According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, impulse buying is buying goods without planning to do so in advance and without thinking about it carefully. Impulse buying is a common behaviour amongst humans.
Many of us have fallen victims to impulse buying at one point or the other. Where the problem lies is when it becomes a habit. You go out to the market or mall, for some particular stuff and you’re coming back with a lot more than you intended. Then, you start analysing the things you bought and realize you don’t need them. If you already have 10 pairs of shoes but you still can resist the one you saw in the mall when you went to get groceries, then this article will help you to stop impulse buying.
Causes of Impulse Buying
Love for shopping
This has to be the major cause of impulse buying. Some people simply enjoy moving around shops and picking up things that intrigue them, regardless of their value to them. Nigerians particularly love to shop during celebrations and festive seasons. The result is a cluttered home and a bleeding bank account.
Most times, unhappy persons tend to indulge in impulse buying. Every time you’re unhappy or going through a tough time emotionally or otherwise, you’re off to ShopRite. You fill your shopping cart with so much stuff in an attempt to feel good about yourself. It’s not abnormal, but you need to stop your emotions from draining your purse.
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With the advent of online banking, impulse buying is so much easier. You might have the intention to just window-shop, either online or physically. But when you spot something irresistible, you can’t ignore it because your debit cards make it easy to start and complete transactions within a few minutes. Also, almost every Nigerian shop has a POS with them for easy banking. So if you always have your cards with you, impulse buying is not far from you.
Black Friday deals
Do you know that adrenaline rush you get when you see 50% off deals on your favourite items? Particularly during the festive period where it looks like all the vendors are on a sales spree. It’s easy to get caught in the middle of it, wanting to buy everything.
November was Jumia’s Black Friday month and you have shopped already. Now your favourite hair vendor is currently offering 40% off, courtesy of the Christmas season and you’re ready to jump on that too. After all the impulse buying, you’ll start avoiding your account balance like corona.
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No budget lifestyle
If you do not have a budget to control your spending, then you’re at risk of running into a spending spree. A budget keeps you in check when you’re about to make an impulse purchase. It also helps to set your priorities. So if you don’t have a budget, you’re a step closer to impulse buying.
Have you ever tried to buy something online and other things start popping up? Suddenly you want to buy those things too. Or the sales attendant brings you a pair of shoes after you just bought a dress. You feel tempted to buy the shoes even when you didn’t plan for them. Temptations like this cause impulse buying. Don’t let algorithms or smart salespeople get the best of your savings.
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6 Ways to Stop Impulse Buying
Know your income and priorities
One of the ways to stop buying on impulse is to know your income and priorities. You could draw up a scale of preference to make this tip more efficient. For example, if you earn #75,000 monthly, it would be ridiculous to spend 35k on a new pair of shoes. A scale of preference would help you to only buy important things.
Have a budget and stick to it
When going out to shop either for groceries, cosmetics or accessories, make a list and have a budget. A budget keeps you in check, but only if you stick to it. Next time you’re going to the mall, make sure you already have a list of what you want to buy and you should only buy those things. The more dedicated you are to your budget, the easier it is to stop impulse buying.
Stay away from temptation
It is really hard to let go of this habit, some people have already ruled it as a part of their DNA. If you must stop impulse buying, then you must avoid temptation at all costs.
First, you must know yourself. If you like to buy stuff because you are sad or depressed, you can try doing something new like watching a movie or going out with friends. If you’re going shopping, take only the money you’ll need. If you still do not trust yourself, leave your debit cards at home. Also, avoid Black Friday sales, as they increase the urge to buy unnecessarily. You need to be very deliberate to stop impulse buying.
In this regard, you’ll need to ask yourself important questions before making any purchase. This is necessary to make sure that you need that thing that you’re about to buy and also to check if there are more affordable options. Once the purchase you’re about to make is not a priority, don’t make it.
If you don’t have any savings, then this is the time to start. Instead of choosing impulse buying and spending, develop a saving habit. You can decide to save towards a goal or even develop a savings circle with other like-minded persons. When you have something bigger you’re looking forward to, temptations and emotions won’t be strong enough to lead you to buying on impulse.
Read also: Learn to save money as a Nigerian
Yes! This is a very good way to encourage yourself. You can reward yourself by buying some of the things you let go of. This is only if you have put conscious efforts to stop impulse buying. You may choose to do this at the end of every month, every 6 months, or at the end of the year.
If you’re an impulse buyer, then you should add this to your personal development plan. These few outlined tips should help you stop impulse buying. You can also do a no-spend challenge with your friends to make it more fun and exciting. Impulse buying may be fun but saving is a lot more fun and profitable.
What do you think? Is there any effective tip you want to share about impulse buying? Leave a comment or start a conversation on Insight’s community.
- Chovwe is content writer and a Fashion Designer. She's also a Chartered Mediator and Conciliator. She's an advocate for peace and loves art. She owns a fashion brand and is very passionate about what she does.