There are instances when it is relatively easy to control impulse spending. All you needed to do is to avoid entering stores. This allows you to avoid many spending opportunities. There are also instances when you would watch As Seen On TV where you can buy products over the phone. Door-to-door salespersons may also pass by the house. These are instances when you are tempted to spend impulsively. But, it was easier to control this impulse before the coming of the internet.
Since most Americans own either a smartphone or a tablet, buying something has become easier. You can even do it while stretching out on your bed. This makes it important to know how you can avoid impulse spending that will affect anyone who wants to save money. You should avoid these enticements like candy bars displayed close to checkout counters in a grocery. It is also important to be careful of modern ways of spending. These modern methods include targeted social media ads, freemium games, and shopping apps.
But, even as it is easier to spend on impulse these days, it is also easy to avoid this type of spending. There are seven ways for you to easily control impulse spending.
1.Remove credit card or Paypal information on online retailers
All online vendors offer a useful service that allows them to store payment information. This makes it unnecessary to enter the information each time you decide to buy something. But, this service is beneficial for the vendor. It allows customers to buy something from them at the click of a button even if they do not think about their purchase.
You will feel frustrated if you have to look for your credit card and enter the information before you make a purchase. But, this frustration can serve as a reminder that you should not spend on impulse. This reminder is need so you can think twice about your purchase before you complete it. Online vendors do not keep your purchase information if they do not benefit from it.
2. Remove internet access to online retailers you like
While I took out my financial information from all the online shopping sites I like, I still have the information in my head. So, my online impulse spending did not slow down to a significant degree. But, I found a way to stop me from visiting these online shopping sites. I installed an application to filter out these sites automatically for me.
One such program is Optenet Web Filter PC. It blocks users from gaining access to a specific range of internet sites. The software allows you to select the type of websites you want to block. These websites may include shopping sites, social media sites, and game sites, among others. You can put a password on it to let you avoid easily accessing them. A friend can choose the password for you. This way you will not be able to disable it easily. You can also make your own password using a random set of numbers and letters. Store the password in a place that is not easy to access. You can put it on a shelf inside the closet of a guest room or the attic. This will make it unlikely for you to disable the block whenever you are thinking of shopping online.
3. Uninstall shopping applications on your smartphone
Scrolling through the shopping apps of online retailers on your smartphone is fun. But, this also makes it tempting to shop online. You can remove this temptation from your life.
4. Unsubscribe from online shopping sites
It is also not easy to resist the temptation to buy something online when you receive emails from online retailers. You should unsubscribe from these online sites to avoid getting any emails from them. But, if it is a hassle to unsubscribe, you can filter these emails and make them go straight to the recycle bin. This way you do not have to see them at all.
5. Purchase online using gift cards
Downloading your favorite songs from iTunes is easy since they cost less than a dollar each. But, this also makes you are prone to spending too much on songs and games. The same thing goes with upgrading games on your smartphones and tablets. These are small purchases that may end up costing a fortune when you add them up. You may end up spending too much if you simply click and buy anything that you like for your mobile device.
But, you can avoid this type of impulse purchase using your smartphone or tablet. You can get a gift card from Google Play and iTunes every month. This acts like a limit on the amount you spend for your mobile devices. After you used up the gift card, you will have to wait for the end of the month before you can purchase anything.
6. Look for free entertainment
Since I read a lot, I normally get ads and emails on some books that may pique my interest. The algorithms of Audible and Amazon recommend the best books on the market. These are the books that I like to read and may end up listening or reading them. But, this also makes it easy for me to spend more than I have to when it comes to books.
Because of this, I bookmarked the website of the local library on my browser. The app is also installed on my smartphone. When I receive a notice about a book I am interested in, I log into the website of the library and make a reservation for the book. This gives me the instant gratification similar to when I buy the book. But, I do not need to spend anything.
Even though it will take some time before I get the book, I would have at least have a book ready for me to read in the library. This happens since I make a reservation on books every week. This method can also be used when you want to watch a movie or listen to music. It is applicable to all types of entertainment you can access at a local library.
7. Have a snack
The old adage that you should never shop at a grocery store when you are hungry is true. Based on a study by Roy F. Baumeister and Matthew T. Gailliot in 2007, self-discipline is partially affected on the blood-glucose level in your body.
This becomes noticeable when you are hungry while inside a supermarket. You will be tempted to get something that you lack. But, the connection between blood-glucose levels and self-discipline is also true to other kinds of temptations. The researchers said a certain level of glucose is needed for self-control to work without any problems.
This indicates that you can get a fruit or any complex carbohydrate to prevent impulse spending. You can do this whenever you feel the need to buy something that you will not need in the end.