“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” Dave Ramsey
You are in a department store buying your kids back to school supplies.
You notice a cute new pair of shoes in the section over. You instinctively walk over to get a better look. You know you are here for your kids BUT can’t help yourself.
It is like the store has control of your thoughts and is pulling you towards the shoes. Your feet head toward them powerless to stop.
You bend down to pick them up and start looking for someone to bring you your size.
We have all been in this dilemma and felt guilty later that we bought the item. Well I can show you how the 30 day rule can stop your impulse buying.
What is the 30 Day Rule?
The rule tells you to take the money you were going to spend on the impulse buy and store it in a savings account instead for 30 days. Write down all the information about the item like name, where you found it and how much the item costs in that store. Place the paper with the info in a prominent location like on the fridge or on your bathroom mirror. Think about the potential purchase for a month. As the 30 days starts dwindling down do a little research and see if you could find the item elsewhere cheaper. If after this time you still want to purchase the item, then go for it.
This gives you an opportunity to think about the purchase and if you desire to buy the item. Going against the impulse urge will feel unnatural especially if you are a big impulse buyer.
Many times, the impulse purchase is an emotional one that does not contain any thought process. You see it and buy it on the spot like you are on automatic pilot.
Buying items on a whim can ruin budgets and cause more debt.
Impulse Buying Tendency Trait?
Did you know some people have a personality trait called impulse buying tendency? Neither did I but it’s true. Just like if a person is pig-headed or is passive or articulate or clever this trait is woven into that person’s genes.
Negative influence is affected by a few behaviors. First impulse buyers are more concerned with status and image among other people. They purchase items not because they desire them but to look favorably in the eyes of others.
Second impulse buyers tend to have more anxiety and controlling their emotions is difficult. Their will is broken, and it makes it close to impossible for them to stop themselves.
Third, they tend to be less happy people and buying impulsively changes their mood be it temporarily.
Does that mean this person is doomed to have impulse buying control their lives? No of course not. Change this trait over time
I know it may be tough at first but with a little self-control and change of habit begins with starting this practice today.
Building This Habit
Experts say it takes 3 weeks to begin a new habit that sticks. Anybody who’s been on a diet knows that first couple of weeks sucks.
In fact, this should be easier than a diet because most people don’t impulse buy daily. Our lives are consumed with work, kids, school and other obligations.
I would suggest starting slowly by practicing your restraint in a supermarket. We all have been walking down the aisle picking up the necessities or whatever is on our list. But when we hit the aisles with chocolate or ice cream our brain goes into hyperdrive and the little voice in our head screams Buy It! A dilemma ensues as you stand in front of the case licking your lips. Your willpower is being tested and the question is will you pass?
It is at that precise moment you walk away and pay for whatever is in your cart. Leave the store immediately victorious. I insist on leaving the store because using your willpower is draining. Each time you call on it the effectiveness wears down and you will crumble like a cookie.
Start with supermarkets and work your way up to clothes, jewelry, shoes or whatever else you may buy impulsively.
This may take a few tries to become right but with persistence and a little dedication, you will achieve this goal.
People learn best when challenged and this is what I am asking you to do. Put yourself in this position as often as possible to test your mettle.
When you feel that strong, unrelenting urge to buy that cute black dress or that new 75-inch screen TV that just came out turn around and walks out of the store immediately. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.
Impulse buying is tied to emotions and affects both men and women. The 30-day rule can change your impulse spending forever and not wreak havoc on your budget.
With a little practice and a different mentality, accomplishing this will be a breeze.
Start slowly and build up to big impulse buys that get your heart racing and your little voice inside of you going ballistic. As soon as you are able to walk away from that moment you’ve arrived, and your savings will get bigger.
I believe in you. Now go out and do it.