I’ve decluttered thousands of things from my home. I love it and I want to keep it that way. I’ve also set an audacious financial goal that excites me. Does that make me immune from buying crap on impulse – no!
Despite all my good intentions, I still find myself in a shop, a prospective purchase in hand (or in my online cart), on the precipice of a not-so-great buying decision.
Occasionally, I slip up and make a random impulse purchase. However, while I’m still tempted – often – my powers of resistance are much improved. Pesky social conventions like actually buying the thing I’ve stood in line for five minutes waiting to purchase are no match for me! So, what’s my secret?
Repeat after me
Well, for starters, you need to acknowledge that there’s a multi-billion dollar advertising and marketing industry doing it’s all to tempt you into buying things. You’re constantly surrounded by subtle, and not-subtle-at-all, messages that your life would somehow be better with their crap.
You can’t escape them, not totally, but you can counteract them. You need to shop forearmed with strong counter-messages of your own. Come up with a couple of mantras that resonate with you and repeat them, often. Here are some to try, or devise your own.
- I am enough
- I currently have everything I need to be happy
- My house is a home, not a storage unit
- I don’t have to own it to appreciate it
- Financial freedom feels better than any purchased product
- This can stay money
- Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now
- Save 100% by not buying it
- Fast fashion is happiness for a breath, quality is joy for a lifetime
- Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or go without
- Wait until tomorrow
If you find yourself thinking that a specific item is a must-have, it pays to question yourself. Try these questions as a way to clarify whether buying it really is a priority for you right now.
Do I want to dust/mend/maintain/pickup/store this?
- Is this an item I’ll declutter next year?
- How many hours of work is this item worth?
- If a stranger offered me the value of the item in cash, what would I want more – the cash or the item?
And finally, don’t forget it’s never too late to pull out of a purchase!
What are your tips to help avoid impulse purchases? I’d love to hear your stories of not buying it and ditching a purchase at the last minute.