Instant gratification and impulse buys are not new terms. Hungry shoppers at the grocery store can tell you they’ve bought plenty of candy while waiting to check out. The Internet age has intensified our need for immediate gratification. It doesn’t matter what site you’re on, advertisements are everywhere. Plus, we have instant access to any one item, sometimes on multiple sites at various price points, making it that much easier to buy things we don’t need.
Have you ever bought something online and thought “why did I waste this money” once it arrived? I think we all have. Some retail stores offer deals of the day, while others go so far as to suggest items that are compatible to the one you’re buying, turning one click on a cute top to a complete wardrobe overhaul.
While some items are cheap, the compound cost of a click here and a click there adds up, taking money away from your savings or spending accounts. There are ways to combat these regrettable purchases, and you can do it by using social media (something most of us do anyway).
For those of you with less Pinterest know-how than most, it’s a visual social media site that pins an image with a link to a product or article. That means that everything in your newsfeed is either purchasable or kind of creatable (who hasn’t seen those terrible “nailed it” memes?). We run to Pinterest for new hair styles, recipes and summer fashion tips, but now you can use it to help curb your spending.
Instead of buying as soon as you find something online, use your social media savvy to help you save money.
Enter the Pinterest “impulse buy” or “research before spending” board.
Anytime you find something you want online, pin it to Pinterest (on the board you’ve created specifically for this) and set it aside. When you’re finally free of work and home responsibilities, take a minute to do a web search about the product and see where it’s available. Chances are you’ll find it on several sites, each offering your coveted item for a different price. Notice and note these price points, and write down where you can find what you want for the least amount of money.
Then walk away from your computer.
If you still really want the product the next day (or a couple of days later), go ahead with the purchase. In that time, your logic will kick in and you’ll know if you should buy the product or not. And, if you’re still head over heels for the item, you’re much less likely to regret it than if you bought it with the first click. And you’ll have the added bonus of finding it for the cheapest possible price through your research, saving you even more money.
If you decide not to buy the item, delete it from your board and move on.
Putting a system in place to curb your online spending is just as important as passing up the Snickers bar at the grocery store, and your bank account will thank you for your thoughtfulness. Plus, the next time you see a Doctor Who inspired tattoo on Pinterest, you might just have the money saved for the ink.
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