TOPIC: IMPULSIVE BUYERAn impulse purchase or impulse buy is an unplanned decision to buy a product orservice, made just before a purchase. One who tends to make such purchases is referredto as an impulse purchaser or impulse buyer. Research findings suggest that emotionsand feelings play a decisive role in purchasing, triggered by seeing the product or uponexposure to a well-crafted promotional message.Such purchases ranges from small suchas chocolate, clothing, magazines to substantially large material such as jewellery,vehicle, work of art and many more.Usually about 80 per cent of the time, thisbehaviour can lead to problems such as financial difficulties, family disapproval, orfeeling of guilt or disappointment. There are some signs of becoming impulsive buyer. The first one is you’realways making unexpected shopping trips and purchases. If you find yourself takingshopping trips on a whim, you might be an impulse buyer. Perhaps you intend to stop atjust one store, but ending up shopping the entire mall. Maybe you feel bored, angry, ordepressed and go out to buy stuff to entertain yourself and to feel better. Or perhaps youdecide you want something, so you hop online and buy it immediately. Any of theseactions mean that you’re not thinking over your spending but just buying thingswhenever you feel like it. Second sign of impulsive buyer are you’re constantly over-budget and you havecredit card debt. If you’re not paying attention to what you can afford to spend, youmight be an impulse shopper. Rather than making well-planned and researchedpurchases, impulse buyers simply decide they want something and get it with littlethought for how much they can afford to spend. It’s about getting the item now andworrying about paying for it later. This can result in blowing your budgets out of thewater for groceries, clothing, electronics, or others categories. If you’re constantlyrunning a balance on your credit card, you might have an impulse buying problem.Impulse buyers go out and shop whether they have money in their accounts or not. Theymight spend an entire pay check before it’s even been earned but justify it by sayingthey’ll pay off their purchase with the coming payday. It’s not until later that theyrealize that they can’t afford to pay off their credit card balance, landing them in debt. However, there are also many way for curing an impulse buying habit. Forexample, if you can make your purchases more conscious and intentional, you’re lesslikely to buy stuff when you don’t really intend to spend. Here are some ways of doingjust that. Other than that you also can create a waiting period. Don’t allow yourself tobuy things without having some sort of a waiting period first. For example, if youdecide you need a new pair of jeans, require yourself to wait a week before actuallymaking that purchase. Take this time to stop and ask yourself “What is my reason forbuying this? Should I be buying this?” before making any purchases. Drawing attentionto the situation forces us to act with our conscious minds rather than our emotions. Youmight realize that you don’t actually want to spend your money on jeans because youdon’t really need them. When visiting a store, try to avoid emotional purchases. You should never shopwhen the mood isn’t right. If you’re feeling sad, angry, lonely, or even happy, it canaffect your shopping patterns and how much you spend. Some get a temporary highfrom shopping and spending money, but it might then wear off quickly. Don’t be an
emotional shopper! Find other outlets for dealing with your feelings instead of headingfor the mall. Try exercise or talking with friends whenever you have the sudden urge toshop. You also are responsible to be careful with online shopping. Online shoppingmakes impulse buying extremely easy. In less than a minute, you can order just aboutanything and have it delivered to your house in just a couple days. Since we now havealmost constant access to the Internet and some online retailers only require a singleclick to purchase, it’s easy to spend money online no matter where we are. You can also avoid signing up for programs that offer free and fast shipping.Unsubscribe from promotional emails, too, since these will merely remind you to visitthe retailer’s site and buy stuff. Avoid browsing online stores when you’re bored since itwill increase the likelihood that you’ll spend money. In addition, never use credit card.If you can’t control your impulse spending and credit cards are your weapon of choice,stop using them altogether. You’ll be able to do just fine without credit. You can nevergo into debt when you’re only dealing in cash you have in the bank.If you don’t want tobe limited to just cash, debit cards are okay, too, since you can’t carry a balance. Just becareful since using debit cards are still a lot like spending with credit, potentiallymaking it easier to go over-budget. Practice yourself to keep lists on what you going to need not what you want. Toavoid going crazy at the grocery store, keep a list and stick to it. You’ll save moremoney at the supermarket if you don’t make purchases on impulse but keep track ofwhat you actually want to buy. For anything else, write down what you want and waituntil it goes on sale. You’ll either save money or won’t end up buying at all – it’s a win-win. You are also must allow yourself to spend sometimes. Don’t set yourself up forfailure by setting your budget at RM0 on things that you know you’ll spend on.Expecting to spend nothing on the fun things you love to do and buy most isn’t arealistic goal. Instead, set aside money to spend on whatever you’d like each month. Ifyou let yourself have a fund to spend on anything you want, even impulse purchases canbe allowed as long as you stay within your set limits.