for us!
Approaching Limited Edition Releases
Will I still love and use this item a year from now?
Will I be able to potentially purchase this at a discounted rate at an off-price retailer sometime in the near future?
Are there any dupes for this product?
Am I buying this item for the sole purpose of reviewing it?
Am I buying it to ”support” my favorite influencer?
My second tactic to stop impulse shopping is to avoid content or channels that are triggering to you. For example, if you find yourself frequently buying eyeshadow palettes, avoid watching, reading, or engaging with products that relate to palettes.
When I embarked on my first no-buy, I cut myself off from the online beauty community. Watching tutorials and reviews triggered my impulse shopping habits. For example, I have entire posts dedicated to products that YouTube or an influencer made me buy. Additionally, I avoided my favorite retailers – both online and in real life.
3 | Think quality over quantity
My last tactic is to stop impulse shopping is to develop a mindset of quality over quantity. Buying more for the sake of more always makes my stomach churn. Fast fashion and fast beauty habits are negatively impacting the environment.
Any brand, high end or affordable, can produce cheaply-made products. However, many fast fashion brands create products that are not meant to last. Therefore, while you may be paying less per item, you end up spending more in the long run to replace damaged or worn down products.
Can “expensive” or mid-tier brands sell fast fashion that seemingly lasts longer? Sure – think Zara or Urban Outfitters. However, many of the fashion items they carry are seasonal in nature. This means that the items are so “on-trend” that it is unlikely a consumer will get more than a few years of wear out of their apparel purchases.
One way to avoid the trap of thinking quantity over quantity is to stop considering the price of a product and start thinking about the cost per use of an item. For example, I purchased a pair of Dr. Martens boots roughly seven years ago. These boots typically sell for $130.00. In comparison, I purchased a pair of Nine West boots two years ago for $65.00. After two years of use, the Nine West shoes wore down quickly, so I tossed them.
In contrast, My Dr. Martens boots are still in great condition, despite constant use and abuse. Now let’s say I wore both pairs of shoes 60 times each year I’ve owned them. (P.S. I wear my Dr. Marten’s all year round, whereas, I only wore the Nine West Boots during the colder months. I probably wear my Dr. Martens 90-100 days a year.)
60 uses/year X 7 years = 420 uses
$130.00/420 uses = $0.31/use
Nine West Boots:
60 uses/year X 2 years = 120 uses
$65/120 = $0.54/use
If I were to compare the cost per use of both pairs of shoes, my Dr. Marten boots were actually cheaper for me. They’ve lasted me a far longer period of time. Moreover, the cost per use for my Dr. Martens will continue to decrease with time. If I were to replace my Nine West shoes with another comparable pair of boots, I would have to spend additional money; thus, costing me more in the long run.
Final Thoughts on the 3 Tactics to Stop Impulse Shopping
Smart consumerism is not anti-consumerism. Learning how to shop is essential to financial wellbeing. As such, implementing tactics to stop impulse shopping is essential to making smarter financial decisions.
For additional resources on financial wellness – check out the Financial Diet.