Controlling Impulse Buying

Table of Contents

Debt Management – Controlling Impulse Buying

Today’s stores are masters at encouraging and promoting impulse buying. That is understandable – selling is their job. Our job as consumers, is to make the best use of our money for our families and ourselves.

We have all purchased items on impulse at some time, that we have regretted. If that regret made you immune to all and any future impulse purchases, great. However, if you are still struggling with impulse buying, here are some excellent coping strategies:

    • Recognize the difference between your wants and your needs. You have heard this dozens of times – but it truly is an essential step in controlling impulse buying.
    • Avoid shopping as a form of entertainment – browsing aimlessly will increase your risk.
    • Go shopping with a list – and stick to it.
    • If you ‘fall in love’ with an item that you feel you must have, give yourself some cooling-off time.
      • Put the item back on the shelf and make a note of the price, brand and product number. When you get home, check prices and product reviews online. Call the stores in your area that carry the item and get their prices.
      • Then, if you still want the item, save for it – and only buy it when you have the cash.
    • Be well rested and fed when you go shopping. Shopping when you are tired or hungry increases your chances of making poor choices.
    • Never buy anything displayed in the checkout area.
      • If you discover that you have forgotten something that you see in the checkout area – leave the checkout line and go to the section of the store that carries the item you have forgotten. That way, you will be able to see all the prices and product options. If you don’t have the energy to leave the checkout line, it means the item is not worth the effort – so do not buy it.
    • Avoid being the ‘first on your block’ to get a new gizmo. Buying something because it is the ‘latest thing’, all but guarantees that you will be paying the highest price.
    • While shopping with your partner can ease the burden – it can also increase the risk of impulse buying. Make sure you both stick to the list – otherwise it might be best for the more controlled shopper to do the shopping.
    • A bargain is not a bargain if it is something you do not need.
  • If you hear yourself rationalizing an impulse purchase with the words “I deserve this” or “I have earned this” – it means that part of you recognizes that this is not a necessary purchase. Come up with a creative, and free, way to reward yourself – rather than making an unnecessary purchase.

If you succumb to an impulse purchase – don’t beat yourself up. Take it back to the store if you can. Learn from your mistake – and move on.

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If you are overwhelmed by debt and live in the Toronto area, call us at 416-498-9200 to book a FREE, confidential appointment. We will review your financial situation in detail and discuss all of your options with you. Alternatively, you can fill out the form below and our team will reach out to you. 

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