We’re probably all guilty of having thrown something in our shopping cart that we didn’t plan to buy, just because it caught our eye while we browsed. While this isn’t likely to be a problem if it only happens occasionally, it could cause financial problems if it happens on a more regular basis. Credit cards are useful to have, but if you’re using them to make such impulse purchases – without being able to make full repayments each month – then it could be time to assess your actions.
Figuring Out Needs vs. Wants
Debt is something that affects a wide range of people but it can be avoided by many if they’re willing to be a little tougher on their own spending. So if you’re used to simply buying something because you want it, firstly ask yourself whether you also need it. While there’s nothing wrong with treating ourselves from time to time, for some it can be lead to regret later on.
If you’d like to get a firmer hold on your finances, it’s worth setting yourself a realistic budget, taking in to account your salary, essential payments such as a mortgage and bills, in order to know what you have left over.
Effectively Working a Budget
Working to a budget doesn’t mean you have to suffer, but it will give you something to work towards and encourage you to think twice before getting out your card. This can prove particularly useful for a food shop, so try to plan out your meals and the ingredients you need for the week ahead before hitting the supermarket. To make life easier on yourself, never go to the store on an empty stomach. It’s obvious enough logic, but if you’re hungry all kinds of junk food will seem far more appealing than it might normally.
Let It Marinade a Few Days
Another good tactic is to hold off buying an item on the spur of the moment, but instead to go away and think it over for a few days. This will also give you time to shop around and find out more about it – who knows, it might even be available elsewhere for a better price?
And once you feel you have cut out unnecessary spending, you might find it’s worth making a credit card application for a product that rewards you for your purchases. These are available from a wide range of lenders and can give you a little bit back each time you spend.
What are your thoughts on impulse shopping?