If you thought that you are a smart shopper because you are good at predicting the money you will spend for shopping, you will be surprised with what researchers have to say. Researchers believe that people are bad at predicting how much money they will spend or save. Johanna Peetz and Roger Buehler conducted a research in 2009 and found that people were bad at predicting how much they are going to spend next week. They tested this with a group of Canadian undergraduates were asked how much they are going to spend next week. Some of those students thought that they are prudent and will spend less and their targeted amount was less whereas when they actually went for shopping they ended up spending way higher than the targeted amount. For instance, one student said she will spend $94, whereas she actually spent $122 and this was her best estimate after knowing that a week before she had spent $126. So, what is the reason behind this wrong calculation, the reason is simple we don’t truly know ourselves and our spending habits and this is the reason why we promise and make new year’s resolutions that we will save money but we don’t know that where and why do we spend. It may also be the case that we are overconfident about our thrifty behavior and we can’t see the leaks. Therefore, it is important to be aware of our own behavior whether it is our spending behavior or general self-awareness. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you stick to your targeted spending.
Stressed vs. Desserts
Desserts are stressed written backwards and hence desserts are antidote to stress. When you eat some desserts or comfort food, you seem happy. I am not talking about eating comfort food here. There is a strong connection between impulse shopping and stress. When you are under stress, your brain needs to release what I call happy chemicals to bring you back on track and either deserts or impulse shopping can release those happy chemicals instantly. Therefore, never shop when you are stressed because you are going to spend more than you can because your brain is going to release those happy chemicals while you are shopping. In other words, you will be conned by your own brain, if you go shopping while in stress.
Eat before you Shop
Now, again this is related to eating, but actually we are talking smart shopping and saving money. In a research study conducted by Gilbert and Wilson (2000) it was found that hungry shoppers spend more money than the shoppers who stuffed themselves before shopping. The reason is very simple, when you are hungry you will see a pack of fancy snack which will stuff you immediately and in that you might not pay attention to the price, calories and other stuff. Again, your brain will draw your attention to the fact that you are hungry.
Leave Children at Home
Indeed, it is rewarding that you have your sweet time when you are shopping alone I mean without little ones. But, the biggest reward is savings. It is a no-brainer that kids are sometimes demanding and you add more stuff which you did not want to. Moreover, when children are around, it is difficult to spend a long time comparing products and making smart choices because you are busy taking their (children’s) hands off the items on the aisle. So, the best way is to shop when you have free time or your kids are on a play date.