TODAY

TODAY   |  November 29, 2013

3 tips to cool impulse shopping urges

Black Friday can become synonymous with impulse shopping. Personal finance expert Lauren Lyons Cole shares easy ways to remember to keep your budget in check this holiday shopping season.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> black friday, a national holiday that celebrates, well, impulse buying .

>> impulse buying .

>> so if you're home carbo loading to hit the stores, we have tips to help you stick to your list. good to see you both. happy thanksgiving.

>> good morning.

>> lauren , let me start with you. why does it feel so good to buy things to people?

>> we actually get a rush of dopamine in our brain when we consider making a purchase.

>> really?

>> yes.

>> it's a physical reaction.

>> it's a science thing.

>> just like an addiction.

>> is it really?

>> how can we help curve this impulse shopping? some of the retailers put things at eye level . the most expensive items.

>> the reason why they do that is they know that people -- exactly what lauren said it's this dopamine effect. so they want people to go in and shop. if you think about it, there's six days less this year for people to shop for holiday and the reason why is because, you know, as you know, thanksgiving was yesterday.

>> so lauren you say there's ways before you even go out the door to prepare yourself.

>> right.

>> to control yourself.

>> the straight jacket might be a good idea.

>> well, you can think about grocery shopping. never go to the store hungry and always bring a list. do your research ahead of time. know who you're shopping for and how much you plan to spend and leave the credit cards at home and just bring cash.

>> and know your budget, too.

>> know what you're willing to spend.

>> you say we should actually take a lap around the store although, you know, that may seem counter productive because then you're in the store longer. talk to us about that.

>> well, the store is mapped out. at the front of the store they have these places called grab bag items. when you first walk in it's brightly colored. they're silos and discounted prices in these areas. and then when you walk in through the store is where the higher priced items -- it could vary from store to store. it could be home wears or a different type of grocery store but, yes, on the outside of the store, there are beauty items and grocery items and then, here's the kicker, when you get to the front of the store, that's when you have the as seen on tv items, the snacks. and they're within four feet of you and that's where they want you to impulse buy there.

>> tell me about the strike zones because they sound evil. we have you in the strike zone . what does that mean?

>> stores are doing everything they can to get that rush of dopamine but what you need to do is give yourself 10 to 15 minutes to think it threw basically. that gives the dopamine enough time to decrease in your brain so you can be more racial about whether or not you want to make the purchase. and while you're doing that, try to look down because like you said, jenna, they do put the most expensive items at eye level and if you look down you might find good buys.

>> i picture people walking around the store with their head down.

>> i always feel like there's great things up.

>> way up.

>> never look eye level . never look the product in the eye.

>> don't do that.

>> does it help at all to just keep it on line? if you can't control yourself should you buy things on the internet?

>> in terms of online, things are very different. so the deals that you're going to get in the stores are going to be, you know, some what -- sometimes they're going to be better. sometimes they're not. the thing you have to remember about online is you may end up getting free shipping. you may be getting rebates. so at the end of the day , your cost shopping online might be a lot less than going in the stores. that's one way you can reduce that.

>> who knew there was so much science involved in going out to the mall. thank