Alicia Nelson-Bell, Empowering Financial Wellness Program Coordinator
Are rising prices bringing your anxiety and fears up with them? Are you experiencing a sense of scarcity and uncertainty about your finances? These feelings can cause people to panic-buy. Panic buying is essentially buying irrational or excessive amounts of goods. People trying to cope with stress and anxiety want to feel like they are in control of something amidst the many things they can’t control. Making household preparations is totally rational and is highly recommended. Anxiously buying in excess, out of a fear, with no plan can really wreak havoc on your budget. Let’s take a look at what causes panic buying and some solutions to combat it.
Guest Contributor: Christina Pay, USU Extension Assistant Professor
There are three shopping events each year in Utah that savvy shoppers look forward to with anticipation. These are known as case lot sales. Generally occurring in January, March and September, buying pantry items at case lot prices can save you money while helping you stock up on items you use on a regular basis. However, don’t be fooled. Without a plan you may end up spending more money than saving it, so follow the tips below to help you make your own plan to find the best case lot bargains.
Have you found yourself out and about “panic buying” lately? Moment of truth: I have. If you've tried hitting up the grocery store lately, you've seen the chaos! Panic buying is defined as the unplanned purchasing of large quantities of a particular product/commodity due to sudden fears of a shortage or price increase.
The psychology of panic buying is generally summed up as an attempt to take back control in a time when you feel completely out of control (sound familiar?). Panic buying is connected to our fundamental psychological needs to control our circumstances, relate to those around us (or the “everyone’s doing it” mentality) and feel competent about our abilities as consumers. Empty shelves and rising prices can tempt us to stock up but buying what you do not need or what your family will not use actually gives you a false sense of security that you’re a “smart shopper”.
As connected as we are online, it’s easy to see just how empty the supermarket shelves are regardless of whether or not you’ve been there in-person lately. Let’s be clear – there is a distinct difference between disaster preparation and panic buying. I am certainly not suggesting you ignore recommendations to purchase what your family needs. However, irrational stockpiling can make shortages worse and bust your budget over and over, so here are six hacks to combat future panic buying (cause we're not out of the woods yet...cue Taylor Swift).
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