Do you ever feel guilty about your impulse purchases? If so, you’re not alone. Many people have a hard time controlling their spending on online shopping or simply walking into physical stores to buy something to make themselves happy for a while. But is this bad for our finances?
In the world of consumerism, impulse buying is a common occurrence. Moreover, people have easier access to social media and e-commerce platforms nowadays. It ends up with increasing credit card bill triggered by emotional responses.
According to many experts, impulse buying results from three factors: boredom, anxiety and stress.
When we are bored or anxious, we are inclined to buy things on regular basis without second thoughts. These impulses can be hard to resist, especially when feelings of stress accompany them.
What Is Impulse Buying?
The definition of impulse buying is when someone buys something without thinking about it first. This can be as simple as walking into a store and grabbing a product off the shelf to more elaborate purchases like impulsively upgrading to a more expensive product after browsing through different options online.
Impulse buying can harm individuals and the economy, leading to unnecessary overspending.
Why We Buy Things, We Don’t Need
Some people call it to impulse buying, but to some of us, it’s just natural. We see something we like, and our brain takes over. We buy it without considering the consequences or whether or not we need it.
There are a few reasons why we might do this. Sometimes, we’re attracted to an object simply because of its appearance. Other times, we may be influenced by the seller or the surrounding environment. And sometimes, we just don’t have enough money to buy what we want right away and may need to save up for it first.
Impulse buying can be dangerous without considering the consequences. Buying things you don’t need can lead to financial problems down the road and a lot of clutter in your home or office space.
If you’re feeling particularly impulsive, try to take some time before making any purchases and think about what you need and what you might be better off spending your money on instead.
The Psychology of Impulsive Buying
Impulsive purchases are often associated with negative feelings, like regret and guilt. But, studies have shown that people who make impulsive purchases will be happier than those who don’t!
So why does this happen? Well, it has a lot to do with the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is responsible for rewarding us and giving us a happy feeling.
We experience this when we win a bet, eat a delicious meal, or have physical intimacy– and buying things can trigger this response, too!
We might associate things like shopping and eating a doughnut with being unhealthy, but our brains associate these activities with pleasure. Because of this, we can develop a habit of impulsive buying.
Impulse buying can be fun and rewarding if used in moderation. By learning about the science behind impulse buying, we can better manage our spending and stay on track with our goals.
How To Stop Impulse Buying
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and impulsively buy something we regret later. Buyer’s remorse is real and can leave us feeling guilty, anxious, and stressed.
For some people, impulse buying can indicate an underlying impulse control disorder. However, there are ways to curb impulse buying and ensure we spend our money on the right thing.
One way to stop impulse buying is to take a step back and ask ourselves if we need or want the item. If it’s something we can live without, it’s probably not worth buying.
It can also help to think about how the purchase will make us feel. If we’re likely to experience negative emotions like guilt or buyer’s remorse after making the purchase, then it’s probably not worth it. On the other hand, if the purchase brings us joy or happiness, it might be worth considering.
Ultimately, learning to control our impulses takes practice and self-awareness. But if we can learn to pause and reflect before making a purchase, we can save ourselves from buyer’s remorse and make sure we’re spending our money on the right thing.
1) Recognize the signs of impulsiveness. Some common signs of impulsiveness include being drawn to unattainable items or being driven by emotions instead of logic. If you frequently succumb to these tendencies, it may be helpful to try and identify why you’re feeling this way. Once you understand and accept your impulses, it will be much easier to control them in future situations.
2) Don’t shop on an empty stomach. Eating before shopping can help curb impulsive behaviour because it reduces hunger pangs and makes us less likely to make hasty decisions based on food cravings. Additionally, eating healthy foods will help keep your body functioning optimally, so that impulse buying doesn’t impact your bank account or waistline!
3) Follow the 30-day rule. Impulse buying is often a result of our natural human impulses. It can be hard to resist the allure of a sale or the excitement of purchasing something new, but it’s important to remember to use restraint when shopping online.
There are a lot of unknowns when shopping online. It’s easy to get carried away by an attractive sale price and end up with something that isn’t really what we wanted in the first place.
If you’re considering making an online purchase, add them to your wish list and wait for 30 days to check if you still need that expensive pair of shoes, that luxury watch, or the gadget you always wanted to buy.
Adding the items to your bucket list and spending a few days afterwards diminishes the need for that product over time. You would not strongly feel that you need it.
Also, take some time to research the product before making your decision. You’ll avoid impulse buying and enjoy a more thoughtful shopping experience.
Learn to Control Your Spending
We see particular brands we love and just have to have them. We splurge on last-minute impulse buys that we don’t need. But if we can learn to control our spending, it can go a long way in helping us improve our financial situation.
There are times when snap-decision purchases are the best way. For example, if we’re looking for something specific and don’t have time to look at every grocery store in town, we might impulse buy from a store we’ve seen on TV.
However, there are also times when unplanned purchases can be harmful. For example, if we’re feeling stressed or anxious and want to buy something to help calm down, that might not be a good idea. We may experience a lot of guilt later on. Instead of calming down after buying the item, we might feel even more stressed.
So how do we learn to control our spending?
Impulse buying is a common problem that can be difficult to overcome. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and buy something we don’t need or want. We need to learn how to resist impulse buying to control our spending. There are a few things we can do to help us resist temptation:
One of the best ways to control your spending is to be aware of your triggers. What are the things that cause you to spend money?
Is it seeing a particular brand that you love? Is it being caught up in the moment and making impulse buys? Once you know your triggers, you can start to work on avoiding them.
Develop a budget and stick to it. Decide how much you can afford each month, and then track your monthly spending. This will help you stay on track and avoid overspending.
