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How To Avoid Impulse Buying

Was there a time that you really wanted to buy something, bought it, and later regretted that you hurriedly purchased the item? You have experienced post-shopping remorse.


An impulse purchase is buying randomly without you planning to buy it. They are often done due to excitement upon seeing the perceived value of the object. It can be as small as grabbing chocolate candies in the checkout line that wasn’t on your grocery list or buying a new phone because you have seen a huge discount on the price list, or as big as walking into a car dealership “just to browse” and walking out with a brand-new SUV. 

Buying outside your plan budget ahead of time, it’s an impulse! So, here are ways to manage your spending and avoid impulse purchases.

  • Make a Checklist 

This is the Golden Rule-Make it a habit of creating a checklist of your necessities, especially of your regular needs inside the house. It makes your shopping and grocery buying fast and more accurate. Besides that, it also controls your unnecessary expenses and impulse buying.

  • Follow a Mandatory Waiting Period

Practice a “mandatory waiting period.” If you wanted to buy something outside your family’s budget, try to wait at least a week after seeing the item in a store. After the “cooling-off period,” test to recheck the item and see if you still have the same intention of buying it. If you see it again and don’t have the same feeling about buying it, what you felt one week ago is just a buying impulse.

  • Try to Reuse and Recycle 

A wise buyer will always check the need before purchasing the items. Before you hit that “add to cart” or “buy” button online after seeing a promo of a new gadget, you can go and check if you can still fix the old item, repair it, or recycle. In doing so, you can still use the money for some other essential family needs like food and clothing.  

  • Avoid the Web of Temptation

Based on the study by User Interface Engineering, impulse purchases account for almost 40 percent of all the money spent on e-commerce sites. 

Online shopping has taken impulse buying to a whole new level. Online shopping companies have effectively used social media to allure customers. A very simple tip from the same study to help you avoid impulse buying when shopping online: When you’re searching for an item online, don’t search by category (e.g., “electronics”); instead, but search for the specific item (e.g., “DVD player”) as the study suggests that shoppers searching by category were three times more likely to buy something that was not planned to be bought additionally. 

  • Don’t shop when you’re emotional

You probably heard of this already, but it’s just worth reminding again: Do not buy something out of emotion. Don’t let your emotions dictate your spending habits! You just have an argument and misunderstanding with your husband or wife, and then you decided to go out and shop to appease your anger or sadness. Before you realized it, you have bought things that you don’t really need.

You might have an extraordinary happy day and make an impulse buy in the thrill of the moment. Or maybe you’re having a bad day, and you tell yourself you deserve something nice or that this item will make you feel better.

  • Bring A Shopping Buddy

It’s good if you have someone to go out with you to buy some groceries or to shop because there will be someone whom you can ask for advice or help you decide which brand or item is best to buy.

Accountability goes a long way here. You can bring your husband, your sibling, or a closest friend who is actually good at budgeting and shopping with you. Take them on your shopping trip and let them know what you plan to buy.

  • Don’t bring your credit Card

Just bring with you enough money to buy things on your list. Of course, bring a little extra just in case you miscalculated the estimated prices of the items on your shopping list. This will indeed help you keep away from impulse buying.

Once you stick with your shopping plan and don’t bring any huge extra money, you can’t make an impulse buy. Now that’s the power of cash!

  • Make an Inventory

That is why it’s important to make a checklist of the items you plan to buy, as it would also be easier for you to audit your spending. The “audit” will be used to pull together a list of items you bought impulsively and had remorse. Learn from your mistakes and make a list as a reminder whenever you go shopping.

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