How to Avoid Impulse Spending to Save Money
Budgeting does not mean you can't treat yourself to the things you love and enjoy, but when you are repeatedly spending money without thought (Impulse Spending) that's when you need to start re-evaluating your budget and how you're spending your money.
Building healthy money habits is crucial for your long-term financial success. Being able to identify your money triggers so that you can manage your impulse spending is important.
Read through our five top tips for preventing impulse spending!
What is Impulse Spending?
An impulse purchase is an unplanned decision to buy a product or service, usually decided just before buying.
"The act of buying something that you had not planned to buy, because you suddenly want it when you see it" (Cambridge Dictionary)
How to Prevent Impulse Spending?
It can be practically impossible to stop spending money if you're constantly being exposed to brands and their products. The first thing you need to do is unsubscribe from their promotional emails and unfollow their social media accounts.
By doing this you remove your exposure to their new products, offers/discounts and sales. Their marketing is designed to make you BUY, so by closing yourself off to their marketing channels you will be less likely to impulse buy.
2) Distinguish Between a Need and a Want
The easiest way to budget your finances is to differentiate between those purchases that are a need, and those that are a want.
A need purchase is something that you need right now (e.g. a new washing machine as your has broken) or something you have been planning to buy for a while (e.g. saving up for your summer holiday). Whereas a want purchase is something that you buy with little consideration (e.g. another pair of trainers because they were on sale). Impulse spending falls in this want category.
Every time you go to buy something, always ask yourself - is this a need or a want?
3) Calculate the Hours Needed to Buy
Another great question to ask yourself before you spend money - is how long do I have to work for to pay myself back?
Essentially for every purchase you make calculate how many hours you have to work to be able to afford that purchase. This might make you think twice about whether the cost, or the item, is worth it.
4) Wait Before Buying
This tip is perfect if you struggle to identify between your needs and wants. By waiting 5-7 days before making the final purchase you can decide whether you actually needed that purchase, or it was just an impulse spend. If after the 5-7 days you still want to buy that item, go ahead - as long as it's within your budget!
You can also save money by waiting before buying. When shopping online, if you abandon your basket many retailers will send you a follow-up email with a discount code to encourage you to buy. So if you do decide that you still want to part with your money, make sure to check for a discount!
5) Use a Prepaid Card
A prepaid card can be a great tool to help you manage your shopping habits. By loading up your prepaid card with a weekly, or monthly, spending limit you can control how much you spend. Once you have hit that limit - that's it.
With the ImageNPay, a digital prepaid card app, you can track your spending and ensure you stick within your budget! For more information on how we can help you, check out our other posts; How are Prepaid Cards Good for Budgeting or Why Should you Use a Prepaid Card?
Impulse spending is something a lot of us struggle with, but it is something that can be managed. By following these tips, and being kind/patient with yourself, you can build healthy, long-term money habits.
Try our digital prepaid card for yourself! ImageNPay is FREE to download in the UK on iOS.
Read all the posts in our Prepaid Benefits series here.