Have you ever set out to go household shopping and instead returned with a new dinner dress you bought at a discount sale – for half the price? (Besides who needs toiletries and groceries when you can be the proud owner of an Oscar worthy dress?)
Or have you ever found yourself woefully behind budget in the middle of the month with only shopping receipts and bad money decisions to your name as you drudge along the rest the month wallowing in self-pity and regret and with a firm resolution to “never again” ? (But really who are you kidding?)
Unless you have the genetic makeup of a block of ice I am sure you can relate to at least one of these scenarios even if only in a varied degree.
In a world where the war cry of thousands of women is Stuff, Stuff, Stuff, impulse buying has evolved into a somewhat subliminal addiction and like all addictions, it can prove to be a bane in your [financial] existence. So here are a few pointers to help control your urges
Keep just enough amount of money
I find this particularly helpful in my day to day life, and a fail-safe way to curb impulse buying. Keeping a specific amount of money on you that caters to your immediate needs restricts your spending no matter how strong your desire to buy impulsively. (Click to tweet) The thought of being stranded when faced with a temptation is enough to console yourself with the mantra there is rice at home.
Avoid Window- Shopping
Like any recovering alcoholic or drug addict stay away from the things and areas that tickle your impulse buying senses. Just stay away. You aren’t Superwoman, don’t think you can window shop at your favourite store and come out empty handed (growing up with a shopaholic mother I can tell you first hand that almost never works). Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Before giving in to your urges ask yourself a few questions. Questions like: Will this bring value to my life? Do I have an immediate use for it? Do I need this? Do I really need this? Unless your village people are doing you, as we like to say here in Ghana, being introspective and honest about your answers will help numb the thrill of making an impulse buy.
Shop with a Debbie Downer
Sometimes all you need is an anchor to hold you down so you don’t get caught up in a shopping frenzy. And that anchor may be in one of your most ‘chisel’ (stingy) friends, who is bound to cluck her tongue disapprovingly at your excessiveness. Sure it may be like having a dark cloud ruining your parade but in the end it keeps you in check. SheVestors! Always go shopping with your Debbie Downer. (Click to tweet)
Set aside Money for Impulse Buying
Don’t we all wish we could indulge in our sins without dreading the morning after? Now you can (if you are an impulsive buyer at least). Set aside money that will cater to your whims but that is well within the confines of your weekly or monthly budget. (Click to share on Facebook)So the next time you come across a new shade of lipstick you want to try you can buy it without having to deal with that nagging voice inside your head. Whoever said you can’t have your cake and eat it!
I guess in the end it all comes down to the type of woman you are and the kind of woman you want to be. Keep your eye on the prize and you will be less likely to make decisions that will hurt your finances and your goal.
Nana Araba Plange
I am Nana Araba Plange, a final year language student at the University of Ghana and I like to write, read and live vicariously through the epic fictional characters I encounter. I find inspiration in nature and from women empowering each other. If walls could talk, I would sit down all day at the feet of old monuments and imbibe the first hand stories of the great men and women who helped shape our land and pave the way for us to do the same.