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How to avoid impulsive shopping this December

 How to avoid impulse shopping in December (Photo: iStock)

December is that month when healthy money habits like saving and expense tracking are tossed out the window. There are always parties to attend, gifts to buy and trips to take, all of which can quickly distract you from your goals, especially when you're on a budget.

A culprit that contributes to this problem is impulse buying. The temptation to impulsively shop is very high this month with all the sales and two-for-one deals everywhere you turn.

If you've struggled with this before, don't worry. You can make it through in one piece if you follow these tips on how to avoid becoming an impulsive shopper this festive month:

Shop online

These days you can get literally anything you need online. Shops and supermarkets have different platforms to reach customers, and this can help you limit impulsive shopping.

This could work because when you go shopping physically, you have time to look around and it's likely that you will add something you didn't want to buy to your basket.

But online shopping is more direct since you can just search for what you need and checkout.

Shop with cash

Banking apps have made shopping a very convenient process but the only problem here is, it encourages impulse shopping. That is because you already know that you have some extra cash in there so it wouldn't hurt to buy a few extra things (that you don't really need).

To stop that cycle this month, consider only going shopping with the amount you need in cash. Doing this could work because it trains you to stick to what you came to buy.

Pause before buying anything expensive

It would also help to take your time before purchasing anything major on your list. There are times when we feel the need to buy something urgently when in the real sense, it can wait.

Give yourself a day or even a week to reflect on whether what you want to buy is necessary right now. You might even realize that you actually don't need that item after all.

Don't get distracted

The bright and enticing "sale" signs are not hard to miss at this time of the year. Almost every store is having some sort of deal and they have put up these signs to catch your attention.

In these situations, you have to do your best to resist. Some deals are great but many of them only make a slight difference.

As you shop, whether online or physically, ignore the distractions and only buy the items that are a priority first.

Replace shopping with other activities

Shopping is a form of therapy for many people. It feels relaxing to check out different places even if it's just doing a bit of window shopping.

When you're trying to save some money though, it's not a good idea to do this often. You are placing yourself in situations that will encourage you to buy something out of your budget. Try out other fun activities that will help you relax instead of shopping.

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