The 72-Hour Shopping Rule You Need To Follow

August 9, 2016  |  

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Did you ever spend money on an item, be it shoes, earrings, or a luxury handbag, and later regret the exorbitant purchase? Who hasn’t? Well, financial planner Carl Richards has an answer to your impulse shopping woes: the 72-hour rule.

Richards, author of “The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way to Be Smart About Your Money,” wrote in the New York Times, that by creating a waiting period before buying something you can break your impulsive shopping habits, and thus rid yourself of shoppers remorse. He wrote, “This is just one simple trick to create space. I think you’ll find that by focusing on the space between, you can let go of your anxious grasp on the stimulus and response. If you get the space right, the other two take care of themselves.”

The space you are creating is between your money and the stimulation you get from shopping and Richards just may be on to something.

Shopping, it seems, sometimes fills an emotional need more than a practical one. According to a 2o14 CreditCards.com study, 75 percent of Americans admitted to making an impulse purchase; and nearly half of these shoppers had “buyer’s remorse.” Impulsive shopping can often be tied to the emotions we are feeling at the time. “[Fifty] percent of women and 47 percent of men said that they’ve made an impulse purchase because they were ‘excited.’ Younger consumers (18- to 29-year-olds) are particularly inclined to impulse shop more when excited (69 percent)” reported Cheat Sheet.

There are certain emotional states that can provoke impulsive buying, such as shopping while intoxicated (which men do more than women); shopping in a negative emotional state such as when you are sad or angry (which 28 percent of women, versus 14 percent of men do); or when you’re happy (50 percent of women, 47 percent of men).

During your 72-hour waiting period, it would be wise to ask yourself a few questions about your impending purchase, reported Life Hack:

–Do you really need it or are you just buying it because it’s on sale?

–Can you get it for less?

–Can you afford it?

–Is it an impulse buy?

–Can you get it for free?

If you go through these steps you will probably find yourself with a few extra dollars in your wallet (and one less item you’ll never wear).

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