No matter how frugal you tend to be, no one is immune to making impulse purchases from time to time. However, regularly spending more than you can afford can be detrimental to your finances. Spending money on a shirt and pair of jeans that caught your eye at the store, or the newest gaming console on the market, can result in more than just a momentary thrill — it can hit harder than you think. In fact, the average American spends $450 a month on impulse buys, which adds up to about $5,400 a year.
Not only are these whims hard on the wallet, but the habit can prevent you from developing good financial practices in the future. Read on to learn some ways you can curb your spending.
1. Adhere to a Shopping List
Make a list before shopping and stick to it. Try to bring only the cash you need to eliminate a lot of small impulse buys. For bigger expenses, make it a habit to plan and save. This process ensures that your purchases are more deliberate and less spontaneous.
2. Avoid Visiting Online Shopping Websites
The Internet has made it too easy to spend without thinking twice. Online retailers typically target their marketing toward products similar to your previous purchases in the hope that you’ll repurchase. If you need to, block all inessential sites while you’re trying to get work done. Consider removing yourself from email lists as well, as these can encourage further spending.
3. Wait Overnight Before You Buy
Before placing an item in your cart, take a day to contemplate. By sleeping on the decision, you can put some time between your emotions and the transaction. Once you have a fresh perspective, determine if you actually need the item. Identifying your motivations before making a purchase can help you save money.
4. Leave Credit Cards at Home
If you plan on hitting the mall, leave your credit cards at home and check your limit before shopping. That way, you’re less likely to overspend and get in too deep. If you can, pay with cash instead of a credit card, and consider carrying a card only for emergencies and planned, budgeted expenses.
5. Spend on Experiences, Not Stuff
Instead of spending money on material goods, consider using your funds to go on adventures and make new memories. Go out for a nice dinner with your family. Save up for a beach vacation in the Caribbean. Cross off an excursion from your bucket list.
Even science says  happiness is derived from experiences, not “things.” Often, the delight one gets from purchasing a physical object fades quickly. This means that the power of living in the moment can outweigh the fleeting satisfaction of material possessions.
By following these effective tips, you will exercise your willpower and resist the temptation to overspend. For more ways to reduce impulse buying and save money, see the accompanying infographic.
Courtesy of Balance Credit