How To: Stop Impulse Shopping

It’s always interesting to see how many personal finance bloggers used to be impulse buyers. Personally, we are the opposite of an impulse buyer. We think of ourselves as damn near shopping anorexic, so perhaps we are not the best person to write guide for impulse buyers. Thank goodness for Get Rich Slowly:

I knew my spending was out of control, but I didn’t know how to stop it. If only I had been aware of the following strategies:

Exercise mindfulness. Ask yourself, “Why do I want this? Why do I need to purchase this now instead of a week from now?” Try to discover what is motivating you to make the purchase, and try to find some other way to fulfill this urge.
Remind yourself of larger goals. I’ve struggled with my weight all my life. Whenever I’m tempted to eat something bad, I ask myself, “Will this help me or hurt me?” The same question can be asked when you’re about to make an impulse purchase. Will your new toy bring you closer to your goals or move you further away?
Use the 30-day rule. When you feel the urge to splurge, stop. Put the item down. Go home. Write down the name of the thing you want, its price, and the store where you found it, and then post it someplace obvious. If you still want the item after a month, purchase it.

There are a bunch more in J.D.’s post. They seem helpful, but a girl who has been wearing the same pair of Dr. Marten’s since the Clinton administration isn’t the best person to judge. Let us know your tips in the comments. —MEGHANN MARCO

How to Fight the Urge to Splurge [Get Rich Slowly]
(Photo: Ben Popken)