Impulse or unplanned shopping is the easiest and most common way to overspend and crash your budget. Your budget is there for a reason and you should stick to it to reach your financial goals. It can be tempting to just go on a spree but it is usually a very bad idea. With shopping we mean any shopping that tends to make you go a little crazy. It can be clothes shopping, shoe shopping, gadget shopping, food shopping, or whatever strikes your fancy.
If you know you tend to overspend, our tip list for today is especially for you. So, how can you curb those impulses and stick to your budget?
Carry your budget allocated amount in cash – If you carry the cash of a specific amount you cannot overspend. If you have only that money to spend on your chosen area of purchase, you cannot spend more. So, restrict yourself by not having the option of using a credit card or more cash than you have allocated for clothing or food.
Don’t shop when you’re emotional – Yes, retail therapy can be good and necessary at times but you should have a budget for that. If you know that shopping makes you feel better you should have a spending spree section in your budget. When you’re emotional, man or woman, we tend to get impulsive and just plain stupid. So, either avoid shopping when you feel sad, angry, or excessively happy or budget for those days when you really need retail therapy.
Don’t shop when you’re hungry – If you go grocery shopping while you’re hungry you are almost guaranteed to end up with a whole bunch of unnecessary items in your trolley and they will be double the number of things you went to get. Shopping when you’re hungry makes you want everything you see and that leads to impulsive buys that blow the budget.
Only buy what you need – This one links in with the others but it is worth mentioning on its own. If you have a list of things you need to buy, stick to the list. On that point, always have a list. When you can tick things off, you see what you get and you don’t go off script. Buying things you want but don’t need should be two separate activities with two separate budget-allocated funds.
Your budget shouldn’t take the fun out of shopping, but it should plan for those expenses. If you go to the store to get things you need, stick to that and stick to the budget. If you want to go and buy things for fun, use the funds allocated for entertainment and the funds for the groceries. It’s actually not that difficult to stick to the budget if you separate the different purposes of your shopping sprees.