It is always important to teach yourself, others around you, and even your children the importance of the difference between a want and a need. Impulse purchases can often seem like needs when they are actually a want. Learning how to identify the difference and avoid buying something that you really don't need and probably won't use that often, can make a huge difference in your finances. Here are some tips to make sure you are avoiding impulse purchases.
1. Follow Your Budget:
If you don't have a budget yet, it would probably be wise to make one. But simply making a budget isn't going to solve all of your money issues, you will actually have to follow that budget in order for it to work. They also aren't set in stone so if you need to add a little money to one category and take some money out of a different category that's okay, just make sure that it's reasonable.
2. Wait 24 Hours Before Making a Purchase:
If you wait 24 hours, it takes the "impulse" out of an impulse purchase. You can sleep on your decision and be sure that you're making the correct choice.
3. Go Shopping With A Plan:
Before you go out to shop, make a plan of exactly what you want and how much you are willing to pay for it. This plan will keep you from overspending by either spending too much on one item or buying things that you don't need.
4. Bring Someone With You:
Bringing a friend or a family member with you while you're shopping can be really beneficial if you choose the right person. You'll want to bring someone with you who isn't afraid to tell you no. If you bring the wrong person with you, you might end up spending more if they convince you that you need way more than you actually do.
5. Only Bring Cash:
If you set a limit for yourself and only bring that amount in cash, absolutely no cards, then you are only capable of spending what you have in your pocket. If you follow this method, it is going to be a lot harder to spend more than what you planned.
Before you go for that impulse buy, you need to remember your goals. If you're trying to get out of debt, save for a new car, a new house, or even a vacation; remember those goals before you spend money on something that you don't need. The satisfaction of successfully saving for your goals will feel so much better later on than that impulse buy.