RULES for shopping?


I am a decisive person. Making decisions doesn't bother me. Perhaps this is because I've likely made a few mental visits to any particular issue before I've had to "pull the trigger." I know making decisions is stressful for some people, even when they have ample time. But I'm here to tell you...decisiveness also has a sneaky cousin, and it is called impulsiveness.


There is a difference between being decisive and being impulsive. It is really smart to pay particular attention to this when shopping. When I go to the grocery store, I bring a list. ALWAYS. Occasionally I buy items that aren't on this list, but I have tried really hard to not do this.




I don't like waste. The only thing that makes me feel better about throwing away floppy celery or a rotten apple is that I compost it. Any other time and I feel bad. (See? We all have our issues....). When I grocery shop, in particular when I am hungry, I tend to buy a significant amount more. Fortunately, there are five of us, and rarely does anything go to waste. But with clothes, a really "good" coupon, or a sale? Well, I think we've all gotten in trouble a time or two and made an impulse buy.

Look at the definitions of the two words:


de·ci·sive /dəˈsīsiv/ adjective (of a person) having or showing the ability to make decisions quickly and effectively.


im·pul·sive /imˈpəlsiv/ adjective acting or done without forethought

The big difference between the two is FORETHOUGHT.


When shopping, I let myself put any "impulse buy," "good deal," (whatever you want to call it), in my cart, and I do this with reckless abandon. I will tell you, it feels pretty good, and my cart gets full! Then, before making a purchase...I intentionally stop at a place well away from the registers, and out of the way of other shoppers. I then take a minute to think about those "extra" items. Are they necessary? Will I regret it if I do NOT purchase it (the only one, hard to find, etc.). Is it a fiscally responsible purchase? If I have regret later, will I be able to (and actually), return it? My answers determine whether an item gets re-shelved, or whether I head to the register. Nine times out of 10, at least ONE item gets removed from my cart.



I do the same with online purchases. I fill my cart, then walk away from my device for at least 10 minutes. Sometimes I have to do this more than once. Sometimes, I even (GASP!) wait a day. The bonus is that many companies have an algorithm that targets "full cart, no purchase." An automatic email will be sent to your address, sometimes with a extra discount, which is often better than that original deal!


Most stores have a great return policy. If they don't, they are likely trying to get you to make that impulse buy, and marketers and advertisers are very good at this. I will tell you, many, many of my clients have me donate their "mistake" purchases. Why? They don't (make the effort to, remember, or care enough to) return it. Companies COUNT on this!


There are rarely times when you will regret NOT making a purchase. Although walking away is difficult, it is often the best course of action. If the stakes aren't high (inexpensive, in your budget, not excessive), make an impulse buy or two, and enjoy it. But if you find yourself with money concerns, excessive belongings, or have a failure to take unwanted items back, do yourself a favor. Buy yourself some time, or walk away.


Practice being decisive, not impulsive.


Do you have an excess of belongings that are difficult to organize, or maybe even unnecessary? Give me a call. I'd love to help.