Tips To Stay Away From Impulse Buying

This is an innovative way to control impulse purchases which I try often and every time it results in a success. Being lazy sometimes do help. it goes like this – When I feel like buying something, I say “nah, not now, after an hour may be” or “may be in next trip”. The next never comes, and that’s the big thing when you’re avoiding purchasing of something you don’t actually need.


How many times you got excited at an offer and bought it instantly only to find it useless later? Controlling emotion is not tough, you can easily do it. Always remember, If you feel the need for buying something only after seeing an ad or hearing someone talking about, it is not the thing you absolutely want.

A mere $20 save every year for 30 years (assuming you have 30 years more to retire), will give you 1481.65 back at 5% interest rate. If you are in love of that shoe on display, just mentally think you have bought it and deposit $20 in a saving account instead. Don’t forget to thank me after 30 years though!

Techniques to Control emotion while buying

Step 1: Consult with your partner, parent, significant other, ask them if you really need it. Value their opinion. If they favor you buying, go to step 2.

Step 2: Don’t buy today, buy after two days, or a week after. If the item is on sale today, and today is no special day, most likely it will be on sale again, sooner. If you still want to buy after two days or 1 week, go to step 3

Do you know, limited time sale offers are there only to take advantage of a basic human weakness of impulse buying?

Step 3: Review the product or service, if you want to buy an item called ‘XYZ’, Google it with “XYZ rip off”, “Why XYZ is bad”, “useless XYZ”, “complaints about XYZ” etc. read and understand the results, after completing this step, if you still want to buy it, go to Step 4.

Step 4: Search online for similar priced item, check if you need those more the items you wanted to buy. Give yourself a bit more time to think. If you still want to buy go to step 5.

Step 5: If possible to buy from store and not online, go for store that has good return policy. Try for few days, do you want to keep it with you? If not, go to step 6.

Do make a self-rule to buy all impulse buying using cash. If buying online, always pay with debit card.

Step 6: Return and take your money back, wonderful you did a good job!

But, my question is, why should we let these emotions develop? There are many techniques that can have you stay away from those impulses. I am listing few of ’em.


  1. Stay Away from retails shops and visiting malls just to pass time. Malls and shops are there to attract you in to buying things from them, stay away, stay rich.
  2. Do not go shopping with friends or any relatively more affluent people. It’s even not good to go shopping with someone who’s financial health is not as good as yours, because a tendency of showing off, comes in to play.
  3. Do not watch ads, go do something else at home when ads are running. Talk to your family muting TV.
  4. Be strict with your kids, kids are biggest contributor toward impulse buying. Unless addressed, a big chunk of your money is going or will go towards buying toys. Have them earn their toys (not by crying) by learning and practicing things.
  5. Prepare a budget and stick to it, many feel that budgets are for people with less financial success, no, budgets are for warren Buffet too! He also lives and spends as per his budget. Biggest of companies have budget, don’t your country have budget? A set spending target will deter you from impulse buying almost always.
  6. Out of every 2 shopping trips, make one “Window Shopping Only”. This will save half of your impulse spend.

If you want to buy just because your friend has it, look for things that you have and he/she doesn’t, think that you’re superior in comparison and eventually will earn more money to buy better things later.

Always buy costly items from stores that take returns, do not tear off labels just after bringing it home, give this task a little break, for a few days, always keep papers and receipt in order. Re evaluate usefulness of your recent prized possession and decide accordingly.

Never buy a home or a car on impulse, this will be the biggest mistake you can ever make in your life.

You can save 5% – 15% of your total monthly spending if you stop spending on impulses. And that can grow to a huge proportion if you invest. Not only can you invest, but also you can spend more money in things you really need. You can get your kid to college, you can buy a better home, you can take another vacation or even you can help some cause which you wouldn’t have done otherwise.

Last but not the least, one very important trick to control your emotional spending is to allocate a fixed but limited budget every month towards impulse buying, because shopping is a stress reliever. Spending money gives power and enhances self ego, but, it’s only up to a limit, beyond which it becomes weakness and sends you towards doom and debt.

Do you really need to stay subscribed to that shopper mailing list? Sole purpose of mailing lists is to tickle your impulse.


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  1. Diego says

    These are good tips, no doubt. I know practicing yoga also helps in controlling emotion and building self control. We need to practice meditation too. Also it is very important to convince your partner to follow these steps, specially if he/she like to spend money on non important things

  2. says

    Impulse buyers rarely recognize that they have a problem that should be dealt with. For items above $100 I always allow myself some waiting time (usually 30 days) before I actually make the purchase. It’s saved me a lot of money, since often times I realize I no longer want that item after having waited one month.

  3. Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin says

    Great tips! I simply leave all my credit cards at home when I go out shopping. If I see something that I really like I make the decision to come back.

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