How to Stop Impulse Buying and Hold Onto Your Money

Impulse buys are those random, unnecessary purchases that eat into your potential savings. You make them without thinking, which is why you can’t seem to recall what happened to that $20 bill in your wallet or how your budget got so off balance.

It all adds up — your morning Starbucks pick-me-up ($6), the stylish bag you saw and just had to have during your Target grocery run ($30), the cookies you bought from the Girl Scouts in the entryway — it’s a good cause, right? ($5), and the Chipotle you decided to grab on the way home because you’re too tired to cook ($9).

Before you know it, you’ve spent $50 over the course of the day on impulse buys. It happens to the best of us.

Retail marketers are trained in sneaky tactics that influence our urge to buy. Our personalities and moods can also lead to impulse shopping — retail therapy is real. In an article in Psychology Todaypublic health specialist Elana Sandler said retail therapy can be a beneficial way to feel renewed, especially in difficult times.

No matter your trigger, it’s important to become more conscious of your spending habits. Imagine how much better off your finances would be if you saved every penny you mindlessly spent on stuff you don’t really need.

How to Stop Impulse Buying

Find yourself getting sucked into frivolous spending? Here is some practical advice you can put into action to keep more money in your wallet.

1. Get Serious About Your Budget

Have a clear picture of your finances and review them monthly, if not weekly. Everyone can use a little help or motivation with budgeting, and there’s an app for that. Or, use the cash envelope method to help stick to the budget you’ve set. When you have defined financial goals and a budget to match, impulse buys will be harder to justify.

Unless you have the self-discipline of a monk, there are going to be times when you want to indulge just a little bit. A budget that only covers basic life essentials? Not…

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