Personally I found that impulse buying online is my favourite way to procrastinate. I am an impulsive shopper , as witnessed with my recent Macbook purchase. I also made a very impulsive decision when I purchased my car. Theses days I frequently find myself on Etsy or Ebay buying things that I have no need for. Ebay, in particular, is horrible for my savings plan and wallet. I impulsively bid on items just because they look rather cheap or seem like they are a good deal, then wander over to other items that the vendor might have and bid on those as well. The problem that I have recently discovered with Ebay is that when I purchase items (win), I have to wait anywhere between 20 days to 2 months to get them, and while I may have needed that item sooner, I go out and buy another one in person and forget that I have things still coming in the mail. This defeats the concept of impulse buying and is the opposite of instant gratification.
This happened with 3 purses. I purchased them Aug 18th. They got here Nov 3. Needless to say, I had already gone out and bought new ones to replace my old one. Same thing happened sunglasses, and padfolios, etc.
So last night, I sat down and looked all the pending items on my Ebay page and made a note of them in my Blackberry. I am going to try a few different ways to kick this habit. I asked around and researched and it seems like there are different solutions for different people.
- I don’t know about you, but one the my biggest I impulse buy is because I know my Amex credit card number off by heart. What I have recently done is assign my American Express card as my business expense card. And since I don’t know my Visa off by heart, it should reduce some impulse options. (I am lazy enough to close a site instead of walking 6 feet to my wallet)
- Disconnect my Paypal Account from my Ebay account. This might be the most challenging part of it since I love Ebay, but I will try it for 3 months and gauge the results. Hopefully it is successful. I didn’t even have my bank account connected my Paypal until 3 weeks ago. I only had my credit cards, so I would have for an item a month before it got to me. Not very smart.
- Create an ongoing shopping list, and carry it with you at all times. I did that on my Blackberry. I leave things that I have already purchased as well and note the date and time. If you own a smartphone, then Evernote is a great tool for that. You can also comparison shop that way and leave all the prices on created list.
- This may go without saying for most people, but shop when you are hungry, and emotional. I have been an emotional shopper in the past. Even though purchasing those shoes, or in my case gadgets have made me feel better momentarily, I get sadder when I look at my credit card statement later.
- If you use chrome as your browser, there are tons of Chrome extensions to limit time wasted on sites such as Facebook, Ebay etc. I use Stayfocused on my work laptop and it worked brilliantly. I am sure Firefox/Safari have something similar. I hate IE so you’re on your own there.
- Create a spending/saving plan. My next big purchase will be an Ipad. I have made up my mind, but that doesn’t mean I will go out and buy it tomorrow. I have a list of bills that are coming and I created a priority list. This will give me enough time to save for it in cash. I know it is common sense, but I, being a very impulsive shopper, have to break this down into baby steps. Many banks like Discover offer high yield savings accounts that can aide in the purchase of big investments
- Stop carrying your credit cards around. This may be harder for some than others, but lets try it together for a month and see what happens. Since I try not to have access to a lot of cash and limited my daily debit transaction limits, I fear that an emergency will come up and I will have to pay for everything on the stop. I know this is not rationale, but hey, I wouldn’t be in debt if I was rational.
My goal is not purchase anything besides that absolutely necessary items* till March 1st, and since most of my christmas shopping is done, I dont forsee any major purchases on the horizon.
****Besides my Ipad when I have saved up the money***** Unless I get it for Christmas.