The Balanced Spreadsheet-Financial News, Budget Advice, Debt help, Financial Tips, and other advice

January 31, 2010

How to avoid Impulse Buys

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebalancedspreadsheet @ 11:55 am

As mentioned before, I contribute some to the website Cash Commons which is one of the biggest FAQ’s on finances on the web.  Recently a question was asked that applies to every single American today, how to avoid impulse buys.  The biggest threat today to keeping a budget and staying out of debt is the impulse buy.  Whether it is something big like buying a new car, to spending $50 a week at Target, or just eating out every night because you do not feel like cooking, we all need to guard against the dreaded impulse buy.  The Frugal Lawyer had a great answer to the question that pretty much sums it up but I would like to add a few thoughts.

  1. Know your budget-The great thing about having a budget is that you know at the beginning of the month if you have the money ahead of time to purchase what you want.  If you find out that a certain TV you were wanting is on sale or that outfit is on clearance you can buy it and not feel guilty about it if it is in your budget.
  2. Avoid window shopping-Yes, some of us can do this and not be tempted but most of us can not.  Simply put, if your budget is maxed out in a certain category then you probably should not be “just looking”.  Once you get in a store or start looking online there is a good chance you’ll get caught up in the moment and make an impulse purchase.
  3. Say no to yourself-This is the most important one.  All of us have this inner child that constantly tells us “I want it and I want it NOW!”  They key is to be able to be mature enough to wait and have a long term perspective instead of just living in the moment.

All three of these thoughts have one thing in common, they all relate to discipline.  You have to have discipline to keep your budget.  Discipline is needed to avoid buying something even if you “got a good deal” when you promised you were just looking around and it takes discipline to say no to yourself.  Financial self discipline is hard and does not come easy but it will not only keep you from making impulse buys but also help lead to becoming wealthy.



  1. Great post!

    Comment by Danielle — January 31, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

  2. Thanks for your support of Cash Commons! Glad you’re enjoying the site.

    Comment by mbhunter — February 6, 2010 @ 4:08 am

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