India is the land of festivals, and with all the major festivals comes sales, from apparels to furniture and electronics to travel. Some people buy things for their family members and colleagues and other buy just to add those items to their collection. No matter what the reason is, items shopped during festival season have a deep psychological connection with the buyer.
However, sometimes people buy items because of the ‘Sale tag’ on them and not because they really need them, purchases like these hamper your personal budget and could also lead to financial crises later on in your life.
Let us try and understand few of the triggers that lead to such unnecessary shopping and some ideas on how you can deal with them:
Are your really saving?
When we see a ‘Sale’ sticker on an item that say ‘25% discount’, our brain automatically focus on the word ‘Discount’ instead of the money that you will be ‘spending’. As a matter of fact, a lot of the times, the bills (receipts) your get say you saved Rs. 1,000 on this item or Congratulation! You have earned 500 credit points, and automatically your brain tricks you and make you feel so good that you actually saved some money, but after taking a closer look, you realise, did you really wanted to buy that item? Your brain went for ‘Saving’ and completely ignore ‘Spending’.
It is not very hard to manage this behaviour, all you need to do is make a mental note that you cannot save money by actually spending it. So, by spending money on the item that you do not actually need, even if you use promo code or buy it during sale, you are spending money that you could have saved.
It is very important to realise whether you actually need the item and it is a ‘necessity’ rather than just a ‘want’ or buying it will not affect your budget.
Are these deals even worth the money?
Marketing professionals tend to play tricks with your mind and steep you to loosen the strings of your wallet, promotional strategies like ‘Buy 2 get 1 free’ or ‘Buy 5 and get 2 free’ creates a perception that you are getting value for money. As a buyer, we always find them attractive even if we only need 1 item, we more often than not fall prey to them and end up buying in bulk.
A conscious buyer will almost never get manipulated or worked up with schemes like these. You too can become a conscious buyer by simply asking some questions to yourself like ‘Do I really need this?’, ‘Will this purchase impact my budget?’, and the most important question ‘Would I be buying them if it were not for this sale?’ if the answer is a big ‘NO’, you are better off buying what you initially intended.
Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) and limited time offers
Limited time offer sales (Flash Sales) are becoming a trend and are constantly used by both offline and online sellers, especially during the festival period. We know, when you buy something on these sales you get a sense of achievement and feel special that you are amongst the few who actually took advantage of the offer. But did you really just buy what you needed and how much you needed? These flash sales create a sense of panic, that you will miss out on the deal and it will not return (FOMO), and your generally buy more than what you intended to.
One can control and manage this tendency of over shopping and for that you need to follow a few steps, first and foremost you should create a budget for your festival shopping, make a list of items that you need. Additionally, you can unsubscribe from getting promotional offers, start ignoring the pop-ups and banners with sale on them. You must only use the sale offers when you really need the item or else don’t even bother checking them out.
You need to make a budget prior to the festive season. Always remember, you will not save by spending, you will only save if you spend on what you really need. Fulfil your wants only with the surplus money you have (after savings, investments, and necessary expenses), and remember STOP when once your budget gets exhausted.