15 Sneaky Reasons why we buy things we don’t need and their Solutions

Are you one of those individuals that buy something you do not need? I have a list of 15 tricky reasons and noteworthy solutions. Be aware of it.  You might be in denial at the moment. Awareness is the first step to finding a solution.

  1. It is on sale or better yet is half-price!

This is my weakness. When I see an item that is on sale, I feel my hands have a mind of their own. My weak right hand ( not really)  reaches out for the item which at that moment I do not even need.

Example: half-priced chocolate

I tried to ignore the chocolates and came home empty-handed. After dinner, I had a craving. I opened the pantry and lo and behold, no chocolates!  I opened the can of Milo and ate one spoonful of it. To my dismay, the boys saw me and I unintentionally introduced them to the path of eating a spoonful of powdered Milo. Guilty as charged! (Mugshot front view, mugshot side view). What have I done!

If you are not a chocolate lover, maybe your weakness is:

Photo by Jeremy Wong

SHOES! Are you pumped up?!

a. half-priced shoes?

b. on sale bags?

c. slashed prices of clothes?

d. super cheap home decor?

e. all of the above?

I am truly excited for you if you have found a bargain you need. However, if you have tons of clothes in the wardrobe still with tag prices, piles of shoes almost not worn at all, branded bags in the cabinet only used twice a year, then ask yourself, do you need it now?

Solution: “Do you really need it?” Your mind says “Yes! Yes!”  Bring along a disciplined and logical friend with you so he/she can stop you from what you’re going to do. Avoid junk mail and online updates of sales at all costs. If you can.

Photo by Evelyn Mostrom

I got your back, my friend.
  1. You don’t feel good.

Have you experienced those days when the moment you wake up, everything was set to make you have a bad mood? It is mid-day and your mind was racing with the idea “Oh, I hope this day ends soon.”  The day is over and you feel lousy. The shops are still open. Ha! You were just telling yourself, “I will just look around.” Nope. Before you went home, you bought something. It felt good, right? After a few days, you convince yourself, why did I buy that?

Solution: Be mindful of what you are doing when it’s a rotten day. What is your option that will make you feel good that is free and will not bust your budget? When the day is awful, I talk to a trustworthy loved one who is willing to listen to my dramas.

Photo by Kris Atomic

Guess what happened next sis? It will blow your mind …blah blah
  1. You are bored.

You do not want to stay home so you made up your mind to go window-shopping. Oh, the shopping center is begging you to come in and look around! Suddenly, your eyes fancy that item which for the sake of buying, you buy it. The promise of just window-shopping was thrown out of the window. The end

Solution: Stay at home if you do not have a goal or list of important things to buy. Sometimes,  I already have a list and yet still end up buying items, not on the list. What more if you do not have an objective for being there? Bored? What can you do for free at home?besides the shopping center? I watch movies/episodes and eat popcorn with the family.

Watching DRAGON BALL SUPER with the boys ( episodes you have to wait weekly)

 

  1. You are competitive.

Did you see the latest branded bag of the friend of a friend? Your chest quickly felt a pang of envy while observing her bag in a party. You whispered to yourself “I can afford that too.”  On you go to the Direct Factory Outlet of the brand you desperately want to have.

Envy is such a negative feeling to have. I met people having credit card problems because of all the shoes, bags and clothes they bought all in the name of keeping up with their so-called friends.

Solution: If the feeling of envy is your trigger, you will never be happy. Release it. There is freedom to it.

  1. You want it because it is interesting.

The item is so cute. The product will be an excellent collection of yours. It will be a hot topic of your party. Only you have it among friends and acquaintances. It is a unique item to behold for many years to come (what you believe) or just days to be realistic. After a month, it will start to collect dust or will be stored in a container to be forgotten.

Photo by Kukuh Himawan Samudro

store with different items
I got to have this! It is so cute!

Solution: I know the feeling of happiness for buying it but is it worth it when it is time to see your credit card bill? For me, a novelty item is valuable if you use it every day.

  1. You buy it out of curiosity.

Food lovers will relate to this. You are not that hungry but you saw a particular food that made you curious what could be its taste. As if the food is tempting you, “ Buy me, taste me, know what I taste like.”  After 5 minutes of swallowing your saliva while staring at the food, you buy it. Good for you if you discovered food worth eating again and again. Good luck when your verdict is never again will I buy this!

Photo by Mink Mingle

Mmmm.. That looks interesting to eat.

Solution:  Do not go to the shopping center hungry. Have your meals or snacks at home and then go shopping. Otherwise, you will spend more money with food than what you actually planned to. I am a food lover and to all food lovers out there, we can do this!

  1. You feel you deserve a reward.

You have worked hard for quite some time now.  Your quick eye saw the item and decided then and there, you deserve to be compensated with all the sacrifices you have done. Even if it is not on the budget, you purchase it. Even if you are spending money way beyond what you have, you still do it because you feel you need a gift for yourself.

Photo by Jakub Gorajek

YEAH! Traveling around the world! Wow, driving our brand new car!
After 2 years: UH, OH.

Solution:  It is so much rewarding when the gift to yourself will not give you sleepless nights and anxiety throughout the year. Choose a present that will give you joy, not temporary thrill. Live within your means.

