9 psychological tricks to spend less while shopping
We spend more than $5,000 annually on impulse buying.
But we are not the only ones to blame, manufacturers and sellers study us carefully to trigger our desire to buy.
However, there are very effective ways to withstand any temptations and keep growing your savings.
We’ve decided to find out what the best strategies are to save money during shopping sessions. And now we can’t wait to share these golden tips with you. Take notes!
1. Drink Water Before you set out from home, drink five cups of water and by the time you get to the market or mall, you will make wiser buying decisions. If this sounds outlandish, trust the psychologists at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.
As per a study in Psychological Science, the self-control needed to hold a full bladder extends to restraint in purchase decisions. This is because it triggers the part of brain that activates feelings of desire and reward. So the next time you’re shopping, plain old water can help you spend less.
2. Wear high heels Women, here’s a seemingly simple solution to scale down shopping binges. According to research by Brigham Young University, US, high heels lead to better buying decisions. The logic is that the effort required to maintain balance will have a moderating effect on spending as well.
So, if you are stuck at a product that is available in cheap, mid-range and expensive versions, wearing high heels will make you veer towards the midpriced, reasonable choice. The same result can be achieved by doing things that require you to be steady, such as yoga or riding an escalator.
3. Avoid shops playing soft music According to the European Journal of Scientific Research, various studies over the years have shown that playing soft, popular music in the background makes people spend more time in the store and more amenable to buying.
On the other hand, music with fast beat and tempo will make them sift through the store faster. However, according to Psychology Today, overstimulation can also result in lower self-control and, hence, more impulsive purchases.
4. Use new, fresh notes According to a study in the US Journal of Consumer Research, as well as other universities around the world, people tend to spend less if they have crisp, mint-fresh notes. The dirty, old notes make them feel contaminated, thereby boosting the impulse to get rid of them. The new ones give them a sense of power and there is a tendency to retain these. So carry new notes and you’ll spend less.
5. Avoid shops and sites using red Be careful about shops decorated in red or websites selling products with a red background. According to a study, ‘The Effect of Red Background Colour on Willingness to Pay’ in the Journal of Consumer Research, shoppers on eBay bid more aggressively for things against red backgrounds.
Another study in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research showed that waitresses in red got 26% higher tips. Red colour stimulates, urging us to shell out more.
6. Don’t shop if you are depressed It’s probably one of the most well-known secrets that moods affect our spending patterns. An earlier study, ‘Misery is not Miserly: Sad and Self-Focused Individuals Spend More’, in Psychological Science, found that sad and self-focused individuals spend as much as 300% more for the same type of product.
This is because when people are upset, their self-esteem falls and they are willing to pay more for the new acquisitions because they believe the new clothes, shoes or goods will increase their self-worth. So, the next time you think you are reducing your depression by shopping, remember you are only increasing your expenses.
7. Don’t make friends with sales staff If you do not want to bust your budget or buy more than you had intended to, do not get pally with the salesperson. Not only will you be loaded with greater choice and items, but at the end of the interaction you will buy more out of a sheer sense of obligation for the person who has helped you. So do not be drawn into a deep conversation with the cooperative staff, and if you need advice on your purchase, ask fellow shoppers. You’ll make better decisions.
8. Don’t use shopping carts It’s one of the simplest tricks employed by shopping malls. You are likely to buy more if you shop with a cart because you’ll feel the urge to fill it up and will end up making a lot of impulse purchases. A strategically placed large-sized cart is an invitation to buy more as opposed to the few things you’d be able to carry in your hands. Ergo, if you think you’ve been over-indulgent in your purchases and want to cut down on your expenses, do it cart-less.
9. Shop in busy stores Now here’s an antidote to splurging at sales— find the busiest shops. A study in the Journal of Consumer Research states that people spend less in heavily crowded stores perhaps because they want to avoid the claustrophobic area and get out as fast as possible. As they are uncomfortable, they spend less time and make fewer purchases. The result? Less money spent.