How to Stop Being an Impulse-Buyer

Although most of us don’t have a lot of money, we’ve had this mantra drilled into our heads that every once in a while we should splurge on something. It’s especially easy to do when buying things online, because all you have to do is click “Order” or “Buy Now” and then you get to spend the next few days excited and impatient for that box to show up on your doorstep. And we college students LOVE getting packages. As much as we know that we shouldn’t buy these things, with college expenses and nights out with friends that we never seem to plan for, it happens anyway.
We need to start ignoring that voice in our head telling us to splurge. It’s okay to do occasionally, but somehow it always becomes more than occasional. For me, it got to the point where whenever I had a good or bad grade, an extremely stressful week, or even a really great week, I would buy myself something. It might be on sale, and only $20 but that really starts to add up. I told myself it was okay though, because I wasn’t splurging! I was just buying myself something small every so often. But, when you buy so much in a relatively short amount of time, it turns into splurging just because of the amount you’ve spent.
So what can you do to stop this habit in its tracks and go back to actually splurging only once in a while? Set aside a spending allowance and stick to it. Instead of buying something every time you get paid because you finally have money in your checking account, set aside a little money when you get paid that you’re willing to put towards a splurge item. This goes hand-in-hand with selecting a goal item: do your research and select something that you really want, that you’re willing to save up for, and actually do that. Don’t spend a little on a lot of things, set the money aside every paycheck instead and buy that one item. It helps you to cut back on how much stuff you have (don’t we all have too much anyway?), it teaches you to save, and it helps you become goal-oriented which will actually help in the workplace.
Saving up for a splurge item will also teach you to really evaluate what is important to you. Is buying a lot of small stuff important? Then continue doing what you’re doing. Or, is there something you actually need but can’t buy because you’ve spent too much on all that little stuff? Then try this out. Teach yourself to save up for and buy things that you need and soon you won’t even want to impulse buy anymore.

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