Consumer Purchasing Tips
Shopping responsibly might be a cliché that is both overworked and overused. But you probably have experienced that jolt of pleasure at the swipe of your card. An immediate rush of guilt takes over upon realizing that you have just busted your budget. Let’s read about Consumer Purchasing Tips.
The truth is that consumerism has become one of the strongest forces in modern society. Not only does it encourage the consumption of goods but does so in a never-ending cycle. The world produces 80-100 billion garments annually – something that has increased fourfold in two decades. With each piece worn 7 times on average, imagine how many pieces of clothing are currently in circulation. This does not cover food and other items that we consume on a daily basis.
Thus, impulse buying and consumerism have become overarching ideas in the modern world. It is a mindset that has trapped us into thinking that we have to have more stuff to be happier and more successful.
Fortunately, only a few steps can help you break that cycle and avoid impulsive buying. Here are 7 consumer purchasing tips to set you on a sustainable path of good spending habits!
Look Out for Your Spending Triggers
Everyone has some triggers that stir up our desire to spend more. It could be the aroma coming from the bakery around the corner or a close friend who keeps admiring your fashion sense. Your job is to limit your contact with those triggers. Try taking a different route or meeting with that friend on a hike, rather than at the mall. But more importantly, learn to spend only on what you’ve planned.
Avoid Impulsive Buying
Before you buy anything, it is a good idea to wonder why you are buying it. Is it because buying that thing makes you feel better or is it really a necessity? Half of your effort to curb impulsive buying is to identify emotional spending as the immediate gratification it provides will not trump the wave of guilt afterward.
In order to avoid impulsive buying in the long-term, consider indulging in alternative activities. Such activities usually render the same pleasure but don’t cost you a dime. So instead, go for a walk in the park, read a book, exercise, listen to music, take a relaxing bath, or meditate. It could be anything that offers simple-minded pleasures and self-indulgence.
Practice Intellectual Independence
Developing good spending habits starts with understanding how consumerism touches your life. You have to learn to identify when a company is trying to manipulate you through ads. The best way to develop and practice intellectual independence is by preventing external pressures from affecting you.
While one way is not to let triggering fads take up your time or brain space. Every time, something prompts you to buy, whether it is in an advertisement or social conversation, consider the reliability of the source and if it has a particular agenda.
You can use this questioning approach to everything you purchase. Analyzing your purchase decision will help you decide whether to curb your impulse or make any allowance for it.
Limit Credit Card Spending
Unlike popular belief, credit cards aren’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, they can come quite handy in emergencies and unforeseen circumstances. As long as they are used and paid off on time, they can improve your chances of getting approved for loans.
However, it is only when they are used as a means to fuel your consumer purchasing tips, they become a reason for your affliction. Bad spending habits can quickly accumulate credit card debt. And the only way to avoid this is by limiting your credit card spending.
Start off by avoiding spending a credit amount that could take more than three months for you to pay back. Also, remember that credit cards come with the extra baggage of a monthly interest rate. So, it is best to avoid spending with your credit card unless it is absolutely necessary.
Get Creative and Recycle
Another piece of advice that relates to consumer spending tips is recycling is better than throwing away. In most cases, there are a lot of things you can do with old gear before it is destined to the landfill. Whether it is recycling plastic bottles and cardboard or getting creative with an old pair of jeans to make new things, there is so much you can do to make the most of what you already have. Once you start reusing stuff, you’d be surprised at how much you can save every month.
Set Long-Term Financial Goals
Usually, when we are exhausted from work, spending on a $5 cup of coffee doesn’t seem like a big deal. But such innocent expenses can add up to sabotage your finances.
The best way to tackle this is by focusing on something big that you really want. You can set a long-term financial goal and dedicate a savings account to it. When you feel the impulse to spend on something you don’t need, think about your big goal and put that amount in your savings account instead. This strategy can help you save up money for your big goal in no time.
Live on a Budget
The last consumer tip is to live on a budget and shop from a list. This tip is something that can make a huge difference. Setting up a budget and living on it helps you prioritize your spending and stay on top of your budget.
Living on a budget can start from little things like not spending money on a daily cappuccino run.
Similarly, you have probably heard people say that never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Even if you have to make a grocery run before you’ve had lunch, making a shopping list and sticking to it can help you avoid impulsive buying. Not only will it save you money but time as well.
While there is nothing morally wrong in buying for pleasure, the extreme form of impulse buying can ultimately lead to unpleasant and damaging consequences. It is important to understand that consumerism wasn’t invented by someone with malign intent. Rather, it is a cultural phenomenon that has grown in influence over time. It now has the power to manipulate us with this mindset, instead of letting us decide for ourselves.
Much to our luck, it is possible to escape the hold of consumerism. In fact, there are many who have learned to avoid impulsive buying. However, you cannot bring about these changes overnight. With a proactive approach and aforementioned consumer purchasing tips, you can release yourself from the shackles of mindless spending.
If you are looking for some help to throw excessive spending to the curb, a smart tool, like the Doctor Money app could be of great help. Download the app to get better control over your spending and expenses so that you can make your financial dreams come true!