September 19, 2018

Controlling Impulse Buying

“Impulse decisions, especially impulse purchases have been widely discussed in psychology and economics as a phenomenon of deviation from rational behavior.” (Vohs and Faber, 2007) We all seem to be guilty of impulse purchases once in a while, but consistently doing this can put one in the proverbial dog house, especially with lovers or spouses.
A poll of 2,000 British men revealed that men apparently do more impulse buying than women. Jennifer Grizzle writes that, ‘Women bleed money $100 at a time; men bleed it $1,000 at a time. Men like those big ticket items.”

A common behavior, one woman explains:

Whenever I’m feeling lonely, stressed or bored, I go to the Mall. It makes me feel
good to buy something—shoes, cashmere sweaters, cosmetics and jewelry,
sometimes even something for the house. I just can’t pass up a sale. Last year I
bought another Channel suit on sale. Even if it’s not the right size, I can have it

What harm is there in buying something to feel good? I work hard all week, and
I deserve a little glamour. Besides, I’d rather go to a store where people pay
attention to me than go home and feel ignored or lonely. So what if I have a lot of
credit card debt—doesn’t everybody? At least I have some beautiful things to
show for myself. In this world, image is everything. . .

According to finance advisor Katheryn Amenta, Impulse shopping is caused by the inability to control the emotionally motivated urge to buy things.” She recommends that you make specific short-term and long-term financial goals. “With specific goals, you will be better equipped to resist buying things that have lesser meaning in your life.”

To stop impulse buying you have to have be able to give up what you want now to have something that you want more than anything later.

Top Twenty Impulse Buys

  • Food
  • Clothes
  • Magazines
  • Bottles of wine
  • Books
  • DVDs
  • Shoes
  • Holidays
  • Beer
  • Toiletries
  • Home furnishings
  • Music
  • Clothes for the children
  • Jewellery
  • Accessories
  • Gadgets
  • Garden accessories
  • Flowers
  • Toys
  • Day trips

What are your most common impulse buys and how do you resist them?

About Sherry Tingley

Owner of One Click LLC founded in 2007. Brigham Young University and Punahou school graduate. Recognized by and for excellence in personal finance blog content.