How to Beat Impulse Purchases

Use a list

Lists aren’t just for groceries anymore. Whether you’re hitting the mall, doing a Target run or even shopping online, never shop without a detailed list. And stick to it!

Use cash

Cards are great because of the easy tracking they provide, but if you tend to overspend on plastic, leave your cards at home and bring only enough cash needed for your purchases. You’ll be forced to stick to your budget.

Don’t grocery shop on an empty stomach

Never leave the house for a shopping expedition without eating first. Otherwise, there is a lot of temptation to go overboard on snacks, meals and beverages, which can also be ridiculously overpriced.

Bring a friend

Two budgets are better than one! If you tend to overspend when you’re out, enlist a friend’s help for sticking to your budget. Let your friend know how much you plan to spend and ask them to warn you when you’re overindulging the urge to splurge.

Avoid saving your credit or debit card when online shopping

Statistics show that you are three times as likey to make an impulse purchase when you have a saved payment on file with a website you frequent. Want to know why? Think about how often your phone is with you versus your phone and wallet. If you're like 92% of Americans, your phone goes with you everywhere; but if you have to get up to find your wallet or dig through your purse at a red light, you're less likely to impulse shop.

Don’t window shop

How many times have you told yourself you’re only going into a store “to look” and then walked out with arms full of merchandise and a wallet empty of cash? Only enter a store when you have intentions of making a purchase.