5 tips and tricks to spend less when shopping
There are many reasons why we end up spending on things that we don't actually intend to buy. It could be because we aren't aware of our real spending habits. Maybe we are unaware of our budget or trying to soothe ourselves by engaging in retail therapy. To prevent yourself from falling into the trap of impulsive shopping, adhere to these five psychological hacks.
Always prepare a list before shopping
Preparing a list of items you want to buy will avoid impulsive purchasing because you have a fixed budget in your mind, and it forces you to focus only on what you need. The old-fashioned pen-and-paper lists are effective for this trick to work. Once you are at the store, the list will prevent you from getting tempted by the items on display.
Double check if you are getting the fair value
Coming across new products and the anticipation of purchasing them can spike your temptation to try them out more. This can cause the brain to release dopamine, a hormone that makes you feel good. To keep your dopamine in check, confirm online whether you are getting a good price for the item or not. Always keep fair value in mind.
Understand the triggers of retail therapy
Shopping when emotional can ease feelings of sadness. A 2014 study from the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that retail therapy makes people happier instantly, and it can also fight lingering sadness. However, these small instant gratifications sometimes weigh heavier on your pockets. Simply being aware of this and your spending triggers can help you prevent impulsive buying.
Sleep over it before you buy
Before purchasing any expensive item, take a good night's sleep. Just add it to your online shopping cart and walk away. You may find that by the time you have waited, the item has stopped seeming as appealing as it was at that moment. Lack of sleep also affects our mood and judgment, so getting some sleep might positively influence your decision-making.
Say 'no' to sales and discounts
The big sale hoardings and ad campaigns are exciting to look at. But if you end up purchasing an item you didn't need to buy, you might end up regretting the decision. So, unless you really need it, say "no" to discounts. Make a second list of items that you only want but don't need, this is another way to sleep on your purchases.