With surging inflation, the last thing you want is to make impulse purchases you don't really need. But, many of us are making even more of those purchases due to all the slick ads flooding our social media feeds.
Impulse buying used to be something we did at the mall when something caught our eye, and we bought it on the spot. But, these days, it's happening more and more on social media, thanks to ads and influencers.
"I literally bought a Nintendo Switch because I kept seeing it on Instagram, so that was a big purchase," Brianna Stryker said.
Her friend Erica Yuan also knows about impulse buying.
"I've bought a lot of things off of TikTok," she admitted. "So I'll see skin care products and go to Amazon and order the item right then."
You know how it works: You're sitting there waiting for lunch, and you're scrolling through your Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or Twitter feed, and suddenly you see something that you never thought you needed.
But now that you see it, you feel like you definitely need to have it.
Many people spend hundreds of dollars a month
A recent survey commissioned by SlickDeals.net claims the average American spends more than $300 impulsively every month, with clothing as the number one impulse purchase in 2022.
Another survey by Bankrate.com found half the people on social media make impulse purchases. But, it says 64% later regret those not-so-needed items.
So how can you cut back?
Bankrate analyst Sarah Foster suggests keeping your finger off the purchase button:
- Make a 24-hour rule: Put an item in your cart, or take a screenshot, but give yourself a day to think it over.
- Build up a fund for discretionary purchases for when you want to make that impulse buy.
"So by setting your finances up for those purchases that you can afford," Foster said, "you will ultimately end up enjoying them."
So think before your click, and that way, you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
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