Want to reduce impulse buying? I have 7 FREE ways to help you reduce impulse buying.
What is impulse buying?
An impulse buy is an unplanned decision to make a purchase.
Why did I want to reduce impulse buying?
In 2018, my family and I started on a journey to simplify our daily routines and possessions. Along with that I wanted to have a better handle of our finances. After pouring over our online accounts I had a shocking realization. Over half of the items we had bought over the past decade were impulse purchase that we no longer needed. Over half! That’s a crazy amount of items to purchase and then no longer have. I realized that I am an impulse shopper and buyer.
I am very good at impulse buying.
If I had a bad day I would buy something. Maybe a treat or that cute item found in the dollar spot. My emotions were the main driving factor for when I went shopping.
My new mission was to change my buying habits.
Working on changing my buying habits has taken over a year of work. But it was well worth the time and energy. I have seven ways that worked for me and I hope they work for you too.
The first four ways to help you reduce impulse buying (before you make a purchase).
1. Spending Freeze
The first way to reduce impulse buying was to have a spending freeze. What is a spending freeze? You only spend money on necessary items and not on anything extra. For example you pay for the bills you must pay for, like your mortgage. However you don’t spend money on that new t-shirt you’ve been wanting. No matter how cheap it is. You freeze your spending habits.
How long does this spending freeze last? It could be a day or week or month or longer. It’s up to you. My husband and I typically will do two Spending Freezes a year.
I have been doing this for a few years now and it has been the best tip to reduce my impulse buying habits. I used to call it our No Spend Month. But after taking the course, called Budget Bootcamp, I changed it to a Spending Freeze.
2. Practice Patience.
The second way is to practice patience before making a purchase. Wait a week before you make a purchase of an item you want. Write down the item name and location (or take a picture) and then wait. No matter how cute and adorable the item is; wait a week.
I like to pair this with the Spending Freeze tip. Most of the time after a week I no longer want the item. This waiting works on changing your impulse threshold. It causes you to become better at practicing patience.
3. Where will the item go?
The third way is to picture where the item will go before you buy it. I like to ask myself a few questions. Where will this new item go? Will I have to rearrange my house to fit the new item? Will it be worth the hassle of getting it home? Make sure your new item has a home right away.
4. Stay away from triggers.
The fourth way to reduce impulse buying is to stay away from places that cause you to make impulse purchases. For me I liked to browse craft supply stores. If I didn’t need anything I inevitably would make a purchase.
I am not saying to never go to those stores ever again. However, until the habit of making impulse purchase is broken, you need to avoid those places.
I have three other ways to help reduce impulse buying (once you have decided to buy).
5. Stick to the list
The next way is to write down exactly what you need when you do go shopping. I like to use Google Keep on my phone. This also helps you stick to a budget and no longer go over your spending budget. Stick to your list!
6. Keep a running tally.
The next way to reduce impulse buying is to keep a running tally of all the purchases you made, along with the cost. Again I use my phone to keep track but I have used paper and pencil in the past.
At the top of the paper I have my budget for the week. My budget for extras is $100. I subtract the purchase amount from the top after I made a purchase. I only allow myself to spend what I have for that week. Keeping a running tally helps me be aware of my buying habits more closely.
7. Hold off on bring new purchases in.
The last way is something that I only do if I feel like I have made an impulse buy that I might regret later. What I do is I hold off on bringing the new purchase inside my home.
Now I don’t leave anything perishable or expensive in my vehicle. But if the item was relatively cheap, I will leave the item ,with the receipt, in the truck of the car. Then a few days later, if I no longer want the item, I will return the item to the store. This is why I leave the item with the receipt. Or if I would like to keep the item I bring it into the house.
I am not advocating for doing this all the time but occasionally it can be something to try. You too can do this with online shopping as well.
Don’t want to store the potential regretful purchase in your car? Store in a front closet or a garage or store area.
Are you afraid that you might forget about the item? Set a reminder on your phone. Then once the week is up either keep the item or return it.
Want to watch, 7 FREE ways to Reduce Impulse Buying? Check it out!
What tips will you try to help reduce impulse buying?
Thank you so much for stopping by! I write posts every week about simply routines that help make life easier. Let’s start our day simply so we can end our day feeling strong and confident. To read more about my family and I, go HERE.