9 meaningful ways to avoid impulsive buying on credit cards
1. Don't place yourself in a situation where you are vulnerable.
In short, don't go to the mall if you don't have to. Should you need to go to SM, one of the best tips to stop spending money is NOT to go to your favorite shops if you don't need to buy anything. Wag kang martyr! Kung alam mo lang na masasaktan ka pagkatapos, wag ka nang pumasok.
Hugot aside, just avoid any form of temptation if you still don't know how to control yourself. If books and writing supplies are your weaknesses, don't go to National Bookstore or Fully Booked. If online shopping, just unsubscribe from the mailing list or if need be *gulp* unfollow that seller's Instagram account.
2. Have a list of questions on hand.
Prepare a list of questions that you have to ask yourself before you buy. Stop impulsive buying by putting this list of questions in your wallet. Here are some examples:
Did I need this yesterday? Do I need it now?
Can I get this for less?
Can I afford it?
Can I get it for free? Can I borrow this from someone?
What's gonna happen to me if I don't buy this?
3. Manage your emotions.
Impulsive buying usually happens when your emotions are high such as when you are stressed, hungry, or depressed. This is because we rationalize our impulsive buys with thoughts such as "I deserve this" or "I want to feel okay". How to control shopping when emotions are unusually high?
Yes you can, gurl!
For a start, learn to identify signals that you are hungry, stressed, or depressed. Then find effective ways on how to control yourself. If you know you are hungry, eat. If you feel stressed, why not have a stress-relieving ritual at home such as drinking tea, reading a book, or taking a long shower. Then celebrate! You just saved yourself from impulse buys. (Hey now, don't buy something to "reward" yourself.)
4. Be a lover of lists.
Consider your definition of "needs" and "wants". Then create a list of items in your needs list and your wants list. Make sure to have all your needs met before you go to your list of wants.
One of the best tips to stop spending money impulsively is to mark the date you wanted an item beside it on your list. If you still badly want it after 30 days, then you can save money to purchase it.
5. Just make some rules. And stick with it!
For example, you can set limits on your credit card use. Leave it at home when you are not planning on buying anything to avoid impulsive buying.
6. Have a financial plan.
One of the best tips to stop spending money carelessly is to have a financial plan.
Now before you go nuts on us, realize that financial plans are not for the oldies. It's great to start planning your future as soon as possible. Have an emergency fund. Then, create a plan for your future, even going as far as your retirement. Take advantage of your youth and invest your money now, so you can reap the rewards in the future. You will be able to find different ways on how to control yourself from impulsive buys if you have a financial goal that you are aiming for.
7. Organize and clean your house.
December is a great time to purge your house, give old clothes and stuff, and take into account (and be thankful) of all the things you have. Through cleaning and organizing, you will be aware of what you have and what you don't have. This helps you to avoid impulsive buying on things you already have.
8. Choose your friends wisely.
If you are practicing how to control shopping, never shop with a shopaholic. Bring your cheapskate friend instead. Befriend a minimalist, and try to be minimalist yourself.
Tip: Bring this guy, the next time you shop.
9. Track your spending for 90 days.
Yes, it will make you cringe but tracking your spending habits for the next days will give you the reality check you need. Why 90 days? So you can get a clearer view of your improvements (hopefully) over the next days.
Want more tips on how to avoid impulsive buying? Check out the GoBear Philippines blog daily for advice on saving, investing, and planning your finances.