Six tips to help Christmas shoppers stop impulse buying over next two weeks

Six tips to help Christmas shoppers stop impulse buying over next two weeks

New research from CarFinance 247 has discovered that nearly three quarters (73%) of people across the UK admit to impulse buying in their day-to-day lives.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults conducted by the digital car finance platform also identified the things that people most commonly spend a lot of money on unintentionally, with one in five people admitting they spend impulsively on holidays.

Young adults aged 18-34 have been revealed to be the most impulsive spenders – a whopping 92 per cent admit to spending on a whim – while nearly half (46%) of those over 65 claim they never spend without consciously intending to, but when they do impulse buy, it’s gifts for loved ones (18%).

Top 10 things people across UK buy on impulse

  1. Groceries – 23%
  2. Holidays – 20%
  3. Gifts for loved ones – 19%
  4. Clothes – 19%
  5. Takeaways – 15%
  6. Expensive meals out – 12%
  7. Home improvements – 11%
  8. Hair and beauty – 10%
  9. Shoes – 10%
  10. Rounds in the pub – 9%

Commenting on the findings, Louis Rix, COO and co-founder of CarFinance 247, said: “As our research shows, we’re a nation of impulse buyers and Christmas is a tempting time to indulge in that habit.

“This year, British shoppers might want to exercise restraint as inflation is causing prices to increase at the fastest rate in almost ten years.

“Prices show no sign of slowing and those discount deals might not be as generous as previous years. Household costs and fuel prices are at a record high, so we’re urging people to shop intentionally this Christmas to ensure there’s money left in the bank for any unexpected expenses as we move into the New Year”

Louis also shares some of his top tips to combat emotional spending this Christmas.

Shop smart this Christmas and start saving money for 2022
Shop smart this Christmas and start saving money for 2022

How to combat emotional spending

If you feel that your emotional spending has gotten out of control and become a compulsion, it could be worthwhile seeking help from a professional counsellor or therapist to help you get to the root of the problem, the mental health charity Mind can help you find useful resources near you.

However, if you’re mostly in control with an occasional slip-up or two, you can take steps yourself to break the habit.

Find alternative coping mechanisms

When an emotional spender starts trying to cut down, they can find that they miss the rush that spending gives them.

If this is you, you could even struggle to find a way to unwind or reward yourself without that costly treat. Try to look for alternative coping mechanisms that give you the same buzz as spending without the sting.

Exercise, a good cup of coffee, a great music playlist or a chat with a close friend could all help provide that uplifting feeling for free.

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Make it harder to impulse spend

While it isn’t always practical to leave the house without your purse, you can still make changes that make it more difficult to impulse spend.

Perhaps experiment with taking out only as much cash as you will need for the day and leaving your credit cards at home. You could also remove the saved card details from your favourite online shopping sites or set up a direct debit to move a percentage of your pay straight into a savings account so it’s a little bit harder to access on demand.

Set a budget and stick to it

Having a working budget and sticking to it could help you stop emotional spending. You could even think about adding a bucket in your budget dedicated to luxury spending so you can still treat yourself guilt-free. When you know exactly how much you need to cover your monthly outgoings and how much you have leftover, you could find that you’re less tempted to eat into that essential cash.

Unsubscribe from shopping mailing lists

Few things are more tempting than a surprise sale. They can give you permission to buy things you normally wouldn’t, but the thing is, what you don’t know can’t tempt you.

You’re not going to kick yourself about skipping a sale that you didn’t know about and you might not know about it without that sale notification landing in your inbox. Unsubscribe from all those shopping emails that could test your willpower.

There are a number of ways you can stay up to date with the latest money-saving and benefits news from the Daily Record.

You can join the conversation on our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group for money-saving tips, benefits news, consumer help and advice plus the latest shopping deals.

Sign up to our Record Money newsletter to get our best stories sent straight to your inbox every Tuesday and Friday. You can sign up either by entering your email address in the sign up box further up this page or by clicking here.

You can also follow our Twitter account @Recordmoney_ for regular updates here.

Write down your financial goals

Just like keeping a budget can help you stay on track, knowing your financial goals can also help you curb your emotional spending.

You could be saving for a house deposit, a holiday or a new car or simply working towards building an emergency back-up fund, paying off your credit cards or escaping your overdraft.

Whatever your financial goal, making sure it’s in your mind and you revisit it often could help you resist temptation when you get the urge to spend.

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