Impulse Spending: The buying of goods without planning to do so in advance, as a result of a sudden whim or impulse.

Oxford Dictionaries

I am guilty of impulse spending and I’m all too familiar with the feeling of regret after I make said purchase. Are you all too familiar as well? These days, I’m much better at avoiding an impulse purchase thanks to my tried & true method. It’s simple, really, and has kept hundreds of dollars in my pocket over the years.

Here’s my method:

  1. Each time I feel the urge to buy something, I either write it down or save it in my online shopping cart.
  2. Allow 48 – 72 hours to pass without buying the item.
  3. During this waiting period:
    • I consider whether or not I actually need the item.
    • I think about what else I could do with that money.
    • I determine if I already own something that could essentially do the same thing.
    • I ask myself if I’d still buy it if it wasn’t on sale. (Most of the time I impulse buy because an item is on sale.)
  4. After 48 – 72 hours, I reevaluate how I feel about the item. Do I still really want it? Or has the desire faded?

There you have it! My tried & true way to curb impulse spending! It’s not 100% foolproof, but it has cut my spending down significantly over the years. After the process, I’m often looking at my list and wondering “why on earth did I think I needed all that stuff!”

For those of you that are joining me this month for the No Spend Challenge this could be a good lesson for you to incorporate. Since it is a No Spend challenge, I’d encourage you to write every single item down that you may want throughout the month. At the end of the month, take a look at your list and reevaluate your need/want. So instead of a 48 – 72 hour waiting period, you could end up with a 20 day waiting period. My guess is that if you have to wait that long you probably won’t want those items after all. 😉

I’d love to know how you curb impulse spending? Any tricks you care to share?

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