If you walk out of the supermarket with many items what were not on your list, you are not alone. Impulse buying is a common problem and it can easily put you over your budget. Here are some important ways to limit impulsive spending and keep you on track:
- To help cut down on unnecessary expenses, consider shopping with cash instead of a debit card. Spending cash that you have in hand helps you see where the money is going. Swiping a debit card and entering a PIN number is similar to using a charge card, and you may be tempted to spend more than you planned on.
- Credit cards make it very easy to have things today, instead of waiting until you can afford them. You should not take your credit cards with you when you go shopping. However, remember to keep them in a secure place while you are gone. This will eliminate the temptation to spend money that you do not have.
- When grocery shopping, do not use a shopping cart unless you have a large list or you need items that are big. Today's shopping carts are huge for a reason. It's very easy to throw in some extra things that are not on the list. Most stores have small baskets that are perfect for getting bread, milk, and other essentials. This will keep you from adding unnecessary items that will not only break your budget but also expand your waistline.
- Before you shop for food, eat something. Shopping when hungry can make you impulse buy. The smell of freshly cooked rotisserie chicken is all it takes, when you are really hungry.
- Always bring a list with you to the grocery store. As you pick up things, cross them off the list. Make sure that the first and last items are reminders to only buy things on the list. This reminds you of the importance of proper shopping.
- Maybe you have friends or relatives that like to overspend or they have greater financial resources than you. Refrain from shopping with them. You may buy things just because others are buying, and that can cause wreak havoc with your budget.
- If you are one of those people that shops to feel better, you need to develop a better strategy for dealing with stress and anxiety. Try taking a walk with someone or go to a park and enjoy the scenery.
Remember to plan ahead before you shop, so you can avoid situations that may trigger overspending.