Have you ever gone to the store with a specific list in mind and ended up leaving with more than you anticipated? The average American wastes about $450 a month on impulse purchases, adding up to roughly $5,400 per year. If these last-minute buys are putting a dent in your savings, you might want to reconsider your spending habits.
Retailers often use certain tactics to make customers more likely to shop. These practices can include strategically placing products throughout the store and pressuring consumers with the urgency of a limited-time promotion. Merchandise that you’re more likely to buy on a whim is placed around high-demand items. Additionally, displays are purposefully marketed to look as appealing as possible.
Perhaps the most effective way to avoid falling for these tricks is to establish your budget. Setting aside particular monies for groceries, bills and entertainment can prevent you from overspending. Differentiate your necessities from your wants and adhere to a list. If you’re prone to impulse purchases, create a limited cash fund to use each month on luxuries or nonessential items.
Another tip is to calculate how many hours of work it would take to pay for an item, then determine if that product is worth it. While the novelty of something shiny and new is great, it’s also temporary, and you’ll thank yourself later for keeping your spending under control. Check out these other tips on how to put a cap on impulse buying and save money in the long run.