Impulse Buying: The 7 Ugly Truths and How to Avoid it

There’s a thrill you get when you spend money on yourself. Sometimes, you spend it on things you don’t need just to feel good. When you give little to no thought to it before making that purchase, it is called impulse buying.

Wikipedia defines impulse buying as “an unplanned decision to buy a product or service, made just before a purchase”.

We have all at one point in our lives made an impulse purchase, but for some of us, it’s a regular routine that can affect our finances. You might not totally consider it a problem, but let’s talk about the 7 ugly truths about impulse buying and how to avoid it.

1. Impulse buying is emotion-driven

There are times when we tend to take certain actions based on our emotions. For some people, some of these actions are spending decisions.

A lot of people tend to impulse buy when they get excited about some things e.g. a promotion (This you?πŸ‘€ )

While you deserve to reward yourself for certain things, it is important to be reasonable about your purchases.

Excitement isn’t the only emotion that can trigger impulse buying. A number of emotions can cause us to either spend more or less without planning.

Ian Zimmerman, an experimental psychologist revealed that anxiety can also cause us to impulse buy to try and make ourselves feel better.

2. Childhood experiences can influence impulse buying

We take a large part of what we learn as children into adulthood. This includes our relationship with money.

If you grow up in a family where you are allowed to buy whatever you want when you want to, you’re most likely going to grow to become an impulsive buyer.

This is because you have been raised with a mindset that allows you to buy things without putting much thought into it.

This is not to say that only people like this turn out to be an impulsive buyers.

Some people are impulsive buyers because they don’t want to say no to themselves the way their family denied them of certain things in the past.

Trace your spending habit back to your past and what it was like growing up to figure out what makes you impulse buy and how you can stop.

3. Discounts are a major trigger for impulse buying

Price slashes, seasonal promotions and bundled offers tend to encourage impulse buying.

You might have stumbled onto a site just to window shop, but now you’re ready to spend because you spotted some discount deals.

Whether that item is necessary or not, as long as the price is slashed you are determined to immediately make your purchase.

If this is you, learn to ask yourself this before every purchase “Do I really need this or do I just want it”.

4. Impulse buying has its consequences

I recently bought a dress to attend a wedding because I felt like I had nothing else to wear.

I didn’t think too much about how that simple action would affect my finances for the rest of the month. It was worth it at the moment, but it definitely took a toll on my pocket.

When we fail to come to terms with the consequences of impulsive spending, we end up with a lot of regrets. It's important to not jump into buying things without thinking about the future. Click To Tweet

If you save money instead of spending it every time you get the urge to give in to impulse buying, you will be rolling in cash (that you can then spend responsibly).

5. Peer pressure causes us to impulse buy

What a lot of us don’t realize is how pressure from friends, colleagues, and people around us generally drive us to spend money impulsively.

It can be on anything from a trendy product to an expensive lunch that wasn’t budgeted for.

Next thing, you’re shelling out money to feel among.

6. Social media is another trigger to avoid

A major percentage of our spending is largely influenced by social media. Twitter, Instagram, and the rest encourage us to buy products we don’t need.

A lot of online vendors also run sponsored ads. Social media platforms then push those products in our faces because the algorithm is built in a way that helps them understand and promote what we want based on the content we engage with.

This is a surefire way to tempt people to buy.

7. FOMO can dry up your pocket

We desperately want the approval of people using certain products so we end up rushing to purchase the item. The fear of missing out is what causes us to act this way.

We want to be a part of this small or large group of people that are talking about said product. Even when it doesn’t fit our lifestyle or budget.

A lot of people tend to impulse buy when it comes to buying Apple products, for instance. There’s a FOMO that comes with not having the latest iPhone or AirPods, so people purchase them without a rationale.

How to Avoid it

1. Take your time before making that purchase

Don’t rush into making purchases without figuring out how essential the item is to you in the moment or in the long run. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages first. The more you do this, the less you get tempted to impulse buy.

2. Create a budget you can stick to

It’s important to have a budget that works for you. Create a fun budget that allows you to spend on yourself once in a while. You can take a hint from these 5 budgeting mistakes you’re probably making as a millennial to learn more about the dos and don’ts of budgeting. This will help you cut down on random impulse purchases.

