How to Curb Impulse Buying

Recognizing Temptation

You are in a department store to buy some new stylish clothing for the season. Suddenly, as you make your way through the women’s section, you spot a purse that screams your name. There is nothing wrong with the purse you have now, but the one on display just seems too perfect not to buy.

Or you are in the grocery store to buy the basics: milk, bread, produce, and so on. You notice that there is some candy on sale. There is already plenty of junk food in your kitchen, but you love the sweet goodness and joy that candy brings.

This is called temptation. Temptation often leads to impulse buying. Impulse buying can sometimes lead to guilt later on. You’ll look at your new purse and say “I really didn’t need to buy this”. You’ll be munching on your candy and say “I shouldn’t be eating this, but I can’t let it go to waste”. To avoid the guilt, you must not buy things on impulse. In order to make sure you only buy what you need while you are in a store, you need to resist temptation.

Resisting Temptation

Resisting the temptation to buy something without thinking about it requires a large amount of willpower. You have to force yourself to stop and think about what you are about to do. The question “Do I really need this?” must pop into your head. Take a good look at the item(s) you want to buy. Think about whether or not you will regret buying it later.

A good idea would be to set a budget for yourself before you go shopping. For example, you may want to set aside about $50 for clothing and $30 for groceries. Do not allow yourself to go over this budget. Even if you have some money leftover, you must not use it on impulse. You must have absolute self-control if you want to resist buying things you want but don’t need.

Suppose you do indeed have some extra money to spend and you decide to use it on the purse that you so desire. Before you do, however, you must be reasonable. Ask yourself: “How many outfits do I have that will match this purse?” and “How often will I use it?”. If you have don’t have that many outfits that will match the purse or don’t think you’ll use the purse often, save your money and walk away. This goes for any other accessories you may have had your eye on as well.

As for the candy on sale at the grocery store, keep your budget in mind. You may need that $3 for your favorite healthy cereal that also happens to be on sale. Also, if you are on a diet, you already know you have to steer clear of extra calories. Remind yourself: “I don’t need this”. If you have kids who have a thing for sweets, simply remind them that there are plenty of other goodies for them at home.

Resisting temptation is the key to curbing impulse buying. Exercise self-control and think before you buy. In the long run, it will save you money and relieve you of any future guilt.