6 Holiday Hacks to Curb Impulse Shopping
Have you ever stopped to think about how much you spend around the holidays? Chances are it’s more than you think. Research shows Americans spend roughly $1,000 on Christmas each year. While some of this spending is planned, unplanned impulse spending can add up quickly.
If you aren’t careful, it can derail your budget and set your financial goals back. To avoid this, it’s important to have some strategies to help you stay on track.
Let’s look at 6 holiday hacks to curb impulse shopping that should help you resist temptation and stick to your budget.
Unsubscribe from Marketing Emails
You likely receive dozens of promotional emails each day from businesses you’ve interacted with. These emails advertise their latest deals in hopes that you’ll buy from them. Yes, these emails can sometimes save you money on things you need to buy, but often, they can tempt you into buying things you don’t need or can’t afford. If you’re trying to keep impulse shopping to a minimum this holiday season, unsubscribing from marketing emails can help keep you on track.
Take a Social Media Break
Your inbox isn’t the only place that you’ll find ads. Your social media feeds will be filled with them as well. These ads are designed to make you spend, so if you’re trying to curb holiday impulse shopping, they won’t help.
To avoid the temptation to spend around the holidays, it can be helpful to take a social media break. You can’t see the ads if you aren’t scrolling. Taking a break can also help you be more present so you can connect with those you love during the holidays. If you want to curb your impulse shopping this holiday season, consider taking time off from social media.
Make a List and Check it Twice
During the holidays, it always feels like there’s another gift to buy or something you’ve forgotten. When you run to the store on these last-minute trips, unintended purchases can really add up.
To avoid this and curb your impulse spending, make a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for, any decorations you may need, food for holiday meals and baking, and any other essentials like wrapping paper and tape.
Keep this list with you in your wallet, your purse, or on your phone, and look at it before you head into the store. If you see an item on your list, get it. But if it isn’t on the list, skip it. This will help you keep your holiday spending in check and ensure that you get home with what you need.
Set a Budget
Spending money around the holidays is easy. Everywhere you look, there are signs about sales, seasonal items, decorations, and things you might feel like you just have to have. And if you don’t have a plan for your spending, it’s easy for it to get out of control.
One of the most effective ways to curb impulse shopping and stay on track with your holiday spending is to create a budget. Decide in advance how much you can spend on the holidays. Be sure to include all the elements of the holiday you’re planning. Don’t just stop at gifts. Other holiday staples like food, decorations, and holiday travel costs should be included in your budget.
Once you have your budget, write it down. Each time you spend money towards the holiday, be sure to account for it in your budget. If you’ve made a list of who you’re buying gifts for, you can break your budget down to specify how much you can spend on each person. This will help you ensure that everyone gets something but that you don’t go overboard and wreck your budget. Having a limit and tracking your spending can also help you curb your impulse shopping during the holidays.
It’s easy to go overboard on your holiday spending these days because there are so many ways to shop. If you’re bored, you might find yourself browsing shopping apps on your phone “just to look.” But more often than not, this scrolling will lead to spending money.
Removing this temptation is a great way to curb impulse shopping over the holidays. Delete the shopping apps from your phone. You’ll still be able to go online and browse, but with the extra step of having to go to the website and log on. This extra step can stop you from spending mindlessly.
Think of Other Ways to Give
During the holidays, there is often so much focus on buying gifts for people. But heading into stores to buy a gift can lead to unintended spending as other things catch your eye. It can also make people with already tight budgets feel the pinch even more.
If your budget is tight and you want to curb your impulse spending around the holidays, it might be time to find other ways to give to those you love. You can give your time or expertise to help them with a project. You can bake them a special treat or make them a meal. Even spending quality, uninterrupted time is a gift in today’s busy world.
It’s important to remember that not all holiday gifts require going to the store or spending a lot of money. Instead, skip the shopping and use your talents and time. This can help you avoid impulse spending while still creating a very memorable holiday.