Through the years, I have changed from an impulsive buyer to a frugal shopper. It took some time and a lot of personal motivation but I was finally able conquer this bad habit. If I was able to do it, I don’t see any reason why you can’t. Whenever I’m faced with an urge to buy something unplanned, I usually pause and ask myself several questions first. These simple dialogue with myself has become a powerful tool for me and I hope it will be for you too.
Before I reach for my wallet, I ask myself first:
“Am I feeling angry, lonely or depressed? Am I buying this because I want to feel good?”
“Do I really need this? What will happen if I don’t buy this?”
“Have I checked if this item is available somewhere else for a better price?”
“Don’t I have something similar already like this or can’t I just borrow this from someone?”
“Is there a cheaper alternative to this item?”
“Can I afford to buy this in cash?”
Asking these questions to yourself will help you evaluate the situation and make you realize if the purchase is really necessary. It is important that you answer as honestly as possible or else you’re just making a fool out of yourself (and I know you don’t want to do that.) Lastly, here are some practical tips which you can also follow:
- Plan your day before you leave the house and be strict with your itinerary, no side trips
- If you’re going shopping, specially to the grocery, prepare a list of things to buy and stick to it
- Overcome the impulse by giving yourself time before you buy the item, if after a week and the itch is still there, then go ahead and buy the item without the guilt
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Photo courtesy of SXC
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