How to stop impulse buying and save more

By Sarah R
Modified on April 24, 2023
how to stop impulse buying

Want to know how to stop impulse buying? Impulse buys are a temptation we all deal with every time we go out. It can feel like we constantly see advertisements between tv commercials, billboards, product placement, and more. However, it can also be fun to indulge in a little unexpected retail therapy from time to time. 

But what happens when you start to rely on buying things in order to make life more enjoyable? If you feel the need to buy something every time you’ve had a bad day, there may be a problem. While impulse buying isn’t always necessarily a harmful habit, it can definitely lead to financial issues in the long run if left unchecked. 

If you are looking to cut back on your impulse buying and save money to pay for bills or other necessary expenses, these budget and money savings tips may help! 

What Is an Impulse Purchase?

An impulse purchase, or impulse buying, is when you spend money on something spontaneously, perhaps without giving it much thought first. An impulse buy can be anything from a candy bar at the grocery store’s checkout line, a new pair of shoes, or even a lavish dream vacation.

Typically, a few impulse purchases here and there are fine and won’t affect your financial situation too much. But, make sure you keep track of your spending habits. When they are out of hand, impulse buying can negatively affect your finances and disrupt the long-term financial goals you may have. While options like no credit check loans may be able to help you get back on track, it is best to nip the problem in the bud and stop impulse buying. 

How Do I Know If my Impulse Buying is Out of Hand?

For most people, a bit of retail therapy every now and then is no big deal, as long as you can afford the items you are purchasing. But, if you notice your debt start to accumulate or your credit score starts to dip, you should get your personal finances under control as soon as possible. 

If you want to know if your spending habits are negatively affecting your financial health, ask yourself a few questions before you make a purchase. Do you currently have enough money in your checking account to cover your purchase, or will it put you in credit card debt? Were you planning on buying this item, or did you randomly see it and want it? Is this item going to improve your life, or is it just going to make you happy at the moment? Based on your answers, you can see if your spending habits are a problem. 

Tips To Avoid Impulse Purchases 

Try these helpful tips for avoiding debt and cutting back on impulse buying. 

Evaluate Your Needs vs. Your Wants

The first step towards controlling impulse purchasing is to know the difference between your needs and your wants. Before buying something, wait and ask yourself, is this purchase necessary? Be honest. If the answer is no, then the item is something you want but don’t need. 

For example, say you are at the grocery store, and a brand new kitchenware set catches your eye. You may think at the moment that purchasing the set is a smart decision; everybody needs tools for cooking. But put yourself through a waiting period. You may come to realize that the pots and pans you already have at home are doing just fine, and making a new purchase isn’t a necessity. 

Make a Budget and Stick To It

Another great way to avoid impulse spending is to create a budget plan. First, make a list of all of your necessary expenses. This should include expenses like housing, bills, food, and gas if you use your car regularly. Next, add all those expenses together, and compare the amount to your income. Any extra money is yours to budget as you see fit. Set money aside for savings, pay a little extra on a loan payment, or budget your cash towards making informed financial decisions.

Use Shopping Lists

Avoid impulse spending by having a plan whenever you plan to go shopping. Use the budget you created to help you listen whenever you need to shop. If you need to go to the grocery store, go through your kitchen and create a shopping list of the items you need. Or, if you need to shop for new house items or clothes, write down everything you plan on purchasing before you enter the store. Knowing exactly what you came to buy can help you stay on track and avoid buying items you don’t need. 

Avoid Browsing 

To avoid temptation and impulse buys, try not mindlessly browse the store. If you wander around shopping areas long enough, chances are you will find something you would like to buy. Instead, stick to your lists, and your budget like you are on a mission. You can even try to make it a game and see how quickly you can buy everything you planned on your list and leave the store! 

Other Helpful Tips For Saving Money 

Getting impulse buying under control is an important step towards becoming financially stable. But, thankfully, there are other ways to save money and organize your finances. 

Check out these other helpful money management tips. 

Eat at Home and Meal Prep

One way to save money and hone your spending habits is to plan your meals and eat at home. Getting takeout every night can get expensive. Try to cook at home more and eat your leftovers to practice discretionary spending. You may even find yourself eating healthier! 

Get a Part-Time or Temporary Job 

If you need to get yourself out of debt or just want to put some extra cash in your savings account, you could get a part-time job that pays well. You can find part-time or even remote jobs, so you can earn money without disrupting your routine too much. 

Shop In-Store Deals

Instead of shopping online, try shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. Often, items listed for sale online shopping can come with inflated prices, shipping fees, and items may be more difficult to return if you decide you don’t want them. You might be able to find a good deal on an item in a brick-and-mortar store that would have been more expensive if you purchased it online! 

Set Financial Goals 

Make saving money fun by setting personal goals for yourself. When you set a goal and achieve it, you’ll not only save money but feel a sense of accomplishment as well. Goals like raising your credit score 100 points in 30 days can also help you improve your spending habits for long-term financial success! 

Utilize Online or Mobile Banking 

Regularly checking in on your bank account and purchases will help you become more familiar with your personal finances. These days, most banks and financial institutions offer online banking options, where you can log into your account on their website and look at your financial information. If you have an influx of incoming cash one month, you may be able to splurge on that expensive dinner with friends on a Friday night. Becoming familiar with your incoming and outgoing cash flow can help you make informed financial decisions regarding impulse buying.
Get your finances under control so you can stop worrying about money!

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