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Tips to avoid impulsive shopping this holiday season

Online shopping
Posted at 1:54 PM, Dec 10, 2021

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and it can be hard to pass up on taking advantage of a great deal. But experts say consumers should be careful about what they add to their cart.

Sometimes, emotions can get the best of shoppers, making it easier to spend.

"You feel before you think. So, if you're feeling a little down or a little stressed out, we want to do something to get rid of that stress. So maybe we'll hop online and we'll shop," said Leigh Richardson, the founder of the Brain Performance Center.

Richardson says impulsive shopping can also happen when people are feeling positive. Those who are happy may want to celebrate by buying things, or they may want to share things with other people.

Richardson says when that happens, shoppers aren't using the rational parts of the brain — they're using the emotional side.

She suggests doing a physical activity instead, like taking a walk.

But many may turn to online shipping because of its immediate access.

"From social media, having instant access to everything we need on our phone — I think we want that instant gratification, and we apply that, whether we're shopping or getting on social media or doing anything else," Richardson said.

Richardson says shoppers who know they're going to spend should make a plan ahead of time. She says shoppers should write down what they're going to buy and plan out a budget.

She also suggests adding things to an online cart and coming back to it in a few days.