How can you stop impulse spending especially if you’re a compulsive shopper?
I experienced enticing temptations recently at a Boxing Day mega sale. Thanks to these 6 proven secrets, I succeeded in resisting the siren calls, controlled my urge to splurge, and saved more money as a result.
Now you can use these same 6 ‘resistance’ strategies which had worked perfectly to rescue my wallet. Resistance (to spending on bargains) is not futile in this instance!
Find out how this shopping trip had a happy ending.
You can apply these same frugal strategies to other major sales like Black Friday Sale, pre-Christmas sales and so on.
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1. Delayed gratification pays off
How do you stop impulse spending? Identify the item you really need and wait for the sale when its price is the lowest you’ve noted.
Unbeknownst to me, my son had been biding his time. He’d been waiting for a sale. His prize – a headset. Checking out the prices, he had originally settled on a price range of $11 to $13 range.
But upon looking at product reviews, we found that most of the headsets are poor quality – they have a rather high proportion of negative reviews, which make them poor value despite their cheap prices.
How long had he waited for this sale? More than a year!
I was shocked. Here I am, telling others to wait a few days before making purchases. I’d no idea he’d been waiting for so long.
We did research and found a value pair of headsets with great user reviews – its minimum price was $33. We used a price comparison site, and the lowest price shown was $29, sold by the store we were at.
Therefore, this sale price of $29 was indeed very good, so good that we were lucky to grab the last remaining headset he wanted. Frugal shopping success 🙂
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2. Knowledge is power for frugal shopping
I’m ashamed to admit it, but on Boxing Day I myself got caught up in the buying fever.
There were throngs of busy shoppers – the atmosphere was charged with excitement and there was a lot of activity. The noise was incredible.
Suddenly, I ‘realized’ I ‘needed’ a kettle, an oven toaster and a vacuum cleaner.
Wait a minute! Haven’t I been advocating and practicing all the clever shopping tips to save money?
Credit went to Mr MMT, the superhero who saved the day.
He knew the prices of no frills kettles, but those on sale – with their design looks and designer colors – had high original prices.
Even with discounts, they still cost way more than the usual ones. The prices of the oven toasters were also way higher than typical ones, such that the discounts weren’t any good at all!
But the vacuum cleaners were priced very attractively!
However, research using his trusty smartphone (bought from AliExpress) showed that the well-priced appliances had quite terrible reviews. Also, we have a vacuum cleaner that still works. So, we didn’t buy another one. Frugal shopping mega success – we did NOT buy! 🙂
Learning point: When you do your research and increase your knowledge, you’re much less likely to give in to impulse spending.
3. Having a sensible support person makes frugal shopping possible
Have a sensible support person or persons to help you restrain your urge to spend impulsively.
If you really need to buy something at a mega sale, make sure that your support person understands that the visit is to buy just what is needed, at a great discounted price.
Agree to stop each other from any unplanned buying of “bargains” that are actually money wasters.
Don’t underestimate this simple counter-measure.
With support from each other, we kept asking ourselves whether we needed the items.
The answer was NO, NO and NO!
Teamwork led to our frugal shopping success 🙂
4. Recognize this shopping paradox
We saw other shoppers hauling off entertainment systems, blenders and other stuff in all shapes and sizes.
Did they spend money on their needs? Or did they succumb to impulsive spending?
My guess is that most of the people who said goodbye to their money were buying stuff they didn’t need. Many were probably buying new stuff to replace their old “inferior” and outdated stuff.
I must confess that it wasn’t very easy for us to keep a clear head in the midst of the exciting atmosphere. I’m only human after all!
Recognize this paradox – shoppers spend money in order to save money.
But wait a minute!
NOT buying at all means saving ALL your hard earned cash 🙂
5. Compare and compare product prices and reviews to frugal shop
My son headed off to the phones section where everyone was converging on a Huawei phone costing $1,000.
He compared the features to his own Leagoo phone (bought from Ali Express) and his phone specs are still better.
So, before you buy what you really need, compare at websites like Google Shopping and Shopzilla to make sure you grab the best possible deal.
Remember to check out the user ratings and reviews, not just the prices.
This will help you control your tendency to spend impulsively.
6. Take time away from the madding crowd
On my way in, I saw lots of attractive things on sale!
I was tempted by discounted duvet sets costing $186 !! A set of wall decor pics originally priced at $670 became almost irresistibly priced at $237. It was crazy!
I bet you noticed the old retailer trick – show the higher original price, to make the discounted price seem like a great buy.
After having been stopped by Mr MMT from buying the kettle, mini oven and vacuum cleaner, we decided to remove ourselves from the frenzied masses, and relax at a relatively quiet part of the store.
It allowed us some time and distance away from the madding crowd and its frenzied atmosphere. After a while, I managed to regain my usual frugal shopping self.
When the harmful influence had worn off, I realized that the secrets explained above had saved me from impulse spending that I would have regretted later.
I did want to buy a set of earphones for myself at only $5, but thankfully I didn’t, as I really didn’t need it 🙂
Yay! We emerged victorious over the discount priced temptations that the store had carefully engineered for its mega sale.
We bought only the headset that was needed. The $29-dollar headset was likely among the cheapest items sold that day. Perfect frugal shopping 🙂
What happened to us at the Boxing Day sale taught us that it’s really important to pre-plan our shopping trips, so as not to fall for unneeded “bargains”.
Bargains aren’t bargains if they’re not needed in the first place. Avoiding buying what we want is the key to successful budgeting and a frugal lifestyle – that leads to greater wealth and financial independence.
Thanks for reading this. Tell us about your frugal shopping successes – I’d be happy to know about them.
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