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Impulse Purchases

Image: Brave New Films

From the second you enter a store, you are being targeted. The music playing, the smells, the free samples, even the floor plan of the store is designed to tempt you to buy more than you came for. Like good little retail victims most of us part willingly with our cash. With so many factors stacked against us, what can we do to control our emotions and avoid impulse buys that drain our weekly budgets? Here are a few tips that may help.

The List

Everyone should make a list of everything that they plan to purchase each week. Everything from groceries to new tools, to holiday gifts should be on a list that includes which store you intend to buy it from.

The Kids

We love them with all of our hearts, but they are out worst financial enemies at times. Yes, it is difficult to say no when all they are asking for is a candy bar or a pack of gum, but the asking will not stop there. If you have trouble saying no to your kids leave them home if possible or learn to become a real hard case.

Never Go Hungry

If you are headed to the grocery on an empty stomach, plan to spend an extra $50 that day. Grocery shopping while you are hungry changes your entire mental outlook on food. You will few the items as something to be consumed immediately, leading to more impulse buys. The same holds true in department stores. When was the last time you went through a checkout lane that did not off some sort of sugary snack?

Be On A Mission

Do you know people who go shopping when they are bored? They say things like, ”I’ll just wander around. I’m not going to buy anything, just waste some time.” Sounds innocent enough, but people who have loads of time on their hands spend loads on impulse buys. Go to every store with a clear idea of what you need, then leave after putting those items in your cart.

Cash Is King

Everyone has an approximate idea of how much they are going to spend on the items they need each week. You should withdraw the amount you have budgeted each week, then leave all of your plastic at home. When you cash is spent, you will have a visual reminder of your budget, cutting down on the urge to buy extra things.

We are bombarded with advertisements that aim to make us feel as if we need more stuff. These ads begin the moment we turn on a radio, go online, or turn on a television set. If you steel yourself against marketing, control your emotions, and follow these tips, you should find yourself with more money in your pocket and savings account.


About the author: Jerry Coffey


Jerry Coffey spent many years in a debt-riddled gray area somewhere between broke and desperately broke. His seemingly endless need for more and more cash led him to payday loans, repossessions, bankruptcy, and depression. After years of the same financial style, he heard a piece of advice that inspired him to find a way to change. The advice: ''The very definition of a fool is someone who continues to do the same things, but expects different results.'' This led him to a much more frugal lifestyle that sees all of his bills paid on time and a growing savings account. Even the seed of a retirement account has begun to sprout.


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