ince the COVID-19 vaccine started becoming available in the US, there have been more opportunities to impulse spend on items and experiences that you didn’t get to enjoy early in the pandemic.
With the freedom to do more, consumers are spending more.
For the first seven months of 2021, retail sales were up 15.5% compared to that same period in 2020, according to calculations by the National Retail Federation.
As some restrictions have eased, it’s likely that you’ve had new spending needs: returning to work, visiting with friends and family, and partaking in other back-to-normal activities.
But when the nonessentials threaten to put your finances in jeopardy, it’s important to keep your financial goals on track.
Here are five strategies to help you navigate impulse spending.
1 Wait a day or two
When you feel that overwhelming urge to spend, wait 24 to 48 hours to see if you still want an item, suggests Brad Klontz, a financial psychologist based in Colorado.
‘Ask yourself: Can I afford this? Where am I going to put it? How am I going to feel about this purchase tomorrow? How am I going to pay for this?’ he says.
He adds that this pause can help calm the ‘emotional brain’ and activate the ‘rational brain’, the one that holds you accountable tomorrow.
If you can’t bring yourself to wait, a store’s return policy may prove useful should regret set in. The return protection benefit on a credit card, if available, can also offer a backup option.
When you make a purchase with the...
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