Curbing the impulse to buy | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 13, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 13, 2018

Perspective

Curbing the impulse to buy

Whims and spurs often catch us in the throes, rendering us incapable of rationality or reason. Succumbing to the consuming temptation of a vicarious ownership of material objects, let it be due to pleasure, personality or product connection, is a battle all too common.

An impulse buy can be triggered by a random cycle of nostalgic emotions or be the easy victim of strategic and carnival-like marketing promotions. Whatever the motive, impulse buying is a war we are not even sure we are fighting. Chaotic retail environments like stores advertising summer sales, irresistible discounts or just the most ordinary of hobbies that is an innate love for shopping are all enemies we fail to conquer.

However, purchasing something on the fly at stores adept in weakening our resolve is not always frowned upon. A caveat would be the underrated fact that everyone amongst us splurges every now and then at a fairly modest rate.

Yes, impulse buying can be a positive trait.

People can experiment with their creativity by purchasing different objects. Dressing up in various colours and outfits can reflect a spontaneous personality. Tweaking your home décor with vintage vases or an artistic portrait can speak for your inner love of interior decorating.

Your most prized possessions can be impulsive buys. Sudden or unplanned spending at sales can also result in good deals and you can even end up with vintage or limited-edition collectibles all owing to your favourite hobby of not passing up on an offer.

But the same fear of missing out on good deals works in a tricky manner. How often do the common sale tactics of retailers serve us for the better?

Not too often.

Overindulgence will inevitably lead to products collecting dust in your closets, probably with the price tags still attached. Wild streaks of retail indulgence bring about their own host of problems.

Hoarding impulsive buys can overtake closets and storage spaces. Overindulging can be a straight road to debt accumulation and maxed out credit cards, even making you bid farewell to your hard-earned savings.

Worsening matters is buyer's remorse, where a brand new purchase blinds you in a never-ending chase after a material product, and often is followed by the guilt of making unnecessary purchases.

Surrendering to retail therapy, you fail to distinguish between a frivolous expenditure and a necessity. The pursuit of happiness and social respect consume you and you give in to just another buy. This immediately leads to buyer's remorse; the exact feeling you were hoping to avoid in the first place.

This feeling can be beaten. Resisting the calling and coming out of this battlefield victorious is simpler than it sounds. The enticing enemy of monthly budgets can be overpowered if you just take a deep breath and monitor shopping sprees.

If you are one whose budgets never work their way, try circling around the departmental store or mall when an alluring product catches your eye. A good walk around the store will allow time to think expenditures and make the product appear less attractive.

Another way is documenting spending and paying with cash to keep a track of monthly expenses. Plan spending and make calculations before heading out to the store. Prepare organised lists of needed items and strictly adhere to them. Be responsible and start making smart choices.

It is never too late to reign in on impulse buying and prove yourself triumphant against the irrational moment of self-gratification.

Curbing impulse shopping and steering clear of its detrimental influences is all too possible and at the heart of the solution is to gather yourself in the spur of the moment to break the enchanted trance of an impulsive buy.

Photo: Collected

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