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The holiday season is a time when we’re all tempted to spend too much. Whether we’re buying gifts for our loved ones or treating ourselves to a little something, it’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of giving and exceeding our budgets. This article will share multiple tips and tools to help keep your impulse buying in check this holiday season. Using these tools, you can stay on budget, stick to your gift list, and avoid holiday debt! Let’s get into it!
Related: Impulsive Buyers’ Guide To Slow Shopping
What Causes Impulse Buying?
To solve the problem, we must first understand the problem. In a nutshell, here are a few reasons that can cause you to indulge in impulse buying:
- Emotionality: when people are experiencing emotions such as anger, boredom, guilt, stress or depression, they are more likely to make a purchase. Good moods and excitement can also cause people to buy things, as well as fatigue after a long day.
- Loss aversion: our brain can often be tricked into thinking something is a good deal, just because it’s on sale. So next time you see a sign for a discount, think twice before you buy!
- Biased evaluation: we are very optimistic people. No matter what, we believe that we’ll eat all the food we buy, wear every item of clothing, and use all the household items we pick up. The first step in the “how to avoid impulse buying” guide is to be realistic!
Tips to Curb Impulse Buying
#1 Have a clear budget
Make a budget and go over it after you finish shopping for everyone on your list – including yourself. Having a budget you can stick to will help stop you from buying those cute-but-totally-unnecessary boots on sale.
Another tip is to create a savings fund for something you really want that’s a bit pricey. So every time you feel the urge to buy something you don’t need, put that amount of money into the fund instead.
Related: Best Tips For Budgeting
#2 Wait it out
You can deter impulse purchases by giving yourself time to think about any purchase over a certain amount, like $50 or $100. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself at least 24 hours to decide if buying something is a need or just an impulse purchase by sleeping on it.
That way, your impulse has time to settle down, and you can approach the purchase with a clear mind if you really do need it. You can revisit the item after your waiting period has expired and even use the information to do comparison shopping online.
#3 Ignore promotional emails and ads
Besides not having lists and emotional triggers, what else contributes to impulse shopping? Exposure to social media and endless deals in your inbox is partly to blame. Nowadays, social media is more focused on product placement and influencing people than it is on connecting with friends.
Even if your only intention is to see how your loved ones are doing, you’ll be bombarded with ads. It’s the same story with those tempting emails promising massive savings and unbeatable deals – try to limit how many emails lists you subscribe to. Start clicking that unsubscribe button and get rid of all that digital clutter.
#4 Check out the reviews!
The next time you’re thinking about buying something, read its product reviews – especially the bad ones. A lot of the time, bad reviews are just people exaggerating, but sometimes they show you the ugly truth about a product that’ll make you realize it’s not worth buying.
Scrolling through the reviews of people who have bought the item before you can save you a ton of money. You should always read the reviews of an item online, especially if you’re not sure if it lives up to its hype. The reviews can tell you if customers are satisfied, upset, or just meh about their (impulse) purchases.
Related: How To Spot Fake Product Reviews?
Tools to Help Curb Impulse Buying
Carrot is a Google Chrome extension that automatically collects your carts as you shop. So whatever you ‘add to cart’ on any online store gets automatically saved on Carrot as a list that you can organize and share. What’s more? You can create grocery or shopping lists on Carrot and compare prices to find the best deal online because money saved is money earned.
The coolest part about holiday shopping on Carrot is that you can categorize the items you need to buy into different collections! There can be one for gifts, personal shopping, and much more.
Say goodbye to impulse buying, and say hello to the future of organized plus mindful online shopping with Carrot!
Icebox is a free Google Chrome plug-in that replaces the buy button on over 500 retail websites. Instead of buying items, users can put items “on ice” for three to 30 days as they think through their purchase. People won’t be blocked from making a purchase. You can override the system if it’s something you really need to buy. The idea is to get you to think harder about your purchases – but we doubt having an “unfreeze” option will truly help prevent impulse buying.
DrnkPay helps you manage your impulse buying
habits when you’re drinking. You can link your cards to the app and set a limit for how many drinks you plan to have. A Breathalyzer test is connected via Bluetooth so that if you exceed your preset limit, your cards will be blocked for 12 hours. You can choose which types of merchants to block, such as bars, online shopping, or all categories. And if you need a ride home, you can order one even when other transactions are blocked. Unfortunately, we’re currently unaware of its availability status.
Carrot Makes Impulse Purchases Obsolete
The Carrot Chrome extension is free, easy to use, and automatically saves anything you add to your cart, so you can buy it later! You can also create wishlists and share them with your friends. Carrot makes online shopping easy, convenient, and fun – and it’s freee!