If you’ve ever shopped for food on an empty stomach you’ll know where this is heading.
As it happens, if you’re feeling hungry your brain’s ‘acquisition’ system is fired up and recent research from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has discovered just how bad it can be on your wallet.
The study’s authors say that your natural instinct is to respond with ‘I need something’ but that something is not restricted to food, and you are more likely to spend money on non-food items.
With that in mind you need to grab yourself a snack before you head out the door or sit down in front of your computer to find new clothes. It’s not just hunger that makes you overspend either, as the following shows.
Your house is messy
According to the Journal of Consumer Research, if you have a disorganised house — or even just one room in your house — your brain senses you have lost control and will start looking for ways to regain it. One way it does this is by getting you to buy stuff.
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Read more: Declutter time. How to get rid of the things you don’t need, today
The sun is shining
A little sunshine can brighten your mood and this in turn can lead you to spend more money than you otherwise would if you were feeling ‘neutral’. Canadian researchers have revealed that sunny feelings remove any worries you might have about your spending decisions.
Just for the record, you are also at risk of spending more when you’re feeling down in the dumps too. When your sense of self-worth drops making a new purchase might seem like a valuable and attractive proposition to pick yourself up.
You’re shopping alone
You might have a favourite store and this will ultimately lead you to spend more in that store than if you were shopping in an unfamiliar one. The Journal of Retailing and Consumer Service published a study that highlighted your emotional attachment to a particular place actually disappears when you shop with a friend and this results in you spending less money and making fewer impulse buys.
Read more: Seven tips to save you money when shopping
You’re spending too much time on social media
You all like hanging out on social media sites, like Facebook, and for many it boosts confidence and self-esteem. When you’re riding high you tend to lose your self-control, especially when out shopping. In fact, a study from Columbia and Pittsburgh universities shows if you spend time on social media you are more likely to make purchases afterwards.