To a great extent, we all get excited by consumerism but some fall prey to compulsive and impulsive shopping behaviors. While most of us think a lot about money- how much we have, how much we need, how to get more, etc., we still end up messing up our finances and budget. Given the importance of money for our own lives and of our loved ones, the one easy thing that you can do to take charge of your financial health is by tackling your compulsive and impulsive shopping habit.
This blog will help you identify if you are a compulsive shopper, introduce various ways to tackle your shopping habits and help you avoid the most common mistakes that people make while making shopping decisions.
Who is a Compulsive & Impulsive Shopper?
Compulsive shopping habits are addictive and make you spend more. It is more common among women and can even cause psychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression. The most common causes of this habit are perfectionism, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), a way to fill a void in life or just the need to be in control. Some signs of a compulsive shopper are:
- You think about shopping all the time
- You tend to ignore loved ones and prioritise shopping over everything
- You have failed to get over this behaviour and becoming anxious about it
On the other hand, impulsive shopping is buying without planning. For example, if you are enticed by the 4 letter word- Sale and end up buying without having planned for it or even without needing it, you are an impulsive shopper. If you succumb to an urge in the moment, then you may be guilty of this habit. Digital marketing and ecommerce mix emotions with data science and tap this behaviour. They help you channelise and cope up with your feelings through shopping and ordering and give you instant joy and satiate your temptation.
How to Tackle Your Shopping Behavior
A. Track and Note your Spending Habits
Record every purchase you make to help you understand the pattern, triggers and times when you feel most tempted. This will also help you trace purchases made for needs vs those for wants. If you always break your monthly budget then this may be the best time to begin tracking purchases through a journal.
B. Avoid Flash Sales
The urge to shop is triggered more when there are sales. If you feel like kryptonite during sales, then mindful spending can be done by either carrying limited cash or limiting the spending limit on your credit or debit card can help you take control of impulsive shopping. Unsubscribe from the mailing lists that entice you with sales ads.
C. Ask for Help
Prepare a list of items you need, handover your wallet to your loved one and ask them to ensure that no item you add to the cart is out of the listed ones. This way you make money access tougher, increase the time spent on buying and thereby, spend more time reflecting on the decision. Act on the root cause of your impulses and triggers, know whether it’s a weapon to express anger, to feel more secure or soothe yourself. Engage in some side hustle such as blogging, cooking, or any other hobby to look away to channel your energy elsewhere. If you are one of those for whom when the going gets tough, the tough goes shopping, then train your mind to do something else and avoid browsing shopping apps which make you more vulnerable.
So the next time you face a major decision while shopping, keep in mind the above tips and make informed and hopefully, better choices. At a minimum, we believe that shopping decisions can impact your financial affairs, so take charge now and never succumb to these habits.