9 Tricks to Stop Impulse Buying

9 Tips & Tricks to Stop Impulse Buying

Learn the tricks and tips to avoid impulse buying & for leaving the store with only what you intended to buy.

Impulse buying, we’ve all done it. All of sudden, we see something and we instantly feel the need to get it. We immediately forget about the mortgage or our son’s orthodontic treatment. We also forget we’re supposed to be saving money for our next vacation. When the desire to buy something takes over us, we simply forget about everything else.

Luckily, there are many steps we can take to avoid impulse buying and put our budget in jeopardy, achieve a balance between what comes in and what goes out and even save enough to treat ourselves in the future.

Of all the tricks I’ve used to avoid impulse buying, the ones that work best have been those related to:

  1. Avoiding the temptation to buy. They include: not going to shopping centers, malls or department stores unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  2. Freezing my credit cards.And when I say freezing, I really mean it. I put each credit card in a plastic baggie, fill it up with water and put it inside the freezer. Not only do I forget that I’ve got the credit cards, but if I decide to use them to buy something, I’ve got time to think it over and more than likely end up regretting my decision while they thaw out. It’s that easy!

My dad, who’s a genius when it comes to finances and has been debt-free for years, was the one who shared that trick with me and while it’s a bit radical, it truly works. But freezing my credit cards is not the only step I’ve taken so I don’t end up buying what I don’t need.

Other tips to avoid impulse buying include:


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  • Plan aheadThis means working on a budget. Once you know how much money comes in and how much you can afford to spend, plan out what it is you will be buying and ask yourself this question, do you really need it? This is just a simple exercise that should help you buy less.
  • Make a listOnce you make it, review it and commit to cutting it in half. When you go out shopping, stick to the list and figure out how much you saved by not buying stuff on impulse.
  • Think before you buy. Another incredibly useful tip is to make a list of all the things you supposedly need and then wait a while. Ideally, you’ll let a couple of weeks go by before you take another look at the list. You’ll be amazed by how much of the stuff you listed you truly don’t need or care for at all.
  • Go shopping by yourselfNot sure if this happens to you, but some times when you go shopping with friends, you end up spending more money. I don’t know if it’s because you’re totally relaxed or if it’s an unconscious way to compete with your friends to see who can spend more.
  • Don’t watch infomercials. Have you noticed how often they repeat the same stuff over and over again and how they offer incredible discounts that seem too good to be true? Just try to forget these infomercials even exist. None of the stuff on sale is actually necessary. All these programs have been created to sell you unnecessary things by making you believe you need them.
  • Question yourselfIs what you’re about to buy absolutely necessary? Will it make your life better? Will it put your budget in jeopardy? Will it translate into a future debt? Answer these questions honestly and you’ll be less likely to impulse buy.
  • Reward yourself. Once you’ve managed to keep your impulse buying at bay for a few months, you can go ahead and reward yourself with something you’ve been really wanted to get.

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