We have all found ourselves in this situation. We spend time crafting a budget, comparing prices, and doing the math. Yet, when we go shopping the following day, we end up spending more money than we have budgeted.
This is a fact to many people. A recent report by Bankrate showed that 82% of people who create budgets rarely stick to them.
Why do we do this? At times, this could be because we indulge in shopping at the wrong times. At other times, the feeling for shopping makes us feel good.
Here are ten times you should never go shopping if you want to save money.
When You Get a Cash Windfall
Do you play the Powerball lottery? Or, do you invest in stocks?
One of the riskiest time for your finances is when you win the lottery ticket and get your sweet dividends, or when you get your work paycheck. Research shows that you are likely to overspend during this time.
Tip: Whenever you get such a windfall, I recommend that you first take your time to budget. After making the budget, I suggest that you deposit funds in a fixed deposit account, which you can’t access with ease.
When You Receive a Promotional Email
Every day, you likely receive tens of emails from companies you have visited before. Some of these emails will give you discounts on products and subscriptions.
Be very careful about promotional emails that promote limited-period offers or those that give a discount to a certain number of people. These emails are intended to create a feeling of urgency. In marketing, they call this the principle of scarcity. They are made to tempt you into buying products you don’t need instantly.
Tip: To solve this issue, I recommend that you always unsubscribe to promotional emails. You can do this by email or by an application like Unroll.me or GetUnsubscriber.
At the end of a Bad Day
Most of us start our days just fine. But, by the time we are leaving the office, things tend to go south. Getting yelled at by a tough boss, missing a sales target or even getting stuck in traffic.
Research shows that you might be tempted to shop during this time. Researchers call it the HALTs trap. HALT is an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired.
Tip: During such a time, I recommend that you stay away from the shopping malls or addictive shopping sites like Amazon, eBay, and Nordstrom.
After a Bad Breakup
Occasionally, when you go through a hard breakup, you might be tempted to go shopping to show your former partner how well you are doing.
Other times, you might think of getting rid of everything that reminds you of your partner. Ideally, this is usually a good thing if you want to move on.
Tip: If you are on a budget, you can try other things that do not cost money to move on.
After Getting your Loan Approved
Getting a loan is often difficult. However, when you receive the funds into your account, there is usually a sense of freedom.
Like I mentioned above, when you receive such a windfall, you should avoid the idea of going shopping. Doing this will tempt you to spend the borrowed money in ways you didn’t intend to.
Tip: When you take a loan, I recommend that you use the funds to pay for the item that you had intended to. Always remember that this money is not yours and you will be required to pay it back.
When Under Influence
What’s the correlation between alcohol and spending you may ask? A recent study by Finder found that people who drink regularly end up spending more money on spontaneous shopping.
The study found that the average cost of drunk spending was more than $200. Reason? According to the study, being high on alcohol tends to inhibit your thinking which leads to poor judgment.
Tip: So, any time you are going out to party, I recommend that you carry exact cash and leave your credit cards at home. This will be one way to prevent overspending.
During the holidays, we all find ourselves wanting to buy more. The best holiday clothes, the best gifts for our loved ones, and traveling the world.
Companies understand all this and tailor their promotions to catch your eyes during this time. Studies show that impulse buying is usually done more during this time.
Tip: While it is possible to make huge savings during these holidays, I recommend that you buy only items that you really need and those that you have budgeted.
When You are Traveling
Often, when you are taking a long trip, you find yourself stopping at a gas station to either refuel or take a rest. During the stop, you might be tempted to go to the convenience store to buy.
This is wrong because most items sold at these stores are often higher priced than those located in ordinary places. You will find a can of Monster beverage that costs $1.3 on Amazon or in a local store, selling for more than $2 in these stores.
Tip: Instead, I recommend that you plan your trip ahead of time and buy your items either on Amazon or in a local department store.
When You are Broke
This should be a no-brainer, but often it’s not. When you don’t have enough money, I recommend that you stay away from shopping. A credit card will often give you a false picture of your finances.
In the country, credit cards are a real problem. Data suggests that in total, the credit card debt is currently at an all-time high, while delinquencies are increasing.
Tip: To avoid being caught up in this situation, I recommend that you take time to plan your finances and avoid unnecessary spending.
After Making a Large Purchase
Every time you make a large purchase, the seller will try to incentivize you to buy more. For example, when you buy an expensive sofa, the seller will likely recommend that you buy seat covers or even a carpet.
When you buy a new car, they will recommend that you purchase add-ons like a new music system or a new car tracking service.
Tip: To save money on all this, I recommend that you always stick to your shopping plan. Also, I suggest that you stop following the recommendations from the sellers. They just want you to keep spending and spending.
Financial stability is possibly a goal you should always have. Achieving it is never easy. It demands a bit of sacrifice like avoiding shopping at certain times.