Shopping is a war and you are outgunned. Stores attack your desire for self-restraint with armies of psychologists, marketers, and “brand gurus.” Defend yourself from overspending with three easy and effective tips from Alpha Consumer…
1. Shop With A Timer: Avoid wasteful and expensive browsing by marching into stores with firm deadlines. Looking for a single item? Remind yourself it’s time to leave by setting your cellphone to ring after five minutes.
2. Reward Your Effort: Need a little extra motivation to research that insurance you should have bought months ago? “Just like diet and exercise, slogging through the details of dreaded, uninteresting purchase decisions is hard work and requires some investment of time and energy. Set up the amount of time as well as the actual time, such as 2:30-3:00 p.m. on Sunday, that you will solely use to focus on evaluating the purchase details. Note this in your calendar along with a “treat” for sticking to the details and honoring your time commitment. Knowing that you have a reward for a job “well done” (or at least, “done”) will help motivate you through the nitty-gritty of this kind of shopping situation.”
3. Enlist An Expert: Alpha Consumer recommends enlisting an expert before making a large purchase, paying for outside help if necessary. Most of the “expert advice” available for sale is already hiding on the internet. Don’t open your wallet without first training to become an armchair expert.