The majority of people, at least once in their lives, have spent a lot of money on something they can’t afford. When this happens every once in a while, it’s not that big of a problem. The major issue begins when it becomes a habit, because it can bring you many problems in the future, such as a huge pile of debt.
The best way to change a habit is to identify the triggers that make you do a certain action so that you can make it more difficult to purchase something or change the bad habit with a good one.
1) Emotional Shopping
One of the most dangerous types of spending triggers is emotional shopping. It usually occurs when something stressful happens in someone’s life, like an argument with a spouse, or anxiety due to deadlines, and they end up shopping to feel good. When this behavior is repeated frequently, it can lead to compulsion and shopping addiction.
2) Need for Gratification
It is no secret that shopping makes most people feel great. The reason why is because it releases a substance in our brain called dopamine, which makes us feel happy. And by seeking this momentary pleasure in order to ‘treat yourself’, you might end up shopping for gratification. However, this feeling only lasts for a limited period of time, which might end up making you want more and more of it. You can change this behavior by finding other cheap or even free things to do, that involve experiences rather than material possessions.
3) Special Events
Have you ever noticed that you spend much more money when you’re on vacation or when you go to a wedding? Studies show that people are most likely to overspend on special holidays or other celebrations by 32%. It is very important to have a budget for these types of spending in order to avoid overspending.
4) A Need To Please People
Some people base their worth on the things they can buy, so they end up buying things to make it seem like they have a higher status. Keep in mind you don’t need to splurge on designer clothing and fancy cars to show your worth. For instance, billionaires like Bill Gates dress simple and refuse to overspend. He is one of the smartest and richest men in the world.
A dangerous trap you might fall into is window shopping when you are bored. There is a good chance you might end up buying something you don’t need, just to feel entertained and happy. If that is your problem, it is very important to have a plan to do something else to get entertained when you feel bored.
6) The Idea of Saving Money
Sales and the idea of saving money often make us buy things we don’t need because of panic and fear of missing out on a good deal. We start thinking about the savings more than the spending. Sure, buying things on promotion is great, but only if you are going to use that service or product.
7) Advertising or Retail Tactics
Retailers use all kinds of tactics to make you more likely to buy certain products or services. For instance, the products were carefully placed at the grocery store, including the lighting, mirror, and even the smells at clothing stores. Being conscious of these strategies is a must if you want to start spending less money. It is essential to give it some time before you make a purchase. If you are still thinking about it, go and get it. By adding this simple step, you can start saving a lot more.