We’ve all been there. You’re running an errand when you come across something you weren’t planning to buy but simply can’t live without. Whether it’s a luxurious piece of clothing, a new high-tech gadget or just a carton of ice cream, it’s an impulse purchase. And they can add up in a hurry, with the average American spending about $450 each month on these items. That totals more than $5,000 a year spent on items purchased in the heat of the moment. Unfortunately, buying impulsively can lead to unwanted consequences.
Spending too much can prevent us from meeting our savings goals and fill our homes with stuff we don’t really need. What seemed like a must-have in the store might turn out to be a mistake, which is a good reason to curb impulse purchases and be responsible with your money.
For example, one of the most effective techniques for reducing impulse buying is to give yourself a cooling-off period. Wait a day or two and see if whatever you’re coveting still feels like a good idea. You’ll likely realize it isn’t as essential to your happiness as it appeared in the store.
Setting clearly defined limits also can make a big difference in the amount of money you spend each month. You can achieve this by establishing a weekly household budget, shopping only for necessities, and writing out a shopping list and sticking to it.
Setting clearly defined limits also can make a big difference in the amount of money you spend each month.
Everyone has experienced the thrill of finding an unexpected and exciting item while shopping. But buyer’s remorse can set in quickly. If you’re worried about how these purchases are chipping away at your budget, take a look at the accompanying infographic. It contains several tips you can use to control yourself while shopping — and save a lot of money in the process.