How to Stop Impulsing Buying

Posted by Sha'Kreshia Terrell in SavingsFebruary 21, 2022(Last Updated July 28, 2022)4 min read
Key Takeaways
  • Impulse buying means purchasing non-essential items suddenly.
  • Your emotions play a significant role in your impulse purchases.
  • There are many ways to practice controlling your spending habits.
Are you ready to make some real money moves?

According to research, Americans spend up to $5,400 annually on impulse buying. Although it doesn’t sound like a lot, throughout your lifetime, that adds up to be roughly $324,000.


Impulse buying is a last-minute candy bar or soda purchase at the checkout counter. Impulse buying is also going into the store for a bag of sugar and coming out with a buggy full of nonessential items. 


Recommended Read: How Can Being a Minimalist Save You Money


Commercials and other strategic marketing tactics have made it easy and convenient for the average person to succumb to temptation without thinking about the financial consequences. However, although it can be easy to succumb to impulsive spending, intentionally allocating your dollars can go a long way.


Why You Tend To Impulse Buy


There are many reasons why you tend to buy on impulse. Those reasons may include fear of missing out, social pressure when out with friends, or compensating for what is going on in your life, such as depression or a bad day at work. Your emotions play a massive role in how you spend your hard-earned money.


Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)


To create FOMO, stores will raise the initial retail prices of an item then attach a sales price next to it to make it seem like you are getting a good deal. However, you are essentially paying a regular price for the one item that you felt as though you couldn’t live without.


Societal Pressures


Social pressure is when you hang out with friends in a higher income bracket than you, and to keep up with them, you pretend your income level is the same as their income. Unfortunately, modern society also has a way of playing with your emotions to get you to keep up with the others who may seem financially well-off when looking at their photos on social media.


Recommended Read: The Financial Deception Caused by Social Media


Marketing Tactics


The retail industry has mastered the art of playing to the tune of your emotions. Retailers create sales and marketing tactics that make you feel you will miss out if you don’t buy right then. So the next time that you randomly pick up an item make sure to pay attention to how you are feeling. 


Image Credit: Deman /


Life Happens


What is the one thing you like to do after coming out of a dark place or after having a long day at work? You want to buy yourself something simply because you want to feel better. So that trip to the store for groceries will have you buying your favorite sweet treats to cater to the negative emotions that you have at that moment.


Recommended Read: Americans Incurred an Average 2021 Holiday Debt of $1,249


How To Overcome Impulse Buying


Learning how to manage your emotions comes with greater rewards in life. These rewards include controlling your spending, not feeling overwhelmed with the fear of missing out, and creating a happier lifestyle. Here are a few tips and tricks that you can use to overcome impulse buying:


Be Content with Less


Become content with having less. There is a popular saying that “less is more.” Many people looking to declutter and save money often choose to become a minimalist. Minimalism is when you get rid of items that don’t bring you joy, peace, or happiness. 


The best things in life bring us peace, not debt. Adding small practices to your day will ultimately bring you great joy. Those practices may include reading a book, going for a walk, or spending time with your family. 


These daily practices will help you live in the present and practice self-control. You will also learn to be more grateful for what you already have.


Image Credit: Ariya J /


Be Aware of a Sale


When buying items on sale, the sale is only good when you purchase items you will use often. Purchasing items just to have them sitting around a day later and never picking them back up puts you in a lose-lose situation.


Recommended Read: How Can Being a Minimalist Save You Money?


Choose Your Friends Wisely


Surround yourself with friends who encourage you to be a good steward of your money. A great friend will encourage you to budget, build your emergency fund, reach your financial goals, and build wealth. 


You may also have friends who encourage you to buy “because you deserve it.” However, you truly deserve to live a more extraordinary life by budgeting and using the extra “you deserve it” funds to invest in something more significant or save for a rainy day.


Do NOT Store Your Payment Information Online 


Avoid the convenience of keeping your payment info on file. Having to get up to grab your credit card every time you want to make a purchase will give you time to think about why you are making that purchase. Ask yourself if you really need it or only like it because everyone else has it.


Image Credit: 13_Phunkod /


Unsubscribe From Sales Emails


Retailers want to stay at the top of their minds. Therefore, they send out multiple sales emails throughout the day. Unsubscribe from those emails. It is okay to check out their website periodically but unsubscribing from those emails can save your emotional wellness and money.


Recommended Read: Self-Care on a Budget


Impulse buying will happen from time to time. The key is to learn how to control it as much as possible. For example, understanding your triggers will help you manage your bank account. Taking the ideas above into account, curbing the urge to impulse spend may be easier than you think. 




Main Image Credit: Pressmaster /

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