  1. You are addicted to purchasing items.

Do you have that uncontrollable urge that you have to buy something no matter what?  Do you have the overwhelming desire to click online purchases or tap on your reliable smartphone items you do not necessarily need at the time? The items you are scanning are not priorities of your budget.

Photo by Luke Porter

OMG! It is so cheap! I must have it now!

Solution: Better get some help (personal and professional) from a sensible person or else you will end up in a huge pile of debt.

  1. You were deprived of the item in your childhood.

Parents who grew up in a deprived childhood will relate to this. Growing up poor, you didn’t experience the luxuries of life. Fast forward to the present and you have a family now. Your child wants a toy which triggered your emotions about your own childhood.  The toy is not in the family budget but still, you see yourself paying for it at the cashier.

Photo by Darren Bockman

toy train
I didn’t have that toy when I was young.

Solution: There is power with the word No especially with children. As a parent, I choose my battles. There were times I said yes and there were times I said no.  My son once stated, “Mum, when you say I will think about it, it means no.”  He knows me well.

  1. You want to be popular or a show-off.

Some people want to be popular and be topics of conversations. It is part of their need as an individual to bask in their glory, to be in the spotlight and display the item as their status symbol. I am happy for them if they can afford it.

Photo by NeONBRAND

man with a bike
Looking cool with my awesome bike

Solution:  Do not take the risk of going beyond what you can afford just for fame’s sake. There will always be new acquaintances who can buy better stuff than you.  Self-respect will remain popular across cultures.

  1. A friend, acquaintance or a store assistant convinced you to buy it.

Based on my experience, I do not know why the staff at the grocery store approaches me first and offers me a free taste of the food they are selling. Maybe, I have the aura of I-will-buy-anything-just-let-me-taste-it-first type of person. There are other people in the store but almost always, they approach or talk to me first rather than the other humans roaming around.

The boys had a free taste too and they always answered “Yes, we like it. Let’s buy it.” The case is closed. Give me what you are selling.

Conversations with friends and acquaintances can also trigger you buying their highly recommended purchases. They might need it in their lives but do you need it too?

Solution: Just say “ No, thank you” and move on.

  1. You got hooked on a tv ad or infomercial.

The power of sales talk conquered your views from a bystander to a buyer. Even at the comfort of your home, you might start calling on the phone and order the items from the infomercials or tv ads.

Even my sons were persuaded by it. “Mum, look at this! Buy it and you will have flat and toned abs!”

Good for you if you discovered an item that will help you in your everyday life or even your health issues. However, if it is not what you need, it might just end up still inside the package box and stored somewhere in a corner.

Solution: If you are that type of person that cannot control himself/herself buying on the spot without thinking of the consequences, turn off the tv or smart phone and do something productive to divert your thinking.

  1. You got so much extra money.

Spend. Spend.Spend. The debit card is having a workout.

Photo by Heidi Sandstrom.

shopping
So much shopping to do!

Solution: Please give me your money. I will spend it with the things I need.  Kidding aside, donating to charity or setting up a foundation to assist the less fortunate is money working for the common good.

  1. You love to hoard things.

Are you that kind of person who keeps buying things because you believe that you will need the items someday? The loved ones living with you are fed up with the things you keep buying. You don’t need them yet so you stock them somewhere you will soon forget and boxes occupy most of your home space. Good luck looking for it when you need it.

During the peak of popularity of garage sales for me way back in 2010-2011, I was a hoarder and loved buying cheap second-hand goods. I ended up having more than what I bargained for – lots of clutter.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo

different boxes
Where did I put that item I bought? Hmm

Solution: STOP buying it. Remove the mess.  I am a work in progress with removing the clutter but I am getting there… soon or maybe in a distant future. It felt good to see more space at home. True story!

  1. You want someone you love to be happy.

“Love is an ocean of emotions entirely surrounded by expenses.” –Thomas Dewar

You know deep inside, when you buy that particular item, the person you love will be ecstatic or delighted to have it at long last. Even if you don’t need it, you will sacrifice your own needs and wants and grab the item and pay before you change your mind!

Buying an expensive but reasonable gift for someone you love is great on rare occasions and within your means. Still, it is not a guarantee that the person will appreciate it.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

man and woman sitting on the grass
Having a belly laugh together is time well spent.

Solution: There are other ways of proving your love. The best one is giving your precious time and undivided attention to loved ones.  In addition, show love by helping with the laundry, doing the dishes, hugs, kisses, eating home-cooked meals at picnics and not looking at updates on your phone constantly while talking to them are my suggestions.

 

To sum up, if you become aware of your personal trigger, then you begin to be conscious of your actions, possibly get help or control your desire. We all purchase things for all the wrong reasons. My intention for you, my dear reader, is to take charge of your emotions and your purchases. We can handle it.

I now live on a road where they don’t deliver junk mail. Hence, no temptations for me this time.

Photo by Martin Sattler

man with a flashlight
A way will be made.

 

Alternatively, what are your own solutions that made you buy only what you need?

Leave a comment below. I love to learn from my readers.

Share this article with someone you know who loves to go shopping.