An impulse buy is a last minute purchase of an unnecessary item, usually made without thought or major consideration. Impulse buying can become a problem if it means that you are spending considerably more on purchases than you can really afford – what’s more, most impulse purchases end up gathering dust after the initial impulse has died down, and the money could have been much better spent elsewhere.
You won’t usually buy anything on impulse unless you are surrounded by temptation. Shopping malls, store windows, online retail sites, and even TV shopping channels not only facilitate impulse purchases, but they actively encourage and thrive on them. Simply remove yourself from temptation, and you won’t buy items on impulse. What’s more, you probably won’t notice the lack of items that you’re buying, which just goes to show how little you truly needed them.
Wait a While
One of the points of impulse buying is that you aren’t really thinking straight, when you make the purchase. Rather than jump into a purchase, simply take a deep breath and convince yourself to walk away. If you still want the item after a month’s time, then you can go back and buy it. If you do still want it after this period, then there is at least a chance that you will get some regular use out of it.
Determining True Value
Calculate your true hourly wage, and then divide the purchase cost of the item you are considering by your hourly wage. This will tell you exactly how many hours you would have to work in order to be able to pay for the item – is it really worth that much of your time? If you can honestly answer yes, you have the money, and you still want the item in a month’s time, then you can buy it not only knowing that it represented true value to you, but that you had the good sense to plan and consider your purchase before leaping in.