When I graduated from college I was eager to enter the “real world” to start getting paid for the skills I had learned. When I got my first big-girl job in New York City, I finally had steady cash flowing into my discounted handbag. But with something either sparkly or delicious tempting me around every corner, the money was quickly flowing out. It was clear that I needed to start treating my money like my other relationships: with respect and careful attention.
I was interested to see that research done by Integer Group found that Millennials are 52% more likely to make an impulse purchase than any other generation. It seems that despite our entry-level salaries, student debt and the constant warnings of the shaky economy, we become entranced as we trade our hard earned cash for an “in-the-moment” urge to splurge without weighing the consequences.
I would argue that the reason why the statistic is so high isn’t just because of the automatic magazine addition at the grocery counter, but rather that our inboxes and phones serve as portable personal shoppers (who just happen to be purse neighbors with our credit cards). When it comes to the topic of saving our money, we might have to start looking at technology as our frenemy. We’ve all been taunted by the impulse buy, but here are some tips to help you say no thank you and walk away.
Purchase a pretty home for your cash and credit cards. That means buying a wallet that you’re proud of carrying and using. This will be a mental reminder to start treating your money as you would a friend. You wouldn’t want to offend Andrew Jackson by exchanging him for a superfluous necklace, now would you?
Clean out your inbox of the money manipulators. Unsubscribe from the retail websites that flood your inbox with updates on the latest collections and upcoming sales. If you’re in the market for a pair of black suede pumps that’s when you’ll go to their website looking for them, rather than being baited and hooked with their email newsflash.
Play a trick, on yourself. Keep a $100 bill in your wallet to remind yourself of your value and ability to purchase most items that would be considered an impulse buy. However, it’s rare that you’ll actually spend it because psychologically we resist using bills of large denominations. Trust me, the empowered feeling you’ll get from knowing you have the cash to buy it but are choosing to save it instead, is so much better than any shopping high.