If you can learn to control your spending, it will make a big difference in your financial situation. So take the time to learn some strategies for controlling your spending, and you’ll be on your way to improved financial health.
Make Smart Purchases With Your Money
Impulse buying is often seen as bad, but in some cases, it can be a good thing. For example, if you’re in the furniture market and you see an amazing deal on a couch that you want, going ahead and buying it without thinking may be the best decision because you’ll likely be happy with the purchase.
On the other hand, if you’re impulsively buying something because you’re bored or stressed out and don’t need or want it, that’s usually not going to end well.
Instead of impulse buying an expensive item that will only add to your stress level and clutter in your home, try spending more time thinking about what items are important to you and making smarter purchases based on that information.
Use Rewards Programs Wisely
Rewarding customers for their positive actions are an effective way to increase customer loyalty and patronage. However, rewards programs must be used wisely to avoid creating impulse buying opportunities.
Sometimes, a rewards program can be tricky for you. For example, suppose you need a pair of shoes. But the storekeeper has a good deal for you with an extra 10% discount or free goodies if you also buy a trouser. This may sound lucrative but not necessarily a good choice for you.
You may buy new things and spend a lot of money on those you don’t need. This can lead to overspending and wastefulness. So, impulse buyers should be mindful of their spending habits.
7 Impulsive Buys You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About
Have you ever gone to a restaurant and noticed that you were the only one not ordering water? This can be embarrassing if you’re with someone who isn’t as open to this type of impulsive behaviour, but the truth is that we should all allow ourselves to indulge sometimes!
It’s estimated that the average person spends around $200 each month dining out, so you can imagine this can add up over time! So, the next time you find yourself out with friends and are presented with a menu, pick something you’ve never tried before. You won’t regret it!
Investing in yourself to learn a new skill
Educational courses can provide opportunities to explore different interests and hobbies outside of the classroom setting. One example of an impulse buying opportunity is enrolling in an educational course. When learners have the opportunity to explore a new topic or activity, they are more likely to purchase related items.
In recent years, there has been a sharp uptick in spending on training and seminars. Many people see training and seminars as an affordable way to learn new skills or obtain new knowledge.
With overwhelming options out there, we might spend money on training and seminars. But if these sessions make you a better person and you can learn, this will be an investment in your self-development. So go for it and never regret it.
Sometimes you just need new clothes.
Let’s face it: the clothes in your closet probably start to smell a little funky. We wear the same outfits repeatedly without washing them, so it’s not surprising that you might have a few items that need to be thrown away.
A new outfit can also boost your confidence and make you feel more comfortable in your skin. So, if you’ve had a bad day and you need to get a new look, go ahead and treat yourself to some new clothes; you deserve it!
You deserve a night out, and that’s okay.
We all deserve to treat ourselves to something special now and again. If a friend asks you for drinks and you know you can afford to spend a little more than usual, then why not go for it?
You are only young once, and you shouldn’t let the fear of impulsive spending stop you from enjoying yourself. You’re probably paying off student debt or saving for something in the future, so it’s important to save some money, too. Just don’t go overboard with it!
Your hobbies are important to you.
We all have different hobbies and interests; some are more expensive than others. If you’re a huge fan of art, then it’s only natural that you’d want to buy some original pieces — even if you can’t afford to. We don’t all have to have expensive hobbies, but you should feel like you can indulge in something that makes you happy — as long as you’re not spending money you don’t have.
You have your eye on something unique.
Impulsive shopping doesn’t always have to be about treating yourself. Sometimes, it’s about finding something that you just have to have.
Maybe you’ve wanted a vintage camera for ages but haven’t had enough money. If you see one for a good price and have a sufficient amount of money in your bank account, go ahead and make the purchase; you’ll be so happy!
Travel and Experiences
We all dream of travelling the world, but most don’t have the money to do it. It’s important to keep these dreams alive, but it’s also important to keep track of your budget.
You might have enough to book a trip if you’ve been saving up for something and putting some money away every month. Those frequent flyer miles might be enough to get you where you want to go. You can also save up for your dream trip by cutting spending in other areas.
Maybe you don’t need to get the most expensive coffee each day or eat out for every meal. You can make small sacrifices to save for something special, and it will be worth it!
My Final Words
The science of impulse buying is a relatively new field of study, but a body of research suggests that it can be bad to feel guilty about your impulse buying.
A 2012 study found that people who felt guilty about spending too much money on household items were more likely to have a shopping addiction. And a 2013 study found that people who felt guilty about buying a candy bar were less likely to enjoy the candy bar.
Of course, there are also some good things about impulse buying. A recent study found that people who spontaneously bought tickets to a concert were more likely to enjoy the concert than people who planned to go.
And another study found that people who impulsively bought a book were more likely to read it than people who didn’t buy it on impulse.
So, is it a bad thing to feel guilty about impulse buying? I learnt from experience that feeling guilty about anything is not a pleasant state of mind. Do it and never feel guilty, or don’t do it if you know you may feel bad about it later. So, ask yourself before you flow with the wind.
If you’re spending too much money or buying things you don’t need, it’s probably not a good idea. But if you’re doing it occasionally and enjoying what you’re buying, then there’s no need to feel guilty.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with impulse buying, it can become a problem if it leads to excessive spending or debt. If you frequently make impulse purchases, setting a budget and sticking to it may be helpful.
You can also try to resist temptation by avoiding places where you are likely to spend money impulsively, such as the mall or your favourite online shopping site.
Remember that impulse buying is not always bad – sometimes, it can lead to finding great deals or getting items you really want. But if you are constantly struggling to control your spending, it may be time to seek help from a financial professional.