Selin Hekimoglu/ Edge Reporter
Occasionally, most people like to treat themselves by buying something. Usually, the things they purchase are not necessarily important but do serve short term satisfaction. This behaviour is normal, and almost everyone does it, but if you find yourself constantly making needless purchases, then it becomes an issue, which is often referred to as “impulsive buying.” Being unable to resist tendencies and always spending an excessive of money you go shopping is known as “compulsive buying.”
When you see something that you do not need but still get it, you have just made an impulsive purchase. Namely, an impulsive purchase can also be explained as buying a product on the spot without any planning in advance. For example, if you make a quick visit to the supermarket for groceries but leave with a cart full of chocolate and jewelry, you have just made impulsive purchases. This may seem harmless at the start, however, it is easy for this to escalate into a daily occurrence. You will start seeing the effects of your mindless purchases once the money in your bank account starts to lessen. So why do we do it? Why do we purchase things we know we do not need but surely want?
This is when emotional value plays a role in what we buy. It is easier for someone who is feeling emotional to compensate for those feelings by making an irrational purchase. An example of this would be someone purchasing something they saw advertised by a social media influencer. Whether it be detox tea, makeup, or body shapers, these are all purchases driven by emotion, which is a big reason why people make an impulsive purchase in the first place. They develop a sense of comfort in the product because they believe it will have a huge impact on them. Usually, this is not the case, and any interest they had will quickly pass over. The loss of interest will fuel their need to find something else to buy that will give them long term fulfillment. It is not hard to tell this can easily create a damaging cycle.
Another reason for impulse buying is never being taught about the importance of saving money. For someone who grows up in a household where tons of useless purchases are made, spending money may seem like less of a big deal. They do not take the time to consider how something that seems little could really have a bigger negative impact. People know what impulsive buying is and why they do it, but how can they avoid getting into the habit of retail therapy?
Firstly, prepare a shopping list of necessities beforehand. This will provide a list of things that are needed. While preparing the list at home, you are not surrounded by a bunch of tempting products. Instead, you will only brainstorm the basics. But remember, try and keep the list simple and straightforward.
Another thing is creating a budget for yourself before going out for shopping. Determine a range of spending, and keep it fairly low. Having a tight budget will encourage people to make wise spending choices, and prevents them from spending money on random things.
Lastly, the simplest solution is yet somehow the most difficult one to do. Take a couple of minutes to determine what real purpose of the purchase will serve. If it is hard to come up with anything, that means those things are needless to buy.
It is going to be difficult to have enough self control and stop buying things that you find appealing. Remember, it is okay for anyone to treat themselves. The only harm that comes with buying things is that doing it too often will only create more problems in the end. Self–awareness is key when making any purchases. People have to understand that they are spending their hard earned money on something with little value.
- “Impulse Buying: Why we do it and how to stop” by Rachel Cruze
- “Emotional vs Rational Purchases – How Social Media Triggers Consumers’ Buying Decisions” by Mona Hellenkemper
- “What is Impulsive Buying?”
- “Compulsive buying disorder”
- “What is budgeting?”
- Girl holding shopping bags
- Girl holding a bunch of groceries
- Woman holding shopping bags
- Shopping list
- “4 Tips To Stop Impulse Buying [Minimalism Series]” by Ronald L. Banks