3. Invest in your financial education

Financial literacy is an important part of getting your finances in order. It gives you a better understanding of how to approach managing your personal finances. You can invest in yourself by taking beginner courses on finance on Youtube, Coursera etc.

You should also follow pages like Halo Invest on Twitter and Instagram to learn more about money and how to improve your finances in simple, fun ways.

4. Limit your use of social media

Cutting down the amount of time you spend on social media will reduce the amount of content you consume from those online vendors or stores you cannot resist.

Take time off social media as it will not only save you money but also give you more time to focus on other things

5. Join a No-Spend Challenge

You can choose to join a no-spend challenge with friends or create one for yourself. Start being accountable for how you spend money.

Decide on a week or weekend that you can choose to spend no money at all. This works well if you have food at home and don’t need to leave the house during that period.

Asides from a no-spend challenge, if you're an impulse buyer, don't go shopping alone, so you can be held accountable. Choosing to carry just the exact amount you need to spend and leaving your debit card at home also helps. Click To Tweet

After reading this, would you consider yourself an impulse buyer?

Drop a comment below and share this article with a friend.


Easy Investing: How to Make Money from Stocks

Investing your money in the stock market can be both scary and exciting. Especially if you have heard other people talk about how they made or lost money from stocks.

The truth is, investing and making money from stocks isn’t as hard as most people think. All it takes is research and dedication.

While there are several passive income ideas that you can explore, if you’re looking to build generational wealth, then you should get your hands and money into the stock market.

This article isn’t going to tell you what stocks to invest in as the market performs differently from time to time. Instead, it is going to help you understand what you need to do and look out for when investing.

1. Only Invest Money You Don’t Need

To start investing in the stock market, the most important thing you need to know is this: Start with money that you can spare.

For example, if you want to start allocating a certain part of your salary to investing in the stock market, make sure you plan it out properly.

Map out what you need to save and survive, then figure out how much is left over for long-term investing and put that into stocks. It doesn’t matter if it is 5,000 naira every month.

Investing for the long term means that you are ready to be patient for your money to make returns say 5 to 10 years later.

This is why it is not advisable to put your emergency funds or money you’ll need shortly into the stock market.

2. Don’t Wait for Stock Prices to Drop

The reality is that stock prices fluctuate periodically. If you have spent most of your life procrastinating and waiting to enter the stock market when the prices go down, chances are you will never buy in.

The stock market isn’t predictable, so you cannot know for sure when prices will go down or up.

However, studying the market before making a purchase will guide you in making the right decision.

3. Do your Research before Investing

You can’t get into investing without doing research. You need to have your own understanding of how the market works and which stocks to buy.

Listening to what other investors (your friends and family) have to say about a particular stock isn’t enough to make a decision on which stock to buy.

Research the companies and what they do. If you don’t understand what the company is about, you should probably not put your money in them.

People tend to buy into stocks of companies they believe will have an impact on the world in the future because it means they will be worth more years later.

Your risk tolerance also plays a major role in knowing the stocks that are right for you. Those who have high-risk tolerance will most likely go for medium to high-risk investments.

To play it safe, especially when you are just getting familiar with the market, you should go for low-risk stocks.

4. Let Your Portfolio Reflect Your Personal Interests

Investing can be interesting when you buy stocks of companies that you are genuinely interested in. Curate your portfolio to focus on stocks of companies that you are passionate about.

If you are someone who likes to talk about phones and you enjoy the features of Apple, you can buy Apple stocks.

Diversify your portfolio by putting your money across different markets like tech, real estate, fitness or fashion, and so on. This depends majorly on what you have passion for.

5. Invest for Your Future

The idea that “tomorrow will take care of itself” is probably not the best way to look at life. You can start taking care of tomorrow by managing your finances better and saving and investing for the future.

You can rest better knowing that you are financially ready for the future. The money you make from investing in stocks will help you build the future that you want. It can also help you work out ways to meet your retirement goals.

6. Create a Budget for Your Stocks

It is very important to not put all your eggs in one basket. Creating a budget that includes the amount you want to go into the stock market with is an ideal way to get started and plan properly.

