Impulse buying can be triggered by many things, but one of the most prominent reasons is to feel good, as in retail therapy. On the flip side though, when you don’t have the money and still make the purchase let’s say on credit, you end up feeling worse, you feel the “buyer’s remorse”, regretting what you just bought — later when you go home.
Impulse buying has left so many people in debt, making them buy things they don’t need, and sometimes not use it altogether. With today’s buying on credit availability, if you are not careful, impulse buying could lead to serious repercussions of not only debt but also your psychological well-being.
Impulse buyers have an impulse buying tendency trait, in which Ian Zimmerman Ph.D. described in his article “What Motivates Impulse Buying?”, as:
“First, impulse buyers are more social, status-conscious, and image-concerned. The impulse buyer may therefore buy as a way to look good in the eyes of others. Second, impulse buyers tend to experience more anxiety and difficulty controlling their emotions, which may make it harder to resist emotional urges to impulsively spend money. Third, impulse buyers tend to experience less happiness, and so may buy as a way to improve their mood. Last, impulse buyers are less likely to consider the consequences of their spending; they just want to have it.” – Ian Zimmerman
Ian suggested that before you make a purchase, ask yourself this question to figure out whether it was based on impulse:
“Did I plan to buy this, or did I get the urge to buy it just now?
On top of that, I have added some questions to ask yourself before making an impulse purchase…
It’s not just about buying stuff based on impulse or planning. Lately, I started to get obsessed with buying only stuff that I love, nothing less than love would justify the purchase. (Read: Why did I start wearing that special occasion dress in a typical day?) Sometimes we end up buying loads of crap just because they were such a “good” deal, so on top of Ian’s question, I would ask myself those 11 questions before making a purchase.
- Did I plan to buy this, or did I get the urge to buy it just now?
- Have I been looking for it?
- Do I love it?
- Do I need it?
- Will I miss it?
- Does it make me feel great?
- Do I feel excited about it?
- Is my heart happily pondering?
- Do I have something similar?
- Can I afford it?
- Am I bored?
- Am I upset?
If the answers to those questions are aligned with my heart, then it’s less likely to feel the buyer’s remorse afterward.