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Try This Approach to Avoid Impulse Buying

A woman holding a credit card while shopping online.
Kamil Macniak/Shutterstock

We’ve all done it. While scrolling the web or social media, we see an ad and then bam! A new product is on its way. If you have an issue with impulse buying, this tip could help you keep it under control.

According to Jessica Couch, clinical psychotherapist and executive director at Wellspring Therapy, delaying gratification could help you avoid those impulsive purchases. Instead of clicking “Buy,” she recommends adding the item(s) to your cart, and then … just let them sit there.

Step away for at least six hours, then come back and decide whether you really need those items or not. Chances are, you might even forget all about them, which can really help your pocketbook.

“Often, we get distracted with other parts of life—like work, school, or friends,” Couch said. “And we will be less likely to complete the purchase.”

Couch also offered some advice for those who just love shopping too much to quit. She recommends setting an allowance for yourself and setting up a special checking account for it (no credit cards allowed!).

Then, you can deposit a certain amount of spending money in the account based on your income and bill payment schedule. Once all your fun cash is gone, your impulse buying days are over until your next drop.

“Initially, you might blow through your loot on day one,” Couch said. “But over time, your gratification delay muscles will begin to build!”

Another way to resist impulse purchases is by looking at them in terms of “hours worked.”

[Via Apartment Therapy]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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