It doesn’t matter how small or big your budget is. There was a time when you had to have a lot of money to buy stocks but now you can start with as low as 1,000 to 10,000 naira and work your way up. This is great if you are just starting out as you adjust to the market.

Diversify your portfolio across other stocks based on your risk profile and make sure you are staying within a reasonable budget that works for you.

7. Be Ready for the Long-Term Game

Investing in stocks on a long-term basis is more rewarding than thinking that your money is going to yield returns in a short period. If you are looking at the short term interest you get, you might just go crazy from the fear of losing money.

A lot of people constantly check how their investment is doing every hour out of fear that the stock market might dip. While this is unavoidable and bound to happen, we must look at it from a long-term perspective. The stock market will always fluctuate but trend upward eventually.

Don’t let other people’s fear get to you so that you end up exiting the stock market thinking that you have gotten a sweet deal with your returns when you could have gained more if left for a longer period.

These tips should help you get started in your stock investment journey.

Don’t procrastinate till you never do it. Remember, it’s the baby steps that lead to giant strides!

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How to Know When it’s Time to Make a Career Switch

1. This is how you leave the house every morning for your 9 to 5 that really is a 5 to 9 life.

This is definitely a red flag. You should take a hint that it’s probably time to let the job go and move on to better things.

But before you take any action, figure out why you have lost your passion for the job and if you really need to switch careers or you need to work in a new environment. Start with a small career switch by taking on new tasks or moving to another department while you figure things out.

2. You are always tired.

You’re mentally and physically tired of work and nothing interests you. You constantly struggle to pay attention at work and meetings or you feel like you can’t get anything done.

This a surprisingly widespread but unhealthy feeling.

Feeling stressed or burned out for long periods has its health risks. Rest is important for your mind and body. Go for regular checkups at the hospital and get some time off. Click To Tweet

Offices need to be conscious of this and put structures in place to keep their employees happy and productive. If your workplace does not prioritise this, be on the lookout for other opportunities.

3. Work is draining your social battery and you don’t have time for friends and family.

After a long week of work, weekends are the best time to hang out with friends and family. If work makes you so exhausted that you don’t have the energy to even engage in social activities, maybe it’s time to leave.

Adulting can be very busy and it’s okay if you don’t get to talk or see your friends as much as you used to, but pay attention to how your job affects your social life, especially if you don’t enjoy the job so much.

4. You don’t get along with your boss

Have you had a couple of heated arguments with your boss before? Or you simply don’t seem to agree on anything? If your relationship with your boss is putting a strain on your work one way or the other, the environment might be a little too toxic for you to handle.

Dealing with a difficult boss is not great, but a career switch shouldn’t be your first solution. Before taking any action to leave, talk to your HR about the situation so the company can handle it. If there’s an opportunity to work in another department that isn’t directly under that boss, take it.

5. Work is boring

Nothing about work interests you anymore. You spend the most part of your day staring at the clock in anticipation of the closing hour so you can head home.

You’ve become less and less excited about getting your work done. If you’re at this point, try to balance getting work done with finding new skills you can learn or courses to take before you start your job search. This will help you prepare for the next opportunity.

6. It doesn’t feel like you are getting anywhere in your current job

You haven’t made as much progress as you planned to when you started your career. You feel like everyone else has it figured out but you.

Don’t let other people’s timing and success affect your journey. Everyone moves in a different direction and just because you haven’t made it big in your job doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Keep doing the work you love, find new ways to improve and watch things get better.

If you don’t think you can keep pushing and you’re on the brink of giving up, then maybe it really is time to try out something new.

7. You daydream about another job

This doesn’t feel like your dream job. You spend most of your time thinking of the job you think you would be happier in. Do your homework and research on the industry you want to work in, what do you need to do to be able to apply to work in that industry.

Network with other people working there and be sure you are ready to take on a new challenge.

8. You’re only there for the money

The job pays well and covers your bills and all things enjoyment. If you’re still there for the money, I won’t blame you, I mean, who wouldn’t be?

When you realize the job isn’t as fulfilling, you can start to look out for better opportunities. Search for companies that have better offers and you would love to work with.

In case you’re willing to let go of the job and switch to a less paying career that excites you, consider the pros and cons of taking the job first.

If there’s an opportunity to walk your way up the career ladder (promotion and salary increase), you will need to be patient and willing to make sacrifices.

