January sales are nearly upon us as the Christmas period will soon come to an end. For those of you that love to shop January can be the best time of the year to pick up a bargain. But we all know how easy it is to get carried away, especially when shopping with friends, all those bargains soon start to add up and you end up spending way more money than if you were shopping without the sales. Tonnes of advertising and marketing go into the high street and this can be incredibly hard to resist.
Here are some tips that will make it easier to resist the temptation and stop the urge of making impulse purchases:
- Shop around
If you’re out and about shopping and see something you have the urge to buy, it is likely you can get it (or something similar) elsewhere. So make it a rule to not to purchase from the first shop, look around in other shops, you can always come back if you don’t find a better deal. Remember to also check online, especially for electrical goods which are often cheaper.
- Try clothes on
Sometimes, especially during a busy sales period, you see a massive queue for the fitting rooms and cannot be bothered to join it. So you end up buying clothes without having tried them on only to find that when you get home they just don’t fit well, you just don’t like it or you don’t actually need it, I know have been guilty of this many times. If you really do not want to spend time queuing at least make sure you keep the receipt so when the excitement of shopping and buying something new has passed and you decide you now longer want it, you can always return it.
- Be mindful
Keep your overall financial goals in mind. If you have financial goals and things you are saving for then you should have created a budget to ensure you stay on track with your goals. If you’re out shopping and see something you really want, ask yourself “If I purchase it will I still be within my budget and will I be able to meet my financial goals?” If the answer is “No” you simply do not buy it. Be mindful of why you want to actually make the purchase. Is it for retail therapy? Do you actually need it? Will it add value to your life? Be honest with yourself when answering these questions and you will find that you are spending a lot less money on things you don’t need.
- Are you actually saving?
You may see an item with the price reduced from £60 to £30 and think this is a bargain that you cannot miss as you will be making a saving of £30. But if you don’t need this product and you had no intention of buying it before you seen it, you are not making a saving of £30, this is a £30 expense that you had not planned for. You would be £30 better off if you don’t buy it. If you had intended to buy it than that’s great because you are saving £30.
- Take cash
When you go out shopping take cash with you and leave your debit card at home. Research has shown that you feel more connected to the purchase when using cash and physically handing money over is a frequent reminder of how much you are spending and therefore will spend less. Take with you only what you have budgeted to spend so there is no way of overspending, you have no choice but to stick to your budget and stay on track with your financial goals.
- Make a list
Before you leave your house or turn your computer on to begin shopping, make a list of items you intend to purchase and the maximum you are looking to pay for each item, keep it all within your budget. If you go with a plan you are more likely to spend money on sensible purchases. If you see something that you really like and it’s not on your list, stick to your plan.
- Avoid shops
Many people go shopping for fun or even as a hobby so the temptation is buying more and more ‘stuff’ is always there and this temptation can be incredibly hard to resist and incredibly easy to get carried away and spend way more than you had not intended. So why not just avoid the shops completely if there is nothing that you need? Find less expensive ways to enjoy your time and socialise.