All buying decisions fall into two categories: (1) items we need; and (2) items we want. Financial difficulties often occur when the categories are blurred. People try to convince themsleves that things they WANT are things they NEED, when often that is not the situation. Our true needs involve a fairly short list: food, air, water, shelter, health care (including health insurance), clothing, and maybe…Internet access.
However, Internet access can be basis of our financial troubles. Time spent browsing online can result in many unneeded purchases. How might you avoid this? The following suggestions are offered:
- Don’t buy an item right away. Delaying a purchase allows you to consider the value more carefully.
- Review the purchases you delayed for at least a month to determine if the urge to buy the item still exists, and if the money is available.
- Delete from your “wish list” any items that you no longer desire to buy.
- Consider returning an item, as allowed, when the purchase does not meet your expectations.
For additional information on reducing impulse buying, go to:
- Have students describe purchases that might have been avoided using the suggestions above.
- Have students talk to others to create a list of methods to reduce impulse buying.
- Why are some people continually involved with impulse buying?
- What are the short-term and long-term financial consequences of impulse buying?