Now that you know how to identify whether or not it’s time to make a career switch, what’s your next move?

Let me know in the comment section and share this article with a friend.

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Why Your New Year Resolutions Never Work

We are a little over two weeks deep into 2021 and while some of us might be pushing through with our new year resolutions, the rest of us have given them up and decided to try again next year.

This is perfectly fine and if you are still on it, you deserve applause.πŸ‘

The new year is a period when a lot of people use tags like ‘new year, new me’, some decide to start reading more, take eating healthy or going to the gym more seriously, or even work on bettering their savings culture.

There’s also a sizeable amount of us who don’t make new year’s resolutions altogether because we don’t believe in them or it has simply never worked out.

Ever wondered why?

Here are 8 reasons why your new year resolutions never work and what you can do better.

1. You Create Resolutions Only for the New Year

Resolutions shouldn’t be something we create once a year and specifically on new year’s day.

Somehow, we have built it into our mindset to only work on ourselves when a new year or new week arrives and it should not be so.

The moment you realize you have a goal you want to achieve at any point of the year, you should start working towards it.

What a lot of us don’t know is that ‘new year’ is a social construct.

When we hold high expectations every new year, we end up limiting ourselves and what we can get done. It is very easy to give up when you follow this pattern.

2. You Don’t Have a Clear Plan to Achieve Your New Year Resolutions

A major step in achieving your new year resolutions is to set a plan towards achieving them. You need to create a time plan for your goals.

You also need to identify the actions that will help you get to your goals.

Ask yourself these:

What are the steps I need to take to reach my goals? What resources do I need? How do I get them?

These questions will help you build a roadmap with clear steps to your goal.

For instance, if your resolution for the year is to make more money, you need to think of ways to earn more, save and invest.

Do your research and talk to people who will help you understand how to meet your goal.

3. You are not Motivated or Committed

Many times, we lack the motivation we need to get things done. When this happens with your new year resolutions, the problem might be with the resolution not with you.

We get excited when we create our new year resolutions, but the adrenaline tends to go down within days because those resolutions were not personal or didn't mean much to us. Click To Tweet

It is important to understand what makes our goals important and how they can contribute to our growth.

“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy” – Robert Tews

Yes. The quote applies to resolutions that don’t motivate you. If the resolution is right for you, then take your time to figure out how you can commit to it.

4. Your New Year Resolutions are Unrealistic

If you want to create new year resolutions that will work, it is important to make sure they are realistic and achievable.

Don’t settle for mediocre resolutions and try not to set high expectations that you can’t reach.

Whatever your new goals are, make sure they are goals that you see yourself achieving either on a short or long term basis.

Starting with your short term goals helps you tick them off your list faster and within weeks or months. A long-term goal, on the other hand, is one that you start working on but the results take longer to show, say a year.

5. You don’t make it a habit

Consistency is key. There’s a level of consistency that you must have when approaching your new year resolutions.

If your plan is to improve your health, you need to cultivate the habit of making healthier choices.

For example, if one of your new year resolutions is to stop drinking soda, you need to find ways to cut down your intake slowly instead of jumping off the wagon so you don’t fall back.

Tackling your new year resolutions one goal at a time will help you get better at achieving them whenever you set new goals.

6. You aren’t keeping track of your resolutions

When you don’t keep track of your resolutions, you might either lose focus or totally forget it ever existed.

You can choose to take a mental note or have a physical copy of your resolutions so that you can tick off each goal as you achieve them.

This will keep you motivated as you can track your progress and see the results of the work you are doing.

7. You Jump into it Without Giving Any Thought

I guess we can agree when I say, a lot of us look at new year resolutions as a yearly trend. Everybody wants to have a new year resolution whether or not it fits into their personal journey.

Stop making goals that aren't meant for you by copying other people's goals. You will end up putting yourself under pressure for no reason. Click To Tweet

Instead, make a conscious effort to work on yourself, your goals, and do what’s right for you.

8. They Don’t Fit into Your Personal Journey or Growth

Just like I have emphasized in the previous points, your new year resolution should align with your personal journey. It will help you along the way with your physical, emotional, financial. or mental growth.

