The average U.S. consumer spends $5,400 a year on impulse buys. 
How’s that for an eye-opener? Think about the above statement. If a person only makes $30,000 a year, that means they’re spending about 20% of their income on impulse purchases. What on earth? If only there was someone to teach us how to stop spending money on impulse buys! Don’t worry, I got you covered. I’m going to share with you 5 best practices to help you curb impulse purchases and keep your money!
Ask yourself this one question.
Is it a want or a need? Technically speaking, the only things we really need are water, foods, clothing, and transportation. Ask yourself that question before giving in to that appealing purchase that probably won’t satisfy you for long.
Think about it. How many things do we buy that we end up forgetting about later? We’re better off just leaving it on the shelf. If you find something that you really want, apply the next tip.
Sleep On It.
When you really want something, hold off on buying it. You may change your mind later and realize it was an emotional feeling you felt. On the other hand, if you still want the item a few days from now, then go ahead and buy it. Most of the time, impulse purchases are things we don’t really want that bad. They’re just things that end up in the cart without us realizing it.
By waiting it out, you can do research and try to find the item for the lowest price possible. Plus, buying things in the spur of the moment can lead to us spending money on bad quality items.
For example, not too long ago my son broke our TV. So of course, my husband wakes up early in the morning to buy a new one. He got a Walmart brand TV for cheap, brought it home, and found that the quality was horrible! He ended up returning it and buying something else.
In this case, we knew we needed to get a TV. However, by not waiting and doing research it led to wasted time. Holding off on a purchase and doing research on an item before you purchase will always be a good thing.
Master the art of delayed gratification.
The culture we live in makes it extremely easy to charge purchases on a credit card. But doing so causes us to pay extra in interest when we could’ve just paid cash for an item. By practicing saving for purchases and paying cash, we will be growing a vital financial muscle that will help us achieve our financial goals.
Therefore, instead of giving in to your emotions every time you’re out in the store and see something that you want, say no. It’s okay to say no to yourself. If you’ve already discovered this item was a want and not a need, then you don’t need to purchase it. Do today what will make you happy tomorrow.
Is this item an asset or a liability?
In other words, will this purchase cost you money or make you money in the long run? If we’re consumers, more than likely our purchases are going to cost us money. We buy stuff because we enjoy them, not because they make us money.
But if you want to make more money or save more money, then you have to start asking this question. If something is going to cost you money, then tell it to scram! You worked hard for your money. Don’t be so quick to give it away! Say “No way, Jose!”
I saved this one for last because it’s easily the most powerful. Practicing gratitude can change your life. If you’re privileged enough to live in a first world country, then you have many things that others can only dream about.
Life in a third world country is difficult. Let’s take a quick look at some facts about other countries:
- Approximately 9 million people die of world hunger each year according to world hunger statistics; more than the death toll for malaria, AIDs, and tuberculosis combined in 2012. 
- Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with feces.
- Contaminated water can transmit diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio. Contaminated drinking water is estimated to cause 502,000 diarrhoeal deaths each year. 
- Today, approximately 12% of the world’s total population is still practicing open defecation. 
As humans, we tend to get caught up in our own world that we forget what’s going on aside from us. Knowing these facts, we are more likely to appreciate and express gratitude for the things we have. Things like toilets, clean water, and vaccinations are things some people can only dream of. Keeping that in mind, do you really need that item that seems to be calling your name?
Another way we can practice gratitude is by remembering a time when you didn’t have something you have today. What is something that you never imagined possible? Maybe it’s a phenomenal relationship that you have today or your car. Whatever it is, find those things that will always bring you joy when you think about them. For me, I can always think of these great blessings:
- my family;
- & my career.
By appreciating the things you already have, you’ll be more likely to stop spending money on things you know you really don’t need.
These five tips are sure to help you stop spending money on impulse buys so you can save money for things you truly need!