Impulse Purchases – How To Quit Buying Things You Know You Don’t Need

Every now and again, each and every one of us makes an impulse purchase we’re incredibly proud of. We accidentally fall head-first into buying something we didn’t mean to, only to then thank the lucky stars we did. Unfortunately, in the other 99.9% of instances when we pick things up on impulse, we completely regret doing so. The very nature of an impulse purchase is such that these are the kinds of things we didn’t plan to buy, weren’t thinking about prior, most probably have no use for, and could very easily live without. Nevertheless, the average woman’s closet is full of them.

The good news however is that while it may sound somewhat superfluous on the surface, there are various ways and means by which impulse buying habits can be brought under control…or even halted altogether. According to the experts at Bella fashion queen the amount of money wasted on needless impulse purchases every year is quite simply too colossal to contemplate calculating. And when you consider the fact that this is all cash that could’ve been spent on genuinely wanted and needed items…well, it’s quite the tragedy on the whole.

So at the risk of crossing the line into preachiness, here is a quick rundown of just a few shopping tips for steering clear of the impulse purchases you really know you shouldn’t be making:

1 – Embrace the Cliché

First of all, you know that irritating cliché that tells you to visualize at least three potential outfits you could put together with the garment you’re looking at before buying it? Well, there you go – lesson number one. It really doesn’t matter if those sparkly sequined sneakers are up for grabs for pennies and are in many ways the coolest thing you’ve ever seen – if they won’t go with anything you wear, it is a complete and total waste of money. And just for the record, assuming you might wear them in years to come is also the wrong way to go about things…chances are, you never will.

2 – Set a Budget

Before heading off on any hard-core shopping expedition, virtual or otherwise, set yourself an extremely strict budget by which to work. And be pretty ruthless about it too – the reason being that when you are limited with regard to how much you can (or at least will) spend, you are massively less likely to waste any of these precious funds on the kinds of bits and pieces you could easily live without. Of course, nailing this one takes enormous willpower, to say the least, but it’s certainly effective.

3 – Come Back Later

The word ‘impulse’ itself pretty much encapsulates something you should think about doing every time you find yourself staring down the barrel of another unplanned purchase. It’s a pretty simple concept to grasp – you find yourself instinctively wanting to buy something you hadn’t planned on, so instead of just charging to the cash register with it, you walk away, take a little time to think about it and then go back if you decide you really need it. If possible, you could even try sleeping on it – chances are you’ll feel completely different in the morning.

4 – Take Someone Sensible

It’s often said that the most helpful thing anyone can do to positively influence their shopping decisions is to take someone else along for the ride. Unfortunately, this simply doesn’t work if the person you take along is even more prone than you are to spending a fortune on unwanted detritus. Even if it means partnering up with someone you’d consider to have absolutely no fashion sense or beneficial shopping experience whatsoever…i.e. your partner…they may at least be great at helping you avoid completely pointless purchases.

5 – Straight-Edge

A quick point but an important point nonetheless, never under any circumstances fall into the trap of hitting the web for a spot of retail therapy after one or two (or more) libations. The tipsier you get, the more you risk largely every item you come across becoming the kind of impulse purchase you just have to have…and then regret enormously.

6 – Shop When Necessary

Last but not least, perhaps the single most effective approach to cutting down on unnecessary purchases is to completely remove all such temptation. Or in other words, try to bear in mind that there’s a big difference between heading out shopping for a list of things you need and simply heading out shopping for the sake of it. Whichever way you look at it, if there’s absolutely nothing you need, then absolutely everything you pick up will be a non-essential impulse purchase. And when the time comes to head out and buy the things you do need, you’ll have a hell of a lot less spare cash to bring to the table.

Dorothy Smith

With a keyboard for a compass, Dorothy Smith navigates the diverse landscapes of British life. His blog delves into lifestyle trends, cultural gems, home & garden havens, political intrigues, and travel adventures. Buckle up for witty insights and thought-provoking explorations – all served with a distinctly British charm.