Your goals are a direct reflection of your journey as it plays a role in how your year turns out. Even if you don’t have a new year resolution, there are certain decisions you make that will eventually affect you either positively or negatively.

You can work on your resolutions by weighing the pros and cons of those goals. What are the benefits and the disadvantages to it? This way you can decide whether or not to go ahead with certain resolutions.

Did you set goals for the new year?

Tell me about them in the comments and spread the word by sharing this article and others with someone else.


How to Avoid Being Poor in January

After all the enjoyment that came with December, you’re probably just realizing how broke and unprepared you are for the long days in January.

A lot of us spent our January salary when it came in mid-December without factoring in how we would survive getting back to reality once the holiday ended.

If you can relate, then you are in luck because I have the perfect guide to help you manage your funds and avoid being poor this January.

1. Create a January Budget

If you know for a fact that you haven’t been following your budget in the past, now is the best time to create one and follow-through.

Figure out how much you have left for January and work out a budget to allocate your funds so it lasts you to the end of the month.

Let this act as a guide for the rest of the year as you make budgeting a habit.

2. Don’t Spend on Credit

You know those tempting ‘buy now, pay later’ deals? Avoid them!

As mouth-watering as they can be, starting the new year by being in debt is not the best.

Stick to your budget and the essentials that you need to survive the rest of the month.

3. Stay Indoors

After a long month of spending in December, won’t you agree that it’s time to take a break from outings? I bet your account will.

It’s okay to turn down outings if you don’t have enough money to go out. This will definitely save you a lot of money. If we are being honest, this is the secret to avoid being poor all through January.

4. Resist Eating Out

This one applies to you all through the year. If you are still eating out, maybe it’s time to cut down on it and start cooking at home.

Homemade meals are a lot more affordable and worth it than constantly buying expensive meals from restaurants.

Let’s not forget the delivery charges that come with ordering food online. Get to the market or store to stock up on food and drinks for the long days in January.

5. Resist Short-Term Loans

This is probably not the ideal time to take loans as a lot of institutions offer loans and holiday packages which you have to pay back with interest by next year.

Stay away from taking loans from banks and even borrowing from friends and family.

Figure out how you can survive on what you have and also set aside money for any bills you have to pay next month.

6. Cancel Unused Subscriptions

If you have paid subscriptions you haven’t been using, you should consider canceling them before the next debit alert. It’s for the best as these platforms are taking your money without you reaping the benefits.

Offline subscriptions like the gym can be replaced with home workouts.

If you spend more screen time on Netflix than DSTV, you can decide to cancel your DSTV subscription package for the time.

You can learn more about how to manage paid subscriptions here.

7. Track Your Expenses

It’s not too late to have a spending limit. Don’t think it’s okay to continue spending on vibes because you haven’t been tracking your expenses.

Be more aware of how you spend what you have in your account by tracking what money goes where and when. Click To Tweet

Putting a limit to spending helps a lot more than you think.

8. Spend Wisely

Yes, this is the moment you need to ‘cut your coat according to your cloth’.

Don’t spend more than you earn or decide to buy things because your friends are buying it or because it’s trendy.

If you want to avoid feeling poor in January then don’t give in to peer pressure.

Spending whenever you feel like will shake your account in ways you will later regret.

If you can't afford it, then don't buy it. Click To Tweet

9. Don’t Go on Shopping Sprees

You spent money during Black Friday and December discount sales, what are you still shopping for? Take a break from unnecessary shopping in January.

If you have friends that are engaged and planning weddings, don’t spend all your money on asoebi and gifts. Get creative. You’re in luck if you have savings or an emergency fund to cover such expenses.

10. Create a Plan

The new year is here already and it’s not too late to get your personal finances on track.

You’re lucky if you were paid December salary late or better still, you got paid a 13th-month salary. Take advantage of this by deciding how you plan to spend your money early enough.

It might seem like the month is almost over, but it’s really just day 13 of 100. πŸ‘½

Open a savings account to set aside money on a weekly or monthly basis in the new year. Click To Tweet

You can come back to refer to this article in February and the following months after. Don’t say I never did anything nice for you.πŸ˜‰

In the meantime, be sure to share this read and others with friends.

Let me know if you enjoyed it by dropping a comment below.