The Real Cost of the Impulse Buy: 7 Ways to Stop Overspending on Impulse Buys

We are in the thick of the no spend February challenge, hands up if you are with me! It has made me start thinking about how I spend money during the month. For me, I spend the most each month at the grocery store. We all need food and we all need to eat, so it's easy for me to think that what I purchase at the grocery store is a necessity. But it's not. I know I'm not alone because a recent survey I read said that more than 70% of people said that food was their biggest impulse purchase. 

Regardless of what your weakness is or how you justify it, we all have unplanned purchases so how can we cut back on those purchases and use that money on things we have planned for {a new car without a car payment} or something that brings us joy {a bucket list vacation}

no spend month challenge

The Real Cost of Impulse Shopping: 
7 Ways to Stop Overspending on Impulse Buys

no spend month challenge

If you haven't heard of the no spend challenge start here and then come back!

Recently a friend saw my no-spend challenge and sent me a GIF that said "What does it take to waste $10,000 a year? Just $27.40 a day in miscellaneous spending." That was mind-blowing to me.

The Real Cost of the Impulse Buy: 7 Ways to Stop Overspending on Impulse Buys

That's real money! And while you may not be making all of those unnecessary purchases as impulse purchases, we can all agree that those add up too.
So how can we cut back on unplanned purchases and not be tempted to pick something up on impulse? I've got a few tips for you today.

Looking to save money on your food bill? I've got some great tips!

1. Hit Unsubscribe

We all have gotten roped into an e-mail list from time to time, and then opened up an e-mail only to be tempted by a deal we couldn't refuse. Most of the time an impulse purchase happens because there is a deal or a discount. Unsubscribe from those mailing lists that tempt you. I promise you, you'll still know where to shop if you need something!

2. Stick with Cash

This method isn't for everyone, but there is something mental about seeing the money actually slip from your fingers as you make a purchase. It's a proven fact that people who shop with a card actually spend more than they would if they were shopping with cash.

3. Shop with a Plan

Make a list when you head out to the store and shop with a plan. If food is your weakness, have a grocery list and stick to it as you shop. If you are heading out to go shopping, determine what you will be spending and stick to the plan. 

There is also a lot of truth to not shopping while hungry, so make sure you pack some snacks before you head out for the day. This also goes for planning out your day. If you think you will be away from home during a mealtime, pack some food. This will curb any unnecessary spending you might think you need because you haven't eaten all day. Failing to plan is planning to fail as my friend says.

The Real Cost of the Impulse Buy: 7 Ways to Stop Overspending on Impulse Buys

4. Wait

Some impulse buys can set us back a lot of money, and many involve a lot of emotion. Determine if you really need the item, sleep on it and then decide if you really still need the purchase.

5. Set a Splurge Budget

Listen, living on a budget can sometimes be boring. You don't want to fall into the trap of feeling deprived, so set aside a budget each month with money you can use to splurge on something you want. You are human and you're bound to give in to temptation at some point. The key to success with this is to set a budget. Have a set amount of money that fits with your budget, but give it a dollar amount. You can save your splurge budget each month and use the savings for a splurge that costs more than the amount you have set aside. 

6. Find New Entertainment

If window shopping or wandering the aisles of Target was your entertainment, find new entertainment. The only way to not spend money is to not get sucked into feeling like you "need" something, so try to remove the urge to buy and stay out of the stores!

7. Calculate the Hourly Wage

This is extremely helpful when I'm setting goals with my teens who have jobs and make their own money. If they see something they want, I have them calculate how many hours it takes for them to work to earn that money. They can then decide if the item is worth the work they put into the purchase or not. 

Want more ideas? Here are 20 things frugal people do every day!

If you find yourself getting sucked into an impulse buy, give yourself some grace and start again. Some days you'll be really good about controlling the urge and other times the sweet deal will suck you in. What are some tips you've found helpful to avoid overspending on impulse buys? 

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