How to Identify Your Spending Triggers & Avoid Them

How to Identify Your Spending Triggers & Avoid Them

Overspending is generally the biggest reason most people break their budgets. One major purchase could put a major dent in your savings. Yet, it’s the impulsive purchases that tend to cripple you financially. You need to figure out what your spending triggers are so you can get a handle on them fast.
If you just can’t seem to figure out why and how you overspend each and every month, you have a problem. We all have spending triggers. Yet, some of us have more control over them than others. It’s time to control yours.

What Is Impulse Buying?

An impulsive shopper sees something they want and doesn’t hesitate to buy it. They don’t need it and know they can’t afford it, but they make the purchase anyway.
Oftentimes, impulse shopping is triggered by emotions. Some impulsive buyers shop when they are happy or want to celebrate, others are triggered by negative feelings, such as depression or anger.
Either way, there’s a lot of guilt that comes after the purchase. That’s because these “things” can never fill the void within you.
According to a CNBC report, every year, consumers spend up to $5,400 in impulse buys alone. Harris Interactive conducted a survey. It shows that about 53% of those who participated admitted to making impulsive purchases to celebrate special occasions.
Harris also reports that on average, an adult American has about $4,717 in credit card debts alone. However, 63% of American adults don’t even have $500 in the bank for emergencies.
Yet, Americans continue to buy impulsively.
When buying through impulse becomes a habit, you put yourself further in debt. This habit eventually becomes an addiction. You’ll continue to seek that next high if you don’t get a handle on your triggers now.

Your Spending Triggers & How You Can Control Them

Emotional spending can bring temporary pleasure for impulsive shoppers. They turn a day at the mall with friends into a shopping spree, buying things they don’t need and really can’t afford.
In a world where most people expect instant gratification, the high you get from shopping can be soothing… even exciting. That’s why many people turn to spending money to combat depression. But once they get home and look at those receipts, the depression is worsened, and accompanied by guilt.

What Are Your Spending Triggers?

To answer this question, ask yourself where you spend money the most. This may be the mall, home improvement stores, eBay, Amazon, gift shops, restaurants, second hand stores or various online stores.
Once you figure that out, the simplest solution is to avoid those places altogether. Sounds easy right? Well, we know it’s not that simple for a true impulse buyer.

5 Tips to Avoid Your Urge to Overspend

Until you get a handle on the emotions leading you to shop impulsively, you need to take steps to make yourself do the right thing by your wallet. Here are five tips to help you help yourself stay within your budget:
  1. Shop with cash only. Create a budget for the day’s shopping. Only take the amount of cash with you that you plan to spend. Once you’ve spent that last dollar, your day of shopping needs to end immediately.
  2. Leave your credit cards at home. Tapping and swiping bring a sense of enjoyment to these types of shoppers. If you don’t have a credit card on you, there’s no way to go above and beyond your budget once all the cash is gone.
  3. Avoid malls and certain stores. As an impulsive shopper, you already know the mall is a big trigger. But so are stores like Wal-Mart and Target. You go into these places for one thing. But there’s so much to look at and choose from, it’s almost impossible for you not to buy more. Avoid all the pretty triggers inside the stores. Shop for what you need on their websites, then use curbside pickup instead of going inside.
  4. Shop by yourself. Group shopping can be a trigger in itself. You’re more likely to spend more money when others around you are spending like crazy. Not to mention, your favorite shopping buddies will want to go out to eat afterward, making you spend even more money. Instead, shop alone and stay focused on buying only what you came to purchase.
  5. Find a healthier habit. For many impulse buyers, shopping is the #1 form of entertainment. For the sake of the health of your finances, find something less costly to do with yourself. Stay busy. Join a gym. Feed the ducks at the park. Go dancing or hang out at the beach. Or, you can simply Netflix and chill. But do NOT go shopping.

This was a guest post by Kiesha, big thinks!


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