Bad shopping habits you need to fix right now (part 2)

3. Shopping Because of Boredom

If you have nothing to do on your lunch break, why not pop over to the mall? A free Friday night would be perfect for hitting up shops and restaurants downtown. Sound familiar? If so, you may be treating shopping as a hobby or pastime rather than a necessity. Shopping out of boredom – both in-store and online – can cause you to overspend and purchase items you don’t need, both busting your budget and cluttering your home.

Tips to Fix: Prevent boredom by looking into other free activities you can do when you have a spare hour or two. Catch up on your favorite podcast, go for a run, call up a friend for coffee, or read a book. By having a few alternatives in place, the mall won’t be the only place to turn when you’re bored.

4. Impulse Shopping

We all know impulse shopping is wrong – it causes you to spend outside of your budget. However, stopping yourself from making those buys is easier said than done. When you’re walking past a store and see a jacket you can’t live without, it’s very easy to whip out your credit card and walk out with exactly what you want.

Fast Fix: By knowing what clothing items you already have in your closet and acknowledging what triggers your shopping, you can avoid blowing your budget on unplanned purchases. Check out these tips:

  • Know Your Personal Inventory. By keeping track of what you own, you won’t be swayed by a new pencil skirt when you already have a great one at home.
  • Check Your Triggers. Perhaps you have a specific store that lulls you to buy over and over, or you like making purchases when perusing online auction sites. Identify your triggers and you can work to avoid them.
  • Walk Away. This is the ultimate in impulse-buy prevention. Even if you’re totally in love with something, walk away for a day. If you find yourself still thinking about that item, see where your budget might allow for the purchase before you take the plunge.

Impulse shopping can definitely derail the best-laid budget plans, so be on the lookout for anything that entices you to make an unplanned purchase.