You have decided – from now on you start to save. You have the best of intentions, but for some reason you get caught up in late-night shopping on eBay or Amazon, frantically clicking and storing in a cart what you need, but a lot more of what you do not need. Why do such things happen to us? Shopping makes us happy in most cases and makes us feel better in our own skin, but an unnecessary purchase will by no means please our wallet.
In what exact situations are we most inclined to succumb and spend money we do not have?
Never Shop While Checking Emails
As soon as your e-mail address is spotted on a web page, you will receive a bunch of emails with various ingenious offers. At least, they will seem ingenious to you at first glance. Many experts specializing in compulsive shopping disorders advise that right now, this exact second, ask to unsubscribe from all store offers. Be especially skeptical when it comes to supposedly short sale promotions (“Only today”, “12-hour sale”, etc.) because they want to create a false sense of urgency or lead to a situation where you feel you have a deadline to buy as many things as possible.
Get ‘saved by the bell’. If you have succumbed and put items you probably do not need in a cart, go through that cart again and ask yourself the following questions: What are the other things I could do with this money? To be able to afford this, how many hours do I need to work? Will I be able to live without these things in the next month if I did not buy them now? When you think about these issues a little better, you will probably realize that you do not need many of such things and give up on buying.
Special tip: when you receive an offer in the e-mail that seems irresistible to you, try to think of it as a game, i.e. what tactics the merchants want to use this way to make you buy something you do not need.
Don’t Shop When You Get a Large Amount of Money
A good example of this is a tax return for something. For months before you get it, you dream about how you will spend it: travel, a car, a new washing machine… But if you do not plan to invest at least a part of it, that money will not be in your wallet for long. Financial advisors suggest that you invest 90 % of such a large sum in your own finances, and spend only 10 % on something fun.
Special tip: While it may seem that a tax refund is free money, keep in mind that it is actually your money that the government originally took from you and is now giving back to you. Therefore, do not treat it as free money but as part of your income and invest it in something smarter than just traveling.
Don’t Shop at the End of a Bad Day
You woke up in a great mood, with a lot of enthusiasm and positive energy but, by the end of the day, you are stressed, annoyed, and nervous. The boss shouted at you, and then you had to ask the tenant representative for help because you lost the keys to the apartment. You stare at the empty fridge and think what kind of meal you could make from ketchup and… well, just from ketchup.
Yes, you have had a horrible day, and while you are finally getting to bed and looking for something to look at on Netflix, you suddenly find yourself on eBay, ordering a bunch of socks or t-shirts. Financial psychologists say you have just fallen into a dangerous trap that includes anger, loneliness, fatigue, and fear. Such conditions are most dangerous for your wallet because you will try to comfort yourself by buying unnecessary things. Similar is with gambling which, especially men, often practice when they feel stressed. Frequently depositing money via credit cards or e-wallets in online casinos that have those payment options, such as those by the link, you might overspend. Just be moderate when it comes to gambling, that is all.
Special tip: Do not bring electrical appliances into the bedroom. Bring a book instead. No one has ever spent too much reading a book in bed.
Don’t Buy Under the Influence of Substances
It is no secret that alcohol, marijuana, and other opiates lead to bad decisions. One study from a couple of years ago found that as many as half of Americans buy unnecessary stuff under the influence of alcohol, spending the most on clothes at those moments. The average cost of a ‘drunk’ shopping was as high as $ 200.
Special tip: Remove shopping apps from your mobile phone and, if you still hear the “siren call” of the nightlife, block access to the sites where you normally shop before you go out somewhere where alcohol will be consumed for sure.
Don’t Shop During the Holidays
Christmas, Valentine’s Day, birthday… these are just some of the dates in the year that your wallet cannot stand. This, psychologists claim, is due to unrealistic and exaggerated expectations that throw many people into depression and force them to spend more to feel better. You can absolutely feel lonely those days and find solace in spending money.
Special tip: Get busy with something else, like volunteering. There is certainly some organization in your neighborhood that cares for elderly and abandoned animals, the homeless, or children who need help, especially during the holidays when many egoistically put themselves in the first place. Or, start doing some physical activity and surround yourself with people.
Don’t Shop When You Only Need One Click to Buy
Believe us, your wallet desperately needs the time you spend entering card information. Only then you will realize you do not need five new shirts while you have 20 in your closet that you have not worn in the last month. Let’s put it a bit in a humorous style – if you make a purchase with just one click, you will not feel the pain of saying goodbye to money. That pain is greatest when you pay in cash because you see the physical disappearance of money.
The same goes for dining in restaurants. Rather choose the ones where the waiter comes to you so you can decide in peace what you want to eat and how much you want to spend and avoid the counters in shopping malls where you have to make a decision right away and do not have time to think because 10 more people are breathing down your neck in line. Also, take only as much money as you plan to spend and leave your credit cards at home.
Special tip: Use cash, it hurts more. Sign out of all apps and shopping pages so you cannot spend so easily.
Don’t Shop Right After You Already Made a Big Purchase
This is the exact reason why rudely high prices of snacks and drinks in hotel minibars remain like that. An overnight stay costs you a lot anyway, so what is $ 8 more for a bag of chips? Do not fall into such a cheap trap because that same bag of chips costs five times less at the store across the street from the hotel. Likewise, when you buy an apartment or house, you have no problem with huge spending on furniture. You have lost track of the amount and value of money because everything seems cheap to you after spending all your life savings.
Special tip: When you buy an apartment, immediately determine the budget for the furniture and do not exceed it.