Put a Halt to Unplanned Purchases

Statistics show that 70 percent of retail purchases are unplanned. Knowing how you are being manipulated by the marketing department may help you avoid going with home with bags full of things you don’t need or want. Most of us enjoy a shopping outing, but we have to learn to be a little more careful about our spending habits. A large percentage of the country got into trouble recently by incurring too much debt, a habit that is hard to break. Impulse buying is the leading cause of consumer debt.

Be Aware of Marketing Strategies
One of the first things stores do is create an atmosphere that is inviting and calming. They will use music, lighting, soft colors, and carpeting to draw you in and make you want to hang out long enough for something to catch your eye. If you are aware of these things as you enter a store, make a note of it, think “Aha!” and try to stay in control. Don’t let yourself be compelled to follow the carpeted path farther into the store. Remember what you were looking for, get in and out.
Stores will often display their most expensive products at the front of the store and then draw you in toward the back where the sale items are tucked away. The time it takes you to get back there may end up feeling like an investment, and you will be compelled to purchase something even if you don’t find the item you went in to look for. Give yourself time to consider checking other stores.
Impulse Control
Before you go shopping, have a clear idea of what you are looking for and how much you can afford to spend. We’re all living on a budget, it’s a matter of being responsible and staying on the budget that keeps us out of deep water. The best way to keep from overspending is to determine how much you want to spend and bring it in cash. Don’t allow yourself to spend more. Don’t bring credit cards with you!
Stay focused. One of the tricks retailers use is to grab your attention. The cash register is usually surrounded by cute little things that catch your eye in the hope that you are already primed to spend now that your wallet is on the counter. These are absolutely impulse buys, and you have the power to resist the temptation.
Retail Therapy
It’s a terrible mistake to go shopping just to make yourself feel better. While you may feel great for a moment in your new pair of boots, the buyer's remorse will crush you later. Studies show that even though we crave pretty new things, they don’t make us happy. We get a temporary rush, and then a crash, and almost always feel worse than we did, because now we can add overspending and compulsive shopping to our list of failures.
We should also avoid the habit of thinking of shopping as a hobby, activity or something to do. When we were teens and had nothing better to do than hang out at the mall and spend our babysitting money we were developing a terrible habit. As adults, it is dangerous to spend as a sport!

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