We’ve all bought something that we don’t need, whether you’ve been scrolling on your phone or out shopping at the supermarket. It all seems harmless at first, but this is impulse buying and it can make your wallet feel significantly lighter when left unchecked
Over a quarter of Brits feel that they are wasting on impulse buys and if you count yourself among them, don’t worry. This guide explains what impulse buying is and how you can avoid it in the future.
What is impulse buying?
Impulse buying is also known as impulse spending and can usually be used to explain unplanned purchases that we don’t usually need. It can be as small as grabbing a chocolate bar when doing the food shop or as big as coming home with a brand new vehicle. Basically, if the item hasn’t been factored into your budget, it’s an impulsive buy.
Examples of impulse spending include everything from candles and books to extra cleaning supplies and home improvement items.
Why do we impulse spend?
There are many reasons why we impulse buy but it may surprise you to know that Brits make at least seven big impulse buys on average every year. Emotional state, advertising and store environment are all factors that can affect a consumer’s buying habits and lead to an impulse purchase.
Some of us also enjoy shopping and treat it like a hobby. The feeling we get from instant gratification is just too enjoyable to resist and makes you feel great, especially if you’re having a bad day.
How to stop impulse purchases?
If you’re reading this thinking that you might be inclined to impulse spend, then these tips are for you. Financial freedom is within your reach when you curb your habits and focus more on your long-term goals.
- Stick to your list – Before heading to the shop or browsing online, having a carefully budgeted shopping list will help you stay on track. Having the items you need clearly set out reduces the chance of you being swayed by a tempting impulse and is a constant reminder of your priorities.
- Set clear financial goals – Getting control over your finances by setting clear financial goals will give you more incentive to keep impulse buying to a minimum. Whether you’re looking to help get approval for a loan by improving your credit history or saving for an upcoming milestone, saying no to unessential purchases will get you one step closer.
- Follow the 24-hour rule – It’s important to treat yourself now and again but you can give yourself a cooling-off period to make sure that you really want. Getting into a neutral state of mind will allow you to make a more rational decision.
- Bring someone along – Accountability is everything when it comes to stopping impulse buying. You can make this easier by bringing a friend or family with you who is aware of your goal.