Thursday, December 22, 2011
The 2011 season has been marked by self-gifting – shoppers buying nearly as much for themselves as they are for family and friends. Impulse buying is fun, if you allot a certain amount of cash for the unexpected. Here are tips for a guilt-free shopping spree that won’t induce a credit hangover that hurts your chances of buying a house in the spring.
Plan your impulse shopping. That’s not as contradictory as it sounds. Researchers at the Wharton School of business, LeBow College of Business and IE Business School surveyed European shoppers and found that 20 to 40% of their purchases were officially unplanned…except that the shoppers fully expected to make impulse decisions even before they left the house. Before you leave, set a limit for your gotta-have-it item. That way you can have all the fun of choosing something in the spur of the moment, knowing that you’ve already neutralized any cash backlash.
The more optimistic you are about your personal financial situation and about your career, the more likely you are to buy gifts for yourself, according to research conducted by academics at the Kellogg School of Management. Concentrate that confidence on buying a house -- the biggest purchase you’re ever likely to make – a house – instead of doling it out in smaller purchases.
Photo courtesy of Morguefile contributor penywise.