Don’t Buy Into Impulse Buying!

Do you have a shopping habit? Are you finding ways to justify buying yet another pair of shoes or purchasing something you don’t need simply because it’s on sale? If so, join the club! Impulse shopping or purchases that are not planned, are common and dangerous. If you aren’t careful, impulse buying will sabotage all of your budgeting efforts. Since college is no time to give into unplanned sprees, here are some tips to curb that unnecessary spending.

Ditch the credit cards. When you go out, carry only a limited amount of cash and leave the plastic behind. This keeps you on track and establishes an absolute budget. When the cash is gone, that’s it.

Track your spending. Keep a small notebook handy and track your daily spending. We oftentimes lose track of where our money goes. This is a great tool to analyze spending patterns. The daily latte habit can really add up- Trust me, I know!

Do not make shopping a pastime. Next time you are bored and find yourself charging to the mall, stop, and switch gears. Exercise, cook, hang out with friends, or watch a movie instead.

Grocery store tips. If we didn’t have to eat, we would all be rich (and thin!) Food, however, is a necessity so we need to hit the grocery store on a regular basis. Always make a list before you go food shopping and always stick that list. Also, NEVER go food shopping on an empty stomach; you’ll only end up with a slim wallet and a nauseating Ben & Jerry’s hangover.

Ask before you buy. Here are some important questions to ponder before you plunk down funds: Do I REALLY need this? Can I borrow this item from somebody? Can I find it cheaper elsewhere?

Cheaper does not equal better. Sale signs are to impulse buyers what a flame is to a moth. Avoid them! Do not be swayed by the price tag; if you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

Establish long-term goals. Instead of spending wastefully, focus on saving. Picture a debt-free life.

Walk away. Whether it’s a new Nintendo game, latest CD, or new pair of shoes, if you see something you must have, walk away and wait a few days. If you are still daydreaming about how great you’ll look in those heels after a few days, then you can re-evaluate. But most of the time, the feeling will pass and you will lose the urge to buy. - Rent or Buy Textbooks Great alternative to textbook rentals, saves students a lot of money