4 Defensive Ways to Stop Impulse Purchases

November 3, 2018















Today at the local Starbucks, the Christmas designed red holiday cups were revealed.  As boxes stacked high in the stores with signs stating “No Peeking”, it is hard not to anticipate the upcoming Christmas season and I wanted my Starbucks red Holiday cup.  


Nobody loves this time of the year more than me.  With everyone recovering from the hype and the smell of pumpkin spice, the holiday season is fast approaching and it is tempting to avoid the urge to splurge on purchasing more than one cup of coffee today.  


This is a great reminder if you are on a budget to fight urges of spending more than allotted in your budget category.  


A budget category is a labeled marker for where each dollar is to be assigned.  At Dollar Otter, we kindly force you to zero-budget because families overspend and get into trouble.  It is why you have no savings, no retirement, and still, have debt.  


I have a restaurant budget and my daily coffee trips are part of it.  Once that limit is reached for a particular monthly, I do not reach into another category and take from it.  You must have this mentality if you want to see your finances improve and see your money grow.  


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Here are 4 ways to stop from overspending.



#1 Stick to Your Commitment


Making goals mean sticking to them.  Here is the hard truth, Harvard Business Review Elizabeth Saunder’s Stop Setting Goals You Don’t Actually Care About outlines a few great ways in setting your goals and how to make them a priority.


Think about the goals you set this year and why you accomplished these to include why you haven’t accomplished yet.  



#2 Cash Purchases


This strategy is difficult for many people today because of the use of a debit or credit card.  You are accustomed to the ease of pulling out the plastic to make purchases.  You should try paying cash for items.  It is a great strategy for limiting impulse purchases because there are emotions when paying cash.  It is a monetary item that you can physically see, touch, and use.  A great resource for learning about using a cash is Dave Ramsey’s Envelope System.   


You can purchase a Cash Envelope System from Amazon Today.



#3  Make Online Purchases Hard


Companies are getting smarter every day to find ways to get your money.  They have even found ways to get you to purchase by clicking the only button to speed up the process of purchasing.  


I recommend not saving your bank information to your phone or online, not only for security reasons but to add levels of difficulty between you and the item you desire to purchase.  This creates more time to allow your brain to reconsider.  With touch purchase buttons, you are more likely to buy on impulse and overspend your budget. 



#4 Remind Yourself What You are Giving Up


Last but not least, with every dollar being assigned to a category, if you are dipping into another budget envelope or category, what are you having to forgo?  Practice reminding yourself of when you overspend in your entertainment, food, or whatever category, where is the offset going to occur?  Is it your family time budget or entertainment?  Remind yourself that you are stealing from your family time!  It’s a great tool and practice to recondition your mindset to limit purchases when those splurging moments come up.



Make Smarter Choices


Moments of impulse buying occurs to everyone.  It is normal.  What is not normal is borrowing or taking money away from something else that should have been used to pay a power bill, a family evening, or your savings.  By using some of these strategies above, you can help reinforce your mind towards smart purchasing thereby avoid splurge purchases. 


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