Men Make Impulsive Purchases More Than Women: Four Ways to Reduce Wasteful Purchasing
Chances are that almost everyone has had the experience of buying things that they don`t really want or need.
This is a worldwide phenomenon with online shopping that only encourages the trend. According to a survey of the US comparison site “Finder.com”, there are about 220 million consumers in the US who have made “impulsive online purchases” with a total of $17.79 billion being used to make them each year.
Furthermore, severe “shopping addiction” through online outlets is more common among men than women, with the “millennial generation” making daily impulse purchases at the rate of six times more than the baby boomers.
Those who want to “decrease impulsive and wasteful purchases,” even if they are unable to kick the nasty habit, should try to practice these four ways to reduce impulse purchasing proposed by financial advisors and other experts.
Men waste more than twice as much as women with more than
60% of men making impulsive purchases each month
According to the survey mentioned above, the average cost of each online purchase is $81.75 with the total of all purchases amounting to $17.78 billion. According to a survey of 2445 people from the same site conducted in July 2017, 64% of respondents made an impulsive purchase “at least once a month”.
Although it seems a bit surprising, men make more impulsive online purchases (67.2%) than women (62.5%). As for those with severe addictions to impulse shopping with a “need to buy something every day,” 4.8% were female, and 11.0% were male, with the percentage of men more than double the percentage of women. It also showed that married people had the highest rate of shopping impulsively online (30.9%), followed by people who were single (28.9%), people who were separated (25.0%), people who were divorced (21.4%), and widowers (12.2%). In general, millennials frequently made impulse purchases the most, with 8.4% having made “daily impulse purchases,” and six times that of baby boomers.
From Bargain Items to Timeshares- 40% of respondents said
that they regretted making the purchase
Even if you purchase something that you had no intention of buying, there is some saving grace that you are satisfied with the product. As it turned out, however, the percentage of respondents who were “unsatisfied” with their purchases was 44.5%, slightly higher than the 42.5% who reported being satisfied. It is not unusual for impulse buying to create problems and one in ten respondents reported incidents of “arguing over the issue with family members or partners.”
What are people buying so impulsively?
This leads to the question of what kind of things people are buying so impulsively? Things like irresistible half-priced “bargain items”, “junk food” when you feel a little hungry and cravings set in, “exercise and diet equipment” destined to become a dust collector after a few months, DVD’s that you will forget you own after watching them a few times, products are seen on television, items that famous people use and so on. There are many things available that people don’t really want or need.
According to expert testimonies from people such as financial advisers, people who are financially okay and have assets like “new cars”, “time shares”, and “boats”, seem to be sources of regret from impulse buying (The Simple Dollar, September 29, 2017).
Interest Rates and Bank Fees
– The biggest source of waste according to millennials
It is interesting that though millennials have a strong tendency towards making impulsive purchases, the associated amount of regret is not very high. It appears that it is not impulsive purchases but “bank interest rates and fees” that they consider wasteful. According to a survey by Common Cents, a financial research lab at Duke University, 97% of millennials reported that “bank fees were wasteful.” Also, “daily coffees” “convenience store purchase,” “going out drinking,” “dining out.” and “digital subscriptions,” was viewed as a waste of money when compared to impulsive purchases for the majority of millennials.
Preventative Measures for Impulsive Purchasing Part 1
– Set a Budget
Though there are differences in the cost, type of purchases made, and the type of items purchased, there is no doubt that the waste that comes from impulse buying prevails through all generations. What can one do to avoid making impulsive purchases?
According to the magazine Scientific American, people are more likely to waste money on such purchases during the weekends. Making a fixed budget for the weekend in the middle of the week will restrict the amount of money available for making impulsive purchases. With the budget in mind, you will ask yourself whether or not you “really want or need” something when considering making a purchase. This is an effective method for preventing wasteful expenses.
Preventative Measures for Impulsive Purchasing (Part 2)
– Ask yourself “is it really necessary?”
For most people, the major deciding factor for making an impulsive purchase is the feeling that if they don’t buy it now, they will miss out on the opportunity and regret it”. But is that really the reality? Before deciding to make a purchase, you may be able to suppress the urge to buy something quite easily by simply asking yourself if the purchase is warranted a few times. If you felt the need to make the purchase immediately, wait a few days and observe how your feelings change. It is not uncommon for people to recommend that you “sleep on it and see how you feel in the morning” before making a decision. However, taking a few days to consider and then deciding that you do want to make the purchase may come with the risk of the item no longer being available.
Preventative Measures for Impulsive Purchasing (Part 3)
– Stay away from temptation
If you are an impulsive online shopper, avoid looking at shopping sites. If you are a shopaholic, don’t go shopping, or reduce the number of times you do. This is a simple but very effective way of reducing impulsive purchases. Without the temptation that drives your desire to “buy something,” you will not be able to make wasteful impulsive purchases.
Preventative Measures for Impulsive Purchasing (Part 4)
– Increase your perception of spending money by using cash
While going cashless is convenient, it numbs one’s sense of the value of money. This is especially true for card payments made on the spot in which there is no real sense of money transfer. If you pay with cash, the amount of money in your wallet will definitely lessen, and you will realize “I’ve spent this much, I better be careful.” This will allow your mind to stop you from spending more.
Even if you are shopping online with other payment methods, it is a good idea to withdraw cash from your bank account and put the amount you spent into payment envelopes. It is important not to forget the “feeling of spending money.”