Ever heard of “Buyer’s Remorse”? It’s that post-purchase regret after impulse buying. You spot a cute bag or watch online, click ‘Add to Cart,’ then ‘Checkout,’ and bam! It’s bought. Then, reality hits with the deduction alert on your card. We’ve all been there.
So, how do you dodge this shopping regret? The 24-hour rule! That’s how. Financial gurus refer to this rule as the game changer of mindful shopping, and it is. But what exactly is the 24-hour rule? How does it work?
What Is the 24-Hour Rule?
The 24-hour rule is a simple yet very effective strategy for mindful shopping. It requires you to give yourself a full day (24 hours) to consider a purchase before making it.
It is incredible how, as humans, we often change our minds about things, however significant. The 24-hour rule takes advantage of your indecisiveness to help you shop smart and save money. It applies to many purchases, from small, everyday items to large purchases like home appliances.
The 24-hour rule can be an invaluable tool when it comes to curbing impulsive shopping tendencies, especially in such areas as clothing and fashion. Advertisers easily allure us to the latest trends and eye-catching garments without giving them a second thought.
Here, the 24-hour rule comes into play. When faced with the temptation of a spontaneous fashion purchase, individuals can benefit from the discipline of waiting a full day before making a final decision. This brief period of reflection allows shoppers to assess whether the item truly aligns with their personal style, wardrobe needs, and budget.
By applying this rule to clothing and fashion, consumers can reduce the likelihood of accumulating unworn or regrettable fashion pieces and make more deliberate, satisfying choices that stand the test of time.
How Does the 24-Hour Rule Work?
Imagine the following scenario: You’ve just moved into a new house and want to buy a new couch for your living room. So, you set out to find the right couch.
After checking out the first store, you discover this beautiful leather sofa. You’re excited, and the salesperson is also doing a good job convincing you that this is your best option.
You have a good feeling and consider buying it right away. After all, everything checks out. The fabric is good, the color is great, and the salesperson couldn’t be nicer. What else is there to think about?
Well, the 24-hour rule. You should apply it at this point by not making the purchase. Simply turn back instead, go home, and sleep on it.
Wait to see if you’re still as excited about the couch and if the urge/temptation to buy is still there. This simple act of delayed gratification is the first key to the success of the 24-hour rule.
Take the time to reflect and research the item you want to buy. As you reflect, ask yourself, do you really need the couch? Will it add value to your life? Can you afford it without causing any financial strain to yourself?
Then, do more research on the product. A couch is a big purchase. Research the product online, read reviews from people who have already bought it, and compare prices from different vendors. You’ll be surprised how much information you can find that can influence your buying decision.
After the 24 hours have lapsed, reevaluate. Are you still as excited about the coach as you were the day before? Are you comfortable spending on it? If the answer to these questions is yes, then make the purchase.
You’ll most likely go the other way and not even think about the item as much. You may keep looking, or maybe not. Either way, mission accomplished.
How To Embrace the 24-Hour Rule for Mindful Shopping
Now that you know how the 24-hour rule works, how do you effectively implement it in your shopping routine for long-term success?
Set a Limit
First, set a financial threshold at which you want to apply the rule. For example, you can use it only for larger purchases, such as purchases worth more than $50. That way, you’ll ensure you don’t overthink smaller expenses while still holding off on larger purchases.
Make a Wish List
When you come across something you’re tempted to buy, add it to a wish list. Check your wish list periodically and only buy the things you really want and need after applying the 24-hour rule.
Use technology to your advantage. There are some apps and browser extensions that help you effectively implement the 24-hour rule. They remind you to wait before buying to avoid impulsive spending.
Be Mindful of Sales
Sales and discounts can make us feel like we’re missing out if we don’t buy immediately. However, sales happen frequently, and taking the time to think doesn’t necessarily mean you’re missing a great deal.
Look For Accountability
Share your intention to follow the 24-hour rule with a friend or family member. They can support and encourage you when tempted to break the rule.
Remember that this rule is flexible and can be adapted to your needs and circumstances. For example, you can extend the waiting period for more expensive purchases or shorten it for smaller, less consequential items. Ultimately, it’s about making purchasing decisions that align with your values and financial goals.
Embrace the Mindful Shopping
The 24-hour rule is your best bet for mindful shopping. It gives you time to think. Do you really need it? Or is it just a fleeting desire? The 24-hour rule lets you make smarter choices and avoid buyer’s remorse.