So you are wondering what the effects of impulse buying are? Well, they are only good for one of us, and that is not the buyer. A variety of factors can trigger impulse buying;
- The illusion that you are saving money
- The fear of missing out
- The buzz of purchasing
- As a quick fix for emotional turmoil
- Overcompensation for an outside influence out of your control
- An item that is appealing because it is either unhealthy or too expensive.
The Illusion Of Saving Money
We have all been there. You get caught up in the buy one get one free deal. Or, a jacket you could not afford is now on special offer, and even though you still can’t afford it, you buy it anyway, right?
Repeat after me…
You are only saving money if you were going to buy this item within your budget before it was on offer.
The effects of impulse buying are strong whenever you see a three for the price of two offer. Ask yourself if you will honestly make use of all three. If you are not sure, leave it. There is no point it having more than you can use and also feeling guilty about the money you’ve spent that you do not have.
Alternatively, you’ve had your eye on that gorgeous pair of designer shoes. When you first saw them, they were way out of your budget, but you absolutely fell in love with them. A few weeks later, you check back, and they have a considerable discount. Even with the deal, they are still out of your regular budget. What do you do? You need to justify the extra spend, and if you can’t, then don’t buy them.
Ask yourself the following;
- Are they excellent quality? If you buy a cheaper alternative, will you replace it more regularly, so spend more in the long run?
- Will the purchase leave you in debt? How much will that debt cost you?
- Do you need them and love them, or do you just aspire to have something like that?
- If it is a three for two deal or similar, will you use the extra?
The Fear Of Missing Out
Occasionally, when you start to see a trend taking off, you can question whether there is something about it that you are missing out on. Whether it is an item you never liked initially or didn’t think you needed, it can grow on you. Before you know it, you find yourself walking out of a shop with the item in hand, or having ordered it online.
More than anything else, it is your curiosity that has lead you there. What is the fuss all about? What are you missing out on?
On these occasions, I suggest you sit back and watch. Most of the time, that purchase will not be beneficial to you, and you’ll end up walking away. If after a considerable amount of time and thought you want to give it a try, go ahead. However, treat it like any other intentional purchase you make and consider how it can serve you first.
The Buzz Of The Purchase
This can happen alongside all of the above. There is no doubt that you can get a buzz from purchasing something. It is that buzz that credit card companies and retailers want you to feel. The feeling is similar to when you have won something. But have you?
If the item you have just purchased is an impulse buy, then the chances are you didn’t plan it in your budget. I would suggest all you are feeling is an achievement, because even though you can not really afford the purchase, and deep down you know you can’t, you have still got it. So it is a win right?
Wrong. Feeling like you have won the item you wanted momentarily will quickly be replaced with a feeling of loss when you consider the money lost. Don’t do it. Put it aside and think about it first considering your budget realistiically.
Someone or something has upset you; you have looked at your bank account and, it has depressed you, or you feel a bit deflated. Avoid shopping. As I mentioned above, you definitely can get a reward buzz when you shop, but now is not the time to do it. See friends, make yourself a good drink, watch a film, anything but shop.
Retail Therapy never works in the long term. When you are feeling down, choose a more worthy interaction to improve your mood. Guilt will follow a spree of retail therapy for spending money you never had.
Of all the effects of impulse buying this one was one of the few to make the headlines in 2020. Previous to 2020 the only time I recall seeing panic buying anywhere near that scale was scenes of Black Friday Sales. The pandemic of 2020 took it to a whole new level. It is one thing to be a prepper, but it is another entirely to buy piles of the same thing because you fear the stores will run out, so you overcompensate.
Panic buying is usually triggered by fear. Either fear of missing out on a deal, or the fear of an outside theat you can not contol – like COVID 19. Like all other cases above; don’t end up in a fight over toilet rolls. Think before you buy and work out in a practical sense what you will need. Don’t be one of those people.
The ‘I Can’t Have It’ Appeal
Heard of the saying ‘You always want what you can’t have’? Well, this is what is going on here. Think about it. That pair of shoes that look similar to the ones that are produced by a very expensive brand name, will in most cases be suitable. I always suggest looking at quality over quantity, so you do not frequently have to replace things. However, that does not mean buy something you can not afford, just because it is currently a fashionable brand. Think what will last the longest, how long did it take you to work for that money, and if you will get practical use from it. If any of the answers are negative, leave it well alone.
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