For some people, shopping can be a major stress reliever, and spending money can boost a person’s mood significantly. Money is a source of power, and the ability to spend it makes a person feel empowered. Impulse buying is fueled by the uncontrollable urge to spend money, most often on unnecessary items. It can develop into a compulsive behavior where the act of spending money becomes the reward for the spender regardless of whether they can afford the purchases. The material items bought on impulse are more a product of the desire to spend and usually are not as important to the spender.

Impulse buying can become a serious addiction and can land a person in financial trouble.

Recognizing tendencies to buy on impulse can help a person control the urges before they become serious, and help them become more aware of the need to think before they buy. Surely everyone has bought an item on impulse before and later came to regret that purchase as they found themselves waiting in the line for returns. However, when a person starts having urges to spend money they don’t have, such as using credit cards to make luxurious purchases, then acts on those urges regularly, they could be allowing themselves to fall under the spell of impulse buying.

There are times that good deals just cannot be passed by, and that’s alright because impulse buying is not always bad, provided you have the money. However, thinking about your purchase can help you decide whether it is necessary and keep you from mindlessly spending money on a useless item. Be honest and ask yourself why you are buying a particular item.

Is the purchase going to serve useful to you in some way? Are you buying it because it makes you feel better? Is the item serving as some sort of reward? If the item is something you want rather than need, perhaps you should consider waiting to buy the item until you’ve thought about it some more. If you really can use the product or have a need for it, then the purchase can be justified.

Also, be careful of what you put into your cart. If you have two similar items, compare them, and decide which one is a more worthwhile purchase. This can shave off extra spending. Making a list before you come to the store, and then committing to the list while shopping can serve as a wonderful deterrent to impulsive buying. It not only makes your shopping more efficient but keeps you from overspending.

Believe it or not, many stores count on impulsive spenders and actually arrange their products accordingly. Enticing displays for new products, pairing two products such as chips and soda on the same aisle, and various other tactics lure spenders to buy more than they came for. Becoming aware of the buying environment can help you see what items you are more likely to spend impulsively on, and give you the initiative to say no to excessive items in such situations.

Not everyone manages money effectively, but curbing impulsive buying tendencies can help a person avoid the pitfalls of overspending, and help keep them from high debt. Thinking before you buy can make a world of difference, and keep you from becoming a compulsive shopper. While stores love big spenders, they prey on impulsive buyers, and being aware of this can further serve to keep you from developing compulsive buying tendencies.

Not everyone manages money

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