Why You Should Shop Impulsively

I can bet you have either heard or have been told to quit shopping impulsively. And there are tons of reasons for this - you spend too much on clothes, you have a closet full of clothing items you don't wear (or rarely wear). It could be that you buy things you don't need, or you buy clothes just because they are on sale. Sometimes you make purchases not budgeted for or ones that exceed your budget. On and on goes the list, but whatever the case, there are many valid reasons to stop impulse buys.

These statements are usually made by well-meaning people with well-meaning intentions - personal finance gurus, budget planners, loving parents, annoying siblings, and even good friends. I agree with them wholeheartedly and fully agree with people budgeting (and sticking to it) and living within their means. Ultimately, your financial health is important, which is why everyone and their mama encourage you to plan your shopping.

When you go to a mall or store intending to buy specific items, you subconsciously have tunnel vision. Without even knowing it, you restrict your mind from exploring the endless possibilities the store provides.

While I agree with planned shopping purely from a financial perspective, I do not agree with it from the angle of having the most fashionable clothing items. I don't believe it is the best for your clothing mix. When you go to a mall or store intending to buy specific items, you subconsciously have tunnel vision. Without even knowing it, you restrict your mind from exploring the endless possibilities the store provides. On the flip side, when you go with no set plans or maybe somewhat malleable plans, you get to enjoy the full array of options presented to you by the store or mall...or the internet.

When I think of my most fashionable items, I never planned for them. Coincidentally, these items are some of the items I get the most compliments on (if that's your thing *wink*). There is no way I could have gone to Macy's intending to get a turquoise Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirt, but I can't count the number of 'nice sweatshirt' I've gotten when I wear it. The same applies to the camo sweatshirt I got from the same store. All I knew at the time was I wanted a camo top, and a t-shirt seemed to be the likely purchase. My mind didn't even go to sweatshirt or hoodie, but I immediately knew that it was for me when I saw it. If it could talk, it literally would have called my name. And even if it couldn't, I could still hear it calling me. It was a regular camo sweatshirt, with a navy blue ribbed collar and cuffs with a golden line on the collar and cuffs. There was no way my brain could have envisioned that, but I knew it was what I wanted in a heartbeat when I saw it. And I wasn't even planning to shop that day, but impulse buying came in clutch. Two years later, I still get compliments on the sweatshirt, even from people who have seen me wear it multiple times. These are two examples that come to mind, but there are many more.

Try reducing your planned shopping while increasing your spontaneous shopping, and watch the number of compliment-worthy fashion items in your closet rise. Impulse buying is not the worst thing to happen to mankind, but maybe how we go about it. With a little twist to how it is approached, you will actually buy fewer items but much more beautiful items. You will realize how much you love your impulse buys and how great you feel about them. And this feeling lasts a long, long time.

Here are two tips for impulse buying:
Budgeting: Yes, you read right, BUDGETING! This is my top tip to impulse buying while managing your finances impeccably. Budget works wonders for your finances and your closet. So, here's how it works. Make a monthly clothing budget. One that you are comfortable with but you don't necessarily have to spend entirely every month. That's where the gem lies. Personally, I never have reasons to buy shoes or clothes every month, so my clothing budget is swole after about two to four months of no purchases.

This serves two purposes. I can gladly and non-guiltily make impulse buys when I see that sweatshirt or t-shirt I want since I have a budget set [by now you should have figured I love sweatshirts, lol]. It also means that I can get myself those highly-priced Air Jordan 1s I love if they became available, thanks to my swole shopping budget. I keep slaying while avoiding the mental gymnastics of balancing my finances - win-win!

Patience: Give yourself permission to say NO to many purchases. Trust me, not every impulse or even planned shopping is necessary. This is the primary reason many things in your closet sit there gathering dust. You also don't need to buy every trendy clothing item, shoe or accessory. Remember the camo sweatshirt? It took me two to three months to eventually make the purchase. I knew I wanted one, but I was not ready to get just anything. Patience is key. I also have a green hoodie that I get lots of compliments for (and now my wife wears more than me. Annoying, but it's a story for another day). I knew I wanted a simple green hoodie, nothing fancy, but that took me about 6 months to purchase because it had to be right. This is extreme, but I have plain white sneakers that took me about a year and a half to buy. Why? It had to be right. But I reap the benefits of my patience almost every time I put something on - I feel good about them and I get lots of compliments.

Believe me, impulsive shopping can be the best thing to happen to your looks if you approach it right. If you apply the tips above, it could transform your closet - you will have fewer clothes but the few you have would be head-turners, foh sure! Some of the most beautiful items you will have will be impulsive buys and you will be glad you did, trust me.

Do you agree or disagree? Share other tips you think are helpful. Feel free to share with someone who needs to either transform their closet or tame their spending or both.

Remember, YOU MATTER, and what you bring to the world matters...even your style.

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All you can do is all you can do. But all you can do is enough.

Art Williams