By Intel Free Press [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The 2014 Mobile World Congress has just started, showcasing an abundance of consumer electronics to tickle every tech enthusiast’s fancy. For many, this is one event of hard-to-resist temptations. The products featured are bound to taunt guests into buying an “upgrade” or simply to get something interesting.
Electronic gadgets are some of the reasons why people overspend. They are not cheap and they can easily convince gullible shoppers. But what if you’ve been telling yourself to moderate the extravagant gadget shopping? What if you’re in a situation that requires you to practice more prudent spending? You can help yourself resist the temptation using the following ideas.
1. Help convince yourself that the gadget is not worth buying by exposing yourself to naysayers.
So you were aiming for Samsung’s newest Galaxy S smartphone? You’ll be surprised how much discouragement you will find when you go online and read about other customers’ reaction to the product. In online forums and the comment sections of articles, many will point out the perceived defects or deficiencies in the device you planned to buy.
It won’t take a long time for you to realize that you don’t really need the new device and that there’s really no point allocating hundreds of dollars just to get a very minimal “ugprade.” Engage in arguments with diehard fans of competing brands. They usually have enough bad things to say about the product you want, to make you rethink your plan of buying the device.
2. Let a day pass, sleep on it.
Tell yourself to buy it after some time. Curb the excitement over a gadget as much as possible. Don’t immediately pick the phone or go online to make an order. Give yourself reasons not to buy something you like. Allow some time to pass.
This is a technique that usually works. Once you are over with the excitement and the state of being impressed by a gadget shown on TV or advertised online, you will realize how you don’t really need it that urgently or how you don’t even need it at all. Time tempers excitement, especially if you are someone who needs to attend to other matters in your work or personal life.
3. Confuse yourself with options.
If you already made the decision to buy, spend some time online to see the different options with different prices. Do more research. Look for the different stores that offer the product. Notice how the prices vary and how the freebies or other offers are different. Doing this will make you have a hard time as you do a lot of comparisons to find the best option, to find the store that offers the best price.
Also, you can have other benefits in doing this. For one, you shall have found the best option as you meticulously do your research. Another benefit is the time you get to use to think if you really want to have the product. As you do your research, you will have encountered various customer comments and reviews that can offer insightful information you can use in making a good purchase decision.
By LG전자 (Flickr: LG전자, ‘옵티머스 4대 시리즈’로 글로벌 스마트폰 시장 공략) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
4. Stall impulse by doing something else you really like.
For example, if you are in a mall and you feel like you’d die if you can’t get that temptingly slim iPad Air being demoed, why not grab a bite first? Or you can go preview a book in the adjacent store if you are a book lover. There are many things you can do to kill impulse. You can also go for an arcade game. Watch a movie. Hang out with friends. You can do many things to prevent opportunities for impulsive buying.
5. Avoid salespeople.
Salespeople exist to convince you to buy. If you want to keep yourself from buying things, you know what to do. If you are window shopping in a mall, make it clear to the salesperson that you are just having a look and that you need no assistance. Better yet, just do you window shopping online wherein you will only be battling with yourself as you strive to keep the purchase temptation at bay.
6. Associate the idea of getting something with freebies as a deceptive marketing ploy.
Don’t ever fall for freebies, buy-one-take-two offers, or other similar sales promotions. See them as marketing campaigns that are not really going to mean any real savings for you. Of course, you know some of them indeed are rare opportunities for savings but if you are struggling with an overspending problem, it’s better to train your mind into thinking that such promos are not good.
7. Make your money less accessible to you.
You don’t have to go as far as (literally) freezing your cards or money to do this. The simple act of not taking a lot of money with you or leaving your credit card at home works. If you have the option to buy online, you can set your router to block your bank’s website or to block websites where you can make any purchase. You just have to limit your access to the router’s admin panel by letting somebody else take charge of the password.
By Intel Free Press [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Gadgets are still going to be very attractive items to buy in the many years to come. If you don’t learn to prevent yourself from splurging, you will likely lose a lot. There is no sure way to control extravagant spending on gadgets for everyone. Certain methods work for some people but they are unlikely to be effective on everyone.
What’s important is having the drive to develop overspending control. The significance of proper financial management should always be stressed. If you don’t really put your mind on it, it is unlikely for any anti-extravagance measure to work.