Buyer’s remorse is a terrible thing for brains and bank accounts alike. Before walking up to the sales counter or hitting the “Checkout” button, apply the HALT technique to separate real purchase needs from emotional quirks.
Photo by iChaz.
The HALT method — suggests consciously considering feelings of Hunger, Anger, Loneliness or Tiredness first — before assuming you need to buy something to fill those needs. Impulse buys can be subtle in how they sell themselves, as in deciding you need new work clothes to push out the memory of a bad day at work. Personal finance blog Moolanomy explains the concept:
When you perceive life isn't going your way, saving and sticking to a budget can seem like an oppression you just want to escape. But by noticing the desire behind your impulse, and putting it into action to meet actual your needs, you'll feel less apt to buy things you don't need or can't afford.
The suggested steps and self-addressed questions are explained in the full post. If you're still having trouble with impulse buys after using HALT, we've also covered the stranger test.
What's the best way you've found to resist giving into those spending urges? Let us know in the comments below.