Overspending is in the blood of the Americans. They just love shopping. They would shop even if they don't have a stash of cash in their wallet.
Over spenders know their flaws. They use personal budgeting tools, read finance books, browse through financial websites, watch talk shows on personal finance, etc. They think about various things to curb their over spending habits. However, over spenders fail to control themselves when they visit the retail stores. All their planning and strategies go out of their mind when they see attractive items displayed inside the stores. At that point of time, they are only focused on getting the items - be it with cash or credit cards.
Many people are actually shocked to see how much they spend on impulse purchases. Some are astonished to see the amount they spend on dining outs. Asking some questions prior to making any purchases may help over spenders to control their urge for impulse shopping. This may in turn help them to limit their overspending habits.
Questions to ask before purchasing an item
Check out the 3 questions which you must ask yourself before buying anything from the market. Be a frugal shopper and not an impulse buyer.
1. Does your wallet permit you to buy this item from the store?
It may seem natural that people must ask themselves if they have the financial means to purchase an item. However, answering that question is much more difficult than knowing if you have funds in your checking account or available credit in your plastic cards to buy that item. You may have funds in your checking account. However, if those funds are to be used for paying your bills, then it implies that you can't afford to buy the item. You need to save money for purchasing the item. For that, you'll have to create and follow a budget.
You have to rationally think about the amount you can spend on that item. You can do this with the help of a budget worksheet or planner. Your aim will be to know how much you can spend on that particular item before hitting the store.
2. What is the utility of the product you intend to buy?
Financial affordability is the not the only thing which you need to consider while purchasing an item. There are thousands of people who purchase useless things from the market and regret later on. You can avoid this scenario by asking yourself about the utility of the product. Think if the product can give you value for money. Ask yourself about the kind of satisfaction you'll get from the product. If the product can't offer any pleasure or comfort, then there is no need to buy it.
3. Are you paying more for getting the item in your shopping bag?
One negative impact of impulse shopping is that you tend to pay more than what is required. This is because you can't expect to get an item at a good price without making a comparison shopping. Don't purchase an item just because it is on sale. You can very well get the same item in a different shop at a much lower price.
Find out what different vendors are charging for the same item. You can get the pricelist from different shopping websites. You can also purchase the same item in off-season. This will help you get the item at a cheap price.
Finally, before purchasing an item from the supermarket, calculate how many hours you'll have to work to pay for it. This may discourage you from overspending on an item. Think how many hours you'll have to work in the office to pay for the product. Keep it in mind that you work damn hard to earn your paycheck. Don't spend it casually on any item.