Gift cards are good for many things; giving as gifts, financial aid, and so much more. One day, a random question crossed my mind, “can gift cards curb impulse buying?” I did some research, and I will discuss my findings with you.
Impulse buying is something a lot of people struggle with. Economic Times describes impulse buying as the tendency of a customer to buy goods and services without planning in advance. This happens all the time! You go into a store to buy item A and B, but you get home and discover you have bought items C-Z. Sometimes, you get sad that you didn’t stick to your budget, other times, you say, “it’s just one life I have, I can’t kill myself”. I am guilty of both.
The problem is that in the long run, this is not a sustainable way to live, because you will suffer nasty financial consequences either now or sometime soon. Now, to the question at hand. After many hours of research on the internet, I didn’t find much to support the thinking that gift cards can in fact reduce impulse buying.
However, after some minutes of critical thinking, a thought popped into my head. Gift cards can truly help you solve that problem of spending money on impulse. “How?” you may ask. Well, my solution will be to buy a gift card from your favorite store for yourself. Let me break it down for you.
Can Gift Cards Reduce Impulse Buying?
Let’s imagine your favorite store to shop at is Amazon, and you have to spend $100 a week for groceries and utilities. It may be wise for you to purchase an Amazon gift card that is worth about $20 and set it aside for when you are ready to go shopping, this way you have $20 set aside for anything that may catch your fancy. The good thing about this is that it’s not actual money, so you cannot spend it randomly, you can only use it on an Amazon website. This has to work hand in hand with you creating a shopping list and sticking with it, and any unplanned thing that you find at the store can be bought with planned money. You- 1: impulse buying- 0. The example above was just a random example. You can tailor it to fit your own needs. The goal is just to spend money wisely; whether you use an eBay gift card or a Walmart gift card.
While gift cards can aid in curbing impulse buying, it plays a really small role. The bulk of the work lies on you and whether you are willing to discipline yourself to spend wisely, regardless of whatever route you decide to take.