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How Can We Prevent The Habit Of Impulse Buying

Updated: Aug 24

by Gillian George |


What is impulse buying? I believe most of us have done this in our lives and some still do, especially during this pandemic as we are staying at home most of the time; so without realizing it, we might have done tons of impulse buying through online stores to fill up our time.


Impulse buying means buying something without having the intention to do so earlier, it can be a simple product such as chocolate, a scarf, or a hairband. It can be caused by the attractiveness of the product, the availability of credit cards, or even your natural personality. Some people might have this habit since they were young and it’s hard to change, whereas some might have the fear of not wanting to be left behind, wanting to be up to date with the current trend, hence this habit is developed.


However, we can prevent this habit in several ways, as listed below.


1. Make a shopping list

This habit can be prevented by making a shopping list before going out so that focus will be placed on items on the list thus preventing sudden purchasing. To make it more effective, only bring sufficient money based on the shopping list so that when going out, there won’t be any extra money to buy unnecessary things.



2. Don’t always bring credit cards out

Sometimes we tend to impulse buy because we know we can swipe our credit card anytime we want without thinking about the consequences which are dangerous because we’re sacrificing our future peace to fulfil our momentary desires. At the end of the month, we will stress ourselves out as we need to pay the amount that we spent using credit cards. Therefore, it is safer if we do not bring credit cards out all the time; or even better, do not own a credit card unless you can trust yourself enough to have self-control and discipline.



3. Always track weekly or monthly spending

By doing this, budgeting for the following week or month is easier and discourages unnecessary spending. When accidentally spending too much or splurging in the name of “treating yourself”, the tracker can be a reminder or indicator to start saving more instead of spending.


4. Thinking before acting

This phrase can also be applied to this situation. Before making purchases, always take a few minutes to think. Answer these few questions: ‘will this thing be useful to me and make me happy for a long time or is it just temporary happiness?’, ‘ do I really need it in my daily life? or ‘how will this purchase make my life better or more efficient?’. These questions can be a guide on whether the items are worth purchasing and whether to continue with the purchase.



5. Make a no-buying challenge

You can take up a simple challenge to help prevent impulse buying. Try to challenge yourself to not buy unnecessary things within a given time. For a start, set this challenge for 2 weeks. So, for this duration of 2 weeks, only focus on getting groceries and daily essentials. If you manage to complete this challenge, reward yourself with something that we have always wanted to buy but again, make sure it is within your budget. By doing this, you hit two birds with one stone, not only do you get to slowly rid yourself of this habit, but you can also make yourselves happy through the reward.


6. Get off social media

Most of us tend to impulse buy after seeing attractive advertisements for big sales and new products on social media. Therefore, when we are not on social media, it helps us to control ourselves from impulse buying as we will not be tempted by all the promotions and exclusive deals.


7. Bring someone with you when going shopping

This might not be as effective as the others, but it’s still worth a try! It’s preferable to bring someone who is not a shopaholic and knows how to control their spendings. By doing so, they can be a good reminder and stop us from following through on any spur-of-the-moment decisions.



I hope these few ways can help you to prevent the habit of impulse buying so that you can save more money for future use or for other things that are more important and beneficial.


Good luck!


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