A Guide to Buying Sensibly Not Frantically
Why do people go shopping? The rational explanation would be “because they need something” but were that to be true half the problems in today’s world with debt and overspending just wouldn’t happen. People are not always to blame for this. For a start advertising and marketing is generally geared to make the consumer buy something that either they weren’t previously aware of or didn’t intend buying in the first place. The purpose of this short article is to help you gain financial peace of mind by harnessing your purchasing power to essentials and desirables rather than frivolities. No one wants to take the fun out of your life – but think how much more fun there would be to be totally free from debt!
Tip One: Create a monthly plan
Make a rule that you can’t buy anything new until one calendar month has elapsed, food, drink and other necessities excepted. Post a list in the kitchen and date each prospective purchase. If you still want it in a month’s time and have the cash, you can buy it. Chances are you’ll no longer be interested.
Tip Two: Avoid shopping malls
Ever thought “Oh I’m a bit bored today, I’ll just take myself down the Mall and do some window shopping”. Now you rarely go window shopping for essentials – you go (realize it or not) to be tempted. So instead of meeting your friends in the coffee shop or the burger bar, invite them home. The coffee will be just as nice and a darn sight cheaper all round.
Tip Three: Grocery shop online
This is a wonderful way to avoid temptation. Chances are you have a regular shopping list at the supermarket for your groceries, etc. Make a list and then log on to your favorite store and place your order. That way you’ll avoid the point of sale displays and the array of candies and chocolates and other impulse purchases at the check-out, not to mention the blandishments of the staff inviting you to try the latest special offer.
Tip Four: Surf carefully
Make it your practice to avoid online retail sites because they are powerful impulse providers. If you feel you really must have something, remember the 30 day rule we spoke about above.
Tip Five: Choose your channels
Living in America, it’s pretty difficult to avoid advertising on TV whatever program you happen to be watching. But at very least resolve never to spend a moment on any of the dreadful shopping channels because you can almost guarantee that anything you buy on there will be pure impulse!
Tip Six: Breathe Deeply
Impulse buying and shopping over your limits is a form of (sorry to say this) addiction, making up perhaps for disappointments or problems. Recognise the symptoms, take deep breaths, drink plenty of water, take a short walk. It all helps.
Tip Seven : Rationalise your credit
Try paying off your cards with one cash input and then concentrate on getting yourself straight. Car title loans are a great way to do this.