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10 Ways To Put A Halt On Impulsive Spending

Are you an impulsive spender? Check out these 10 simple tips that can help you take control of this expensive habit, gain control of your finances and keep your hard earned cash.

Hello, my name is Jesenia and I’m a recovering impulse spender. I wish I was kidding, but for many years I purchased things based on emotions and boredom. The funny thing is that I hate shopping. I avoid malls and stores like it’s a sport. I don’t find pleasure in spending hours at the store looking at things I won’t buy. But when I shopped, I shopped. I never bought fun stuff like clothes or home decor items. Nope. My purchases consisted of canned goods, cleaning supplies or things for the kids.

I’m glad to say that I have turned things around quite a bit. However, it’s still a struggle when I come across a clearance rack and I feel the need to “check it out”. Perhaps you deal with impulsive spending on a different level. You might find pleasure in spending time at the stores or buying a new outfit. Unfortunately, this can quickly bust your budget and even add on to your debt. So how can you put a stop to impulsive spending? Check out the following tips that can help you take control of this expensive habit:

10 Ways To Put A Halt On Impulsive Spending

1. Never shop without a list.

Now let me clarify that simply having a list won’t change your spending habits, but it can definitely help. I find that when I have a list, I’m less likely to buy other things. Even if I do, it’s always a lot less than if I had no list to begin with.

2. Set a budget before you head out the door.

Before you even step into the store set a spending budget and stick to it. If I know that I can’t go over a set figure, it helps me choose my purchases carefully and stick to my list.

3. Carry cash.

I know it’s not always possible, but if you can, take cash instead of a credit or debit card. Something about cash helps control my spending. I think it’s because I don’t want to go over budget since my cash is limited and I also hate to part ways with it. Weird, but it works.

4. Walk away.

If I find myself contemplating a purchase that wasn’t planned, I walk away and go to another part of the store to continue my shopping. This helps me tremendously, and often, I don’t even go back.

5. Question yourself.

When I want something because it’s on sale or because it’s something that I “must have”, I ask myself the following questions:

  • Do we need it? If the answer is no, back it goes.
  • Can we afford it? If we can’t, back it goes.
  • Can we borrow it? If the answer is yes, back it goes.

6. Avoid the sale and dollar bins.

Y’all know exactly what I’m talking about. Those darn bins always have a way to draw me in. The worst part is that most of it is junk. Because I know that this is a weakness of mine, I make it a point to avoid it altogether. No temptation=no spending.

7. Unsubscribe.

Unsubscribe from store mailings so you’re not getting bombarded with catalogs or emails with the latest store deals. As a blogger, I know there are times that I suggest a book or item that I found for a great deal online. However, I try to be careful on what I post and would never share something I wouldn’t use myself. But if you find that you’re favorite blogs tempt you to buy, perhaps consider unsubscribing from their email list or skip over the deals they post online.


8. Don’t shop with spenders.

OK, this is a biggie for me. I love hanging out with my teenage daughter, but she has a way of aiding my spending. Like most teens, she loves to shop and encourages me to buy things simply because “it’s cute”. So when I head to the store, I try to leave her at home or I avoid stores she likes.

9. Stay home.

If you find that the store you have stop at is simply to tempting or that you will probably wind up overspending that day because you’re feeling down. Avoid the stores altogether. You can always assign the shopping to your spouse or another family member.

10. Do a self-assessment.

Think about why you’re buying things on impulse. Often, we do this because we’re trying to fill a void in another area of our lives. Although I hated shopping, I would often overspend on my kids. I felt guilty for working long days and not being home with them as much. So when the weekend came, I took them to the mall for a “treat”. Now, we do things that don’t involve shopping.

Are you an impulse spender? How do you avoid overspending at the store? I would love to hear from you.

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  1. Havok says:

    Yes. All of the yes-es. I used to be the impulse spender (and still am, but I’m much better about it!). My downfall was having a Target three or four blocks away. Bought a lot of stuff that way. Helped, though, that I didn’t drive, so whatever I did buy I had to walk back to the house (so it wasn’t a lot all at once, just trips at least once a week!). One thing that helped me, though, was indeed the cash bit. For any “fun” spending, I took money out of the bank each pay day, and that was it until I got paid again. It could be for anything I wanted, but I couldn’t get any more money out, unless something came up that I actually needed. Still bought a lot of stuff (Target sales, amirite?). but certainly helped a ton!