Never enter a shop without a good reason.
Get into the habit of shopping to a list. if you enter a shop without a specific need you are setting yourself up to buy something you neither want nor need. Some the invalid reasons one may enter a shop include:
- to see if they have anything “good”
- to see what is on special
- to pass the time
- for “retail therapy” (a very expensive way of passing time)
If there is no specific reason one will, all too often, emerge from that shop with something destined to sit in the cupboard and never actually be used.
Shopping for groceries
Look in your pantry to check your food stocks. Consider what you wish to eat in the following week bearing in mind you need to eat anything in your existing stocks before it goes off. Prepare your shopping list buying only the quantities you will actually use. Shop to that list avoiding temptations and impulse buys.
Shopping for clothes
Buy only to replace worn or damaged items to avoid an ever expanding wardrobe filled with an increasing number of garments that are seldom worn. When a shirt wears out buy a new shirt, and nothing more than a new shirt. Buy only one new shirt. Buy a new shirt only when an old shirt has worn out. It may be desirable to schedule your purchases for one shopping trip every three months and buy only to your list if you have a tendency to wander into clothing stores on impulse.
If you feel a need to enter a shop ask yourself why you feel this sudden urge. Ask what exactly you need. Ask yourself why you did not feel this need before you left home. It is easy to succumb to temptation to enter a shop to “look around”. If you enter that shop you are definitely receptive to buying something you didn’t need five minutes ago. If you didn’t need it five minutes ago you don’t need it now.
Ask yourself your buying questions
Your “buying questions” are those questions, uniquely tailored to your spending impulses that test whether or not you really want to buy your current object of desire.
A lot of consumer behaviour is driven by wishful thinking, vanity, self indulgence and desires to impress others. Ask yourself if your purchase will be driven by any of these motives.
Check your budget
Ask yourself whether this purchase will break your budget.