Nobody ever intends to impulse buy. However, if you are walking into a store and you just happen to notice a great sale, bam, you’ve made an impulse purchase. On average, almost 89% of Americans have admitted to impulse shopping, with an average of $81.75 extra per person spent per trip.
First and foremost, you need to create a strict budget for yourself. You can do this using an app or just by opening an Excel spreadsheet. Keep careful track of how much money you want to spend in each category for the month. If you are close to going over that amount, then do not buy the item that has caught your eye. Before making any purchases, double-check with your budget to see if you can do it. Be honest with yourself, and you will reap the most rewards.
Leave Some Wiggle-Room
With that being said, it is also important to budget with a little bit of fun in mind. Depending on your personal financial situation, you can decide how much money will be left over for fun things each month, whether it be $50 or $500. Leaving yourself that extra bit of money to play with will reduce the temptation of additional spending on impulse purchases.
Don’t Follow your Emotions
We’ve all heard the old advice ‘don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry’. The same logic applies to regular shopping as well. If you are feeling sad or upset, you will be much more likely to buy something to cheer yourself up. Later, when you’re feeling better, you will realize that you didn’t actually need that item after all. If you are in a bad mood, try to avoid the mall. Go somewhere that will make you feel better, such as a walk in the outdoors.
Only Shop with Cash
If you need to go out to buy something essential, only withdraw the amount of cash that you have budgeted to spend. Once you run out of cash, that’s it, you’re done. If you have bought that impulse item and not the essential thing you needed, that will be the consequence of your action. In addition to using cash, do not even bring your credit or debit card with you. Leaving these temptations at home will make it so much easier for you to avoid excess spending.
Take Time to Think
If you see something that you really want to buy for yourself, do not go for it right away. Take a bit of time away, at least 12-24 hours, and really consider whether you need it. If you find yourself feeling the exact same desire after the time has elapsed, go back and get it then. If you have forgotten about it, you likely did not really want it anyway. If there is a flash sale that will be over soon, don’t worry about missing it. Other sales will come up, and once you have taken the time to consider whether you want it, you will be ready for the next one.