Tips to Avoid Impulse Buying

We’ve all done it—impulse buying, purchasing something on a whim only to regret it later. Maybe it was the cost, maybe we didn’t NEED it, maybe there was no space for it, maybe we weren’t able to maintain it, but now we wish we hadn’t bought it!

Many things can contribute to impulsive purchases. Your emotions play a big role. When feeling, down shopping can be a pick-me-up. However, excited celebrating can result in unnecessary spending.

Here are some tips I recommend to members, and I also follow to avoid unnecessary purchases:

Grocery Shopping

  • Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. You tend to purchase things to feed your hunger at the time.
  • Make a list and stick to it.
  • Plan your meals. This helps keep your groceries streamlined. I’m all about meal planning for family, and it can save you hundreds per month in spending.
  • If grocery pick-up or delivery is an option at your favorite store, use it. You won’t be tempted to pick up things you hadn’t intended to purchase.

Hardware Stores

  • Make a list. It’s easy to get sidetracked by the latest gadgets and feel the urge to indulge, but if it’s not on the list, leave it on the shelf.
  • Determine your NEED vs. WANT when replacing appliances, lawn equipment, and other larger items. Your current item may NEED to be replaced but compare and determine which better suits you and your budget.
  • When in doubt, PAUSE. Leave the store to think it over. Many times the urge will pass if it’s not a necessity. If there is a NEED, it allows you more time to compare and make the appropriate choice.

Clothing Purchases

  • Ask yourself “Will I wear this again?” For special occasions, consider renting or borrowing from someone else instead of buying. If you can’t find the item to borrow, think about thrifting or buying from a buy-sell-trade group for a deeper discount on the item you want. You can find discounted items on eBay, Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace, and other online and brick-and-mortar thrift stores.
  • Does it coordinate or complement items you already have in your closet?
  • Is this something you’ve wanted for some time, or are you considering this item because it’s the latest trend?

Other Purchases

  • Avoid the temptation to spend money on unnecessary purchases by unsubscribing from sales emails and app notifications from your favorite stores.
  • Use deal tracking apps, such as SlickDeals, so you’re alerted when items that you do NEED are on sale or discounted.

When you find yourself in and purchase situation, ask “Do I need this?” If it’s truly a NEED, then consider all options, compare pricing, and shop for the best quality and prices that fit your budget. If there is any doubt, walk away. Take time to consider the impact of the purchase. Your mind and your budget will be thankful!

How else have you avoided impulse buys? Let us know in the comments!

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