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How To Curb Impulse Buying

This post was featured at I've Paid For This Twice Already and Pajama Mommy Community.

You're cruising through the mall, picking up a few needed items, when you see a huge red 'Sale!' banner at your favorite shoe store. There, as you pass the window, are a pair of shoes that stop you in your tracks. You're not at the mall to buy shoes, and you certainly don't need that $60 hit to your wallet, but you tell yourself, 'These shoes are so cute. I have to have them!' With that, you whisk into the store and purchase the shoes. You have just gotten sucked into an impulse buy.

An impulse buy is a purchase you did not plan to make, but made anyway. Why do we impulse buy? Two words: instant gratification. Yes, we impulse buy because a part of us never made it past the age of two and we have to have it now. It is purely emotional. After you purchase on impulse, you may feel elation and giddiness, but then often feel guilt and remorse. In fact, many impulse purchases are regretted later on. That's right; you probably didn't even want the item in the first place.

Okay, okay...so we know that impulse buying is something we want to curb or stop doing altogether. But how? Try these ideas:
  • Don't carry cash. If it's not in your wallet, you can't spend it
  • Before you leave to go shopping, verbally tell yourself, 'I'm am not going to buy anything I don't need.' Then, respect yourself and keep your promise!
  • If you find yourself about to make a purchase, put the item back, walk around for 10 minutes, and then ask yourself again if you should buy it.
  • Sleep on it. Instead of making the purchase right then, go home and come back the next day, if you still want to buy it (This is also good advice when buying big ticket items, whether planned or on impulse).
  • If you tend to impulse buy when you are with your friends, don't shop together! Instead, go for walks, make lunch, visit museums, etc.
Our final and best suggestion is a rather ironic solution: plan your impulse buys. The problem with the above suggestions is that you still feel deprived of the wanted item. Try this: plan to purchase something that you would normally buy on impulse (a piece of clothing, lunch, new makeup, etc). Write it on the calendar sometime in the future. For example, 'Monday, January 7th: buy new shoes.' This way, you can avoid impulse buys, knowing you will be buying it soon, and you also have something to look forward to. It's like expecting a birthday! Curbing your impulse buys will save you clutter, guilt, and best of all, money.


JHS said...

Thanks so much for participating in this week's Carnival of Family Life hosted at Pajama Mommy Community! Be sure to drop by and check out some of the other wonderful entries this week!

Anonymous said...

Great tips, but you do know you have misspelled "Nickel" everywhere on your site?

The Simple Nickle said...

Hi Anonymous,

Actually, both are correct. It's sort of a 'shop' or 'shoppe' type thing, and I like 'nickle' better:)