5 Ways to Combat Instant Gratification

3Picture this… You’re walking through the store, and you see the perfect sweater. Immediately, your mouth starts to water a little, and you get that impulsive, “I gotta have it NOW” feeling. Think about how hard it is to walk away from a situation like that. The difficulty in walking away is even harder if the sweater is on sale. In this situation, you are brave enough to walk out the store without buying. (I’m proud of you.)

Picture this other scenario, where your favorite magazine comes in the mail. That familiar feeling starts to come.   Your mouth starts to water, your heart beats a little faster, and you start to get that similar “I gotta have it NOW feeling.” The ad is looking amazing, and you really can start to see that gorgeous sweater on you. Hey, you may even be thinking about the shoes that would go perfectly with it. The only difference, is this time, you can’t walk out the store, because you are looking at a magazine article in your house. That’s scary, right?

Companies understand this. They understand that when we see an amazing look or item in a magazine, we make little bunny ears on the page to remind ourselves to go back. We may even tear out the page or take a picture with our phones, so we can shop for that look or a similar look in store. We may even go online to see if we can find it. We all have many different reactions to seeing something in a magazine in print, online, or on TV. The only difference is, now, companies are trying to figure out how to make you spend your hard earned money faster and easier.

According to an article “For Shoppers, Next Level of Instant Gratification”, companies are teaming up with the credit card companies and magazine to capitalize on our tendency to impulse shop. Their goal is to develop a mechanism where consumers can buy what they want straight from the magazine ad, on a television, or even from your common household items. It seems kind of like the Jetsons, but the technology is already here. Last year, MasterCard teamed up with Condé Nast to offer a shopping cart function on the magazine ads in the digital edition of the Wired magazine.

If companies and marketers are becoming increasingly more interested in developing and deploying new technology to capitalize on our need for immediate gratification and tendency to impulse shop, we need to get a little smarter in how we fight the urge. Below are 5 tips to help curb impulse shopping.

  1. Shop with a plan: Know what you want before you enter the store.
  2. Understand your budget: If you buy the super cute sweater that you don’t need, you’re taking money from something else.
  3. Credit cards do not equal more money to spend: If you can’t pay it off. You can’t afford it. Period.
  4. Don’t get lost in the store: The longer that you are in the store, the more likely you are to get in trouble.
  5. Wait 3 days: If you still want it after 3 days, come up with a plan to save for the item. Most of the time, however, you will forget all about it.

Don’t worry if you don’t get it right away. Like anything, changing your habits takes practice. Let me know how it goes!

Aisha Taylor is a #1 Amazon Best Selling Author of the book “5+5 FNPhenomenal Ways to Save $100 This Week Without Killing Your Lifestyle”, and the Founder of FNPhenomenal (Frugal –n- Phenomenal). FNPhenomenal helps women to break the vicious cycle of making money, but not keeping it. FNPhenomenal provides education about money management, empowers women to take control of their lives, develop a healthier relationship with money, and pursue being phenomenal.

Visit Aisha online at www.FNPhenomenal.com

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