There are so many different reasons that we fall into impulse buying. But regardless of the reasons that keep you hitting “check out” and “add to bag” there are things you can do to get that impulse shopping under control. If you find yourself purchasing things outside of your means and purchasing things that you don’t have a use for and isn’t in your budget then these are the tips you need to know. So keep reading for these life changing tips to avoid impulse buying!
And remember- any journey to improve and better yourself will have ups and downs. And financial improvement is no exception to that! Don’t get discouraged if you slip up and do some impulse shopping. That is normal and don’t beat yourself up about it.
But before we get into these tips to avoid impulse buying let’s quickly discuss what that is. So you can understand if you are actually impulse shopping and if you need to stop doing it!
What does impulse buying mean?
The just of impulse buying means making a purchase that you didn’t plan or even think about in advance. A sudden urge and decision to purchase an item (both online or in person) is impulse shopping.
And everyone occasionally finds a product they didn’t know existed so couldn’t give it any thought in advance but decide to purchase it. Doing that occasionally when you have the finances to do so and actually use the items you purchase is normal and we all do it. And that’s okay!
But purchasing things often in an impulsive manner, purchasing things that you don’t have the finances for, and/or emotionally purchasing things are all signs that you have a problem with impulse buying and you should probably get it under control so you can improve your finances.
Now that we have covered what impulse buying means lets start talking about how to stop it so you can start taking better control of your finances and your life. So let’s get into it!
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Life Changing Tips To Avoid Impulse Buying
How to stop impulse shopping:
Tip 1: Give yourself one day to think about the cart.
Taking 24 hours to think about the purchase and if you really want it is so necessary to help you stop impulse buying.
This can be a challenging tip though. If you aren’t too deep into impulse buying you can probably just remind yourself to check the next day and see if you really want the item after simmering on it for a day.
But if you need a little more structure than that to keep you from an impulse purchase then try setting a timer/alarm on your phone for 24 hours from now. That can keep you from giving into temptation to order it sooner. And remind you that you are waiting for a reason. You can even set the reminder label for the timer or alarm as something you are trying to save money for!
This is a simple but effective way to remind you to not impulse shop.
Tip 2: Don’t save credit card numbers on your phone and computer.
This tip is pretty self explanatory but it is one of the more actionable steps you can take today.
If you already have credit card numbers saved to your laptop and phone that autofill when shopping then go through and delete them right away. Having it be so easy and accessible to impulse shop is enabling the problem.
By making it that you have to get up and go grab and type in your credit card adds enough time and difficulty to slow you down and give you a chance to evaluate if you really want the item in your cart.
This includes unlinking any PayPal or ShopPay accounts from your credit cards as well!
Tip 3: Delete shopping apps.
Removing temptation is one of the best ways to help you get an impulse shopping problem under control. And deleting shopping apps is so helpful for removing temptation.
Like we discussed before making things slightly more difficult to purchase can really help with slowing you down so you have time to decide if this is a reasonable purchase that you need or an impulse purchase that you really don’t need.
This also helps to stop you from scrolling through shopping apps when you are bored. Boredom is one of the most common things that leads to impulse buying! So remove that temptation along with helping you find something better to do when you are bored.
Tip 4: Have a clear monthly budget.
Knowing your finances is essential for identifying if your purchases are reasonable or if they are out of your budget and your financial means.
There are so many other reasons to have a clear monthly budget as well so really this tip is a total win if you are trying to better your financial situation. Not just to help you stop impulse buying things.
I go way more into depth on the benefits and how to create your monthly budget here along with a free printable budget you can start with: Monthly Budget Tips and Tricks + Free Printable Monthly Budget!
Tip 5: Find hobbies and activities you enjoy (besides shopping!).
This tip goes hand in hand with the concept that impulse shopping results form boredom.
If you have extra free time but don’t have a hobby or interests that you want to spend your free time on then you will find yourself scrolling websites and adding things to shops.
Read here for ideas of hobbies that you can start doing to better spend your time and help you have less time for impulse shopping.
Tip 6: Keep a list of what you actually need.
Keeping a running list of things you actually need to purchase (not just groceries!) can help you keep priorities in mind when you are shopping and help you stay on track. Impulse buying often happens when we stray away from what we intend to purchase and having an actual list rather than a mental list can help with that.
I recommend keeping this list somewhere really accessible like the notes app on your phone. That way it is always with you and keeps it in mind. And can access it when you find yourself shopping.
Tip 7: Calculate the actual “use value” of the item.
This step isn’t overly fun but it is often the wake up call that we all need to help us stop an impulse purchase.
To figure out the use value you will need to be honest and realistic with yourself. Are you wanting to purchase a pair of pink boots because they would look cute with an outfit for an event? That’s cool but how many uses will you wear them after? If you can’t think of any and they cost $100 then the use value is $100 per use. But if you think they will be worn every weekend until spring then the use value would be closer to $5 a wear and that information can help you determine if the purchase is worth it.
The math doesn’t have to be perfect. Just enough of an estimate to help you out. And to keep the impulse shopping under control!
Tip 8: Ask yourself if you have anything similar.
This question isn’t always a fun one to ask yourself. But it is so important for keeping you from making an impulse purchase with something you won’t really use.
Looking at a cute pumpkin shaped waffle maker? That’s so fun but you already have a ghost shaped one. They are two similar products with similar uses which means you probably won’t get much use out of it. And the one you already have will get less use but take up double the space in your home.
This is an even easier tip to apply to clothing. I am so guilty of having similar items and I know what a challenge this can be. But asking this question will really help you get your impossible shopping under control.
Tip 9: Unsubscribe and stop notifications from stores.
I talk a lot on here about the importance of minimizing distractions. And shopping notifications can be both a productivity distraction and a shopping trigger.
So go into your phone settings and turn off notifications for any store apps that you have decided to keep on your phone.
And then go to your email and unsubscribe from store emails! Those deals that you actually need to find you can find with a little effort. And that effort helps you keep your impulse shopping in check.
Tip 10: Always read reviews.
Reading reviews is a great way to bring you back into reality and pull you out of the mental haze of impulse shopping. The reviews remind you of the negatives and help you think more about the product and if it something that you really want. And if it something worth spending even a penny on!
This is the final official tip but I do want to remind you once again to be patient with yourself and kind to yourself. It is a journey to improve yourself and your finances!
If you enjoyed this article on Life Changing Tips To Avoid Impulse Buying then you probably will find these articles helpful as well:
- How To Save Money Before The Holidays Start!
- Monthly Budget Tips and Tricks + Free Printable Monthly Budget!
- 11 Tips For Saving Money In College Without Feeling Broke!
- 20 Life Changing Money Tips For Your Twenties
- 17 Self Growth Daily Habits To Better Yourself
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