It taskes discipline but it can be done!

10 Ways to Prevent Impulse Buying

by Kristina Nelson


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Impulse buying is the sudden driving force that tells you to buy something. Stores, shops, and businesses all prey upon shoppers who don't have the discipline to shop from a list and use it diligently. It's easy to toss a candy bar, magazine, or any sale item into your shopping cart. Buying an item on sale can drastically affect a shopper's wallet. It takes discipline to walk past items that have that flashy red clearance sticker that's screaming for you to buy it. Here are ten tips to put a stop to impulse buying. Several shopping mothers tell how they prevent buying more than they intend to.

  1. Don't shop. One mother from South Bend, IN shares her tip to stay out of the stores. This tip works best for her.
  2. Don't use credit cards. Vanessa from Birmingham, AL shares this tip to leave your credit cards at home. Without credit cards, she is less tempted to buy more than she needs, which keeps her debt free.
  3. Make a "wish list." Tami in Portland, OR is most tempted by lower cost items, while her husband is most tempted to buy higher priced items. They each keep their own wish list of the items they would like to buy. They mark the date next to each item on their list and re-check their list after one month. Tami also shares her tip that after one month an impulse item will lose its appeal.
  4. Wait a day. Christi from Newman, GA waits a day or two before she buys an item that she wishes to purchase. By doing this, she can make clearer and better purchases for her family.
  5. Carry cash only. One mother shops with cash only. She suggests leaving the credit cards and even the checkbook at home to prevent over spending or buying items that are not on her list. When she goes "window" shopping, she leaves home with only her driver's license.
  6. Pray. Several women said that they pray before buying anything, asking God for guidance before and during each shopping trip. Becky from Indiana states, "Yes, I'm well aware of the fact He is always guiding me. I just need the reminder to follow."
  7. Possess one credit card only. One family puts a stop to overspending and buying by having only one credit card. They restrict the use of it to purchasing gasoline and buying by mail order.
  8. Are you heading for debt trouble? This simple checklist can help you.

  9. Stash leftover cash. Only put enough money in your checking account to purchase the necessary items or pay bills. Deposit the remainder into a savings account. This will keep you from spending money on items that you don't need.
  10. Create a shopping budget. Keep your shopping limited to a set dollar amount. One mother suggests this tip to keep spending down. She also checks sales flyers before making out her shopping list.
  11. Shop with a list. A popular tip from almost every mother that answered this survey suggested to write out a shopping list and use it, crossing off items as they are bought.

Married couples offered tips to make joint agreements when purchasing a high cost item. For example, one couple has an agreement that they are not to purchase any item over fifty dollars without consulting each other.

Many shoppers love to shop clearance year round and actually make it a hobby. To keep this spending under control, simply follow the tip for creating a shopping budget and allow yourself to only spend a certain amount on clearance items. This works well for the avid shopper who buys birthday and holiday gifts ahead of time.


Take the Next Step:

  • Do you tend to overspend on your kids? Try these 8 habits that plug parental spending.
  • Be aware and use these tips to fight shopping temptations.
  • Stop struggling to get ahead financially. Subscribe to our free weekly Surviving Tough Times newsletter aimed at helping you 'live better...for less'. Each issue features great ways to help you stretch your dollars and make the most of your resources. Subscribers get a copy of Are You Heading for Debt Trouble? A Simple Checklist And What You Can Do About It for FREE!

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