How To Avoid Making Purchases You Don’t Really Need

by Samantha Bennet on 2013/07/20

avoid making purchases you don't need Lately, I have come across too many people who make impulse purchases that they don’t really need.

For them, budgets hold no meaning and they are almost always overshooting their credit limits. Most of these impulse purchases are of things no one really needs. It seems to be an American epidemic.

So how do you get rid of this particular habit? Here are some simple tips:

Avoid Impulses
Simple enough? Not really. For those who are impulsive, controlling their impulses can be a really huge challenge. You may want to spend your money in certain ways, have a budget in mind, but when you come across certain products, your will just begins to waver.

The easiest way to avoid this is to stop taking unnecessary trips to shopping places. If you want to go for a movie, avoid a theatre close to a shopping mall. If you make impulse purchases over the internet, stop browsing the shopping sites. It may be tough at first, but you will get used to it eventually.

Ask Yourself Questions
If you submit to the temptation and head out for shopping, ask yourself if you really need what you are buying. This is a small check that often keeps you from making unnecessary purchases. Do a quick recap of your budget and calculate whether you have the resources to make this purchase and still be comfortable for the rest of the period before your next payday. You could also look at the bigger picture and make a quick checklist of potential purchases which are more important than those you are making right now.

Make Shopping Lists
Making a shopping list before you step out to make your purchases can really help. I tend to stick to the shopping list when I have one. When you have the list in front of you, you tend to shift focus from the shelves to the list. So, you end up looking only at the things that you really want. It is one of the most foolproof ways of avoiding impulse purchases.

Don’t Listen to Others
When it comes to your needs, you know best. If you already have a gym subscription, buying that core strengthener for your garage is just a waste of everybody’s time. Even if your friends and colleagues say you need it, evaluate it in your own head first. Do you really need it or is it just another thing that will sit in its box while you regret spending money on it? Listen to the voice of reason in your head and ignore the advice of friends who egg you on to buy things you don’t really need.

Use Prepaid Debit Cards
If you have problems buying things you don’t need, try using a prepaid debit card to keep yourself in check. Use these cards for things like going out to eat, buying gas and going on vacations. You can load your budgeted amount of money on your card which will make it easier for you to avoid making purchases you don’t need.

Make Use of Return Policies
Most stores have a return policy wherein you can return the product you purchased within a specified period to either get a full refund or store credit. Make use of these return policies. It will help you get rid of the things that you bought on an impulse. Usually, when you make an impulse purchase and bring it home, the excitement and thrill of possessing it may wear off. This is the right time to make the returns.

What are the things you usually buy on an impulse? What would you do to avoid making purchases you do not really need?

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