That momentary thrill is the most exciting part of impulse buying. It is in the feeling of getting a new item online or off the shelf of your favorite store downtown. Most of the items we buy on impulse are items we don’t necessarily need or want. But we still make such purchases because we think it is pretty, it is coming in a very new shade of color, or has an impressive design.
Impulse buying is the arch nemesis of every budget. Hence, the reason most of us are not attaining our financial goals. A random scroll on Jumia and two days later you have more a thousand worth of goods waiting on your doorstop. Or maybe a short walk to Yaba market, you are struggling with heavy bags of stuff you don’t need.
What is impulse buying?
Impulse buying is the process of buying stuff you don’t need because of sudden strong desire to purchase. In addition, the spontaneous incitement to purchase things you have not planned for.
Impulse buying can sub-divided into three parts;
• exposure to stimulus,
• a decision made on the spot.
For a little context, a random scroll on an online store without an intent to purchase anything in particular. Then stumbles on an item you think you like, and finally makes a purchase without thinking it through.
Exposure to Stimulus:
Maybe a product is on sale, and the marketing of such a product speaks to you in ways you feel good about yourself. “I think these shoes would make look sexy. There’s something about these shoes. “ If when you later purchase those shoes, that’s you responding to stimulus.
Decided on spot:
When a random stroll along your favorite store leads to you to purchase a new item within a few seconds that’s impulse buying.
How to stop impulse buying
• Get Organized and Create a Financial Budget: Being disheveled with your finances is likely one of the ways to impulse buy. Put a tab on all your expenses and income. It’s incredible important to find a balance with what is coming in and what you are spending, that’s when tracking comes into place. Have a spending plan and report all expenses to keep an accurate and detailed account of each category of spending, like groceries, school-related fees, or entertainment.
• Create a Priority List: A priority list also would help keep you on track. If you know you’re prone to impulse buying. You should remember that you don’t need everything on sale no matter how much you crave them. Write down all the things you want to buy along with how much each one costs. Then choose your top three and set a date for when you’d like to purchase them.
• Make a Shopping List: Before you set to go shopping create a list of things you really think are of a necessity. With a plan in sight you will likely not overspend. Of course rank from the highest preferred item to the lowest. Knowing what you intend to buy beforehand, cuts down your impulse buying aggressively.
Budgeting apps that can help you plan and stop Impulse buying
Level money is app that helps you to track your “spendable” money. It automatically reports your expenses and income and set aside what you can spend and save. Level money eliminates the tedious effort of a manual budgeting in a clunky spreadsheet. You can keep track on your impulse buy habits and have a financial goal like saving up for a house or a car. Level Money is available on IPhone and Android.
Unsplurge is a digital budgeting app, that helps you track financial progress. For instance, when you plan to save to buy a new car or the latest mobile, this app gives you visual incentives to keep saving till you attain your goal.
Unsplurge is only available on iPhone.
Pocket Guard Budget App
The Pocket Guard Budget App connects directly to your bank accounts and allows you to access your transactions and balance.
The app also automatically analyze your spending; shows you how much you have spent from your income and how much you have left in your pocket.