As retailers make their big push to get us to spend our hard earned cash, we need to avoid impulse buying. Yes the price is great but is it a need or a want. Can the money be put to better use, paying down a bill? Holiday overspending is like holiday over-eating. No one wakes up overweight or obese. Likewise, you don’t just wake up in debt. We tell ourselves, we’ll eat the sugary calorie laden goodness and exercise longer to offset the damage. We’ll buy the super sale item and make double payments on our credit cards. Weight loss management is hard. Likewise, money and debt management is serious business. We must lower our caloric intake (debt consumption) and exercise discipline to not impulse eat/buy.
Like most, I am trying to lose weight. I woke up and thought how did I let myself get to this point? Instead of wearing my fat clothes in the winter for layered warmth, they are now my everyday wardrobe. I forgot to shred winter girth in the spring a few years in a row. I’m not obese but I am overweight and it is not healthy. If not taken care of now, I will be susceptible to needless health problems that could have been avoidable. Exercise is not always fun, but no pain no weight loss gain. The same is true of our spending habits. We must discipline ourselves to say no and walk away. Here are a couple tips to help curb impulse shopping:
Tip 1: Date your purchase. Most people do not buy the first car or house they lay eyes on. When it comes to jewelry, expensive shoes, a fabulous handbag, etc. – I date before I buy. I date anywhere from 2 to 6 months. I stalk my jewelry at art fairs to make sure we’re a good match. If the thrill is gone, I saved myself from a wasteful purchase. My mom said buy off season, so I know my favorite shoes or handbag will go on sale for half price in 2-3 months. This is an exercise in patience.
Tip 2: Reminders. The average American has $15,788 in credit card debt alone. Keep a piece of paper of how much you owe next to your debit/credit card in your wallet. So whenever you are tempted to swipe that card, you see your mortgage, student loans and credit card debt. After looking at that number, are you still willing to swipe the card?
Tip 3: Give it Away. It is better to give than receive. For clothes, I made myself promise that if I buy something, I need to give something in my closet to local charity. I am amazed at how many items take up space in my closet that I can’t remember the last time I have worn it. If I am not willing to get rid of something, then I can’t buy anything. However, I have been known to get rid of stuff just to experience that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you give to someone who appreciates your stuff more than you ever did.
The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs…one step at a time. – Joe Girard