How to Resist Impulse Buys

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impulse buyingHere are some tips to help you resist the urge to buy things you want but don’t need.

Do you find yourself constantly spending more than intended at the store?  Have trouble avoiding unnecessary purchases?  You may be falling victim to the all-to-common temptation to make an “impulse buy.”

What is an Impulse Buy?

Simply put, an impulse buy is a purchase that wasn’t pre-planned; often times it is the purchase of an item that you don’t really need.  If you are a compulsive impulse buyer, you’re not alone.  The National Employment Savings Trust released a survey showing that people in Britain spend over £1 billion (that’s over 1.5 billion US dollars!) each year on impulse buys.

How to Resist Impulse Buying

The key to avoiding impulse buying is creating a game-plan before heading to the store. Make a shopping list and stick to that list, buying nothing else.  Avoid situations that will test your self-control: if you don’t need a new outfit, then you shouldn’t head into the department store.

If you are going to the store for only one or two items, a simple step you can take is to not use a basket.  Shoppers with baskets often take advantage of that extra carrying space and purchase more than intended.

Some experts recommend a cooling-off period to ensure that you really want that item you are about to purchase.  If the item wasn’t on your shopping list, don’t buy it during this trip.  Write down the name of the item, and then wait twenty-four hours (or longer—perhaps up to a month for larger purchases).  If, at the end of this period, you decide that you want to purchase the item and can afford it, go back to the store.  You will have avoided the rash impulse buy and made an informed purchasing decision.