Impulse Buying

I believe it is important to note that impulse buying and overspending behaviors can be


seen across all socioeconomic statuses and intellect. It is what I refer to as “It’s not


about your IQ it’s about your I Do”™



I believe it is important to note that impulse buying and overspending behaviors can be seen across all socioeconomic statuses and intellect. It is what I refer to as “It’s not about your IQ it’s about your I Do”™


Impulse buying has nothing to do with intelligence or lack of intelligence. It has everything to do with the actions you take, the “I do”. There are both short term and long term negative consequences that come with impulse buying. While the one-off impulse purchase may empty your wallet, leaving you little if any money left for your monthly obligations, it doesn’t guarantee this will become habitual. It may however, leave you sort on cash and suffering from buyer’s remorse (a feeling of regret from the purchase made). It impulse buying continues with some regularity it may become a habit which will take some work to change the behavior. Habitual impulse buying not only takes a financial toll, it can have serious effects on relationships, health and overall wellbeing. Financially speaking; debt, foreclosure and or bankruptcy can occur as a result of continued impulse spending. Relationships with family, significant others, and friends can suffer because of the financial consequences. The desire for purchases to fulfil a never ending need along with debt accumulation can cause stress which can have a negative effect on your wellbeing. If a client asked me how to avoid going broke with impulse purchases the first question I would ask is, “Why are you making the purchase in the first place?”. While that may seem obvious, the deep answer is often unknown to the person. I believe every purchase made fills a need. Often times the need being filled is an emotional need. I would suggest they take some time to list their values. Narrow down the list to their top three (3). Use those values as a guide with every financial transaction. The process serves two purposes. One, moving forward purchases are being made based on what is important to that person. Second, when they stop and think what value(s) the pending purchase aligns with it allows them to be more mindful of the purchase and therefore keeps the purchase from being an impulse.


Being aware of your values as well as having a spending plan in place can greatly increase your odds for avoiding overspending, impulse buying and the overrated “retail therapy”. A spending plan puts you in control of your money rather than your money controlling you.


This system lets you assign every dollar to spending categories of your choice.

Not all impulse purchases are alike. And not all impulses can cause negative effects. I personally have been on both spectrums; when I was younger, I made impulse purchases that caused me to go into debt (trying to keep up with the infamous Joneses). In my later years I made impulse purchases of real estate but in these cases I had the means and could afford to make the purchases without regrets.

Money shaming and blaming is never the answer when an impulse purchase is made. Once the purchase is done you can assess what has transpired and take action to rectify the transaction or come to terms with the impulse. For example, is the purchase a piece of clothing or other item that has not been worn or used with price tags still attached? Then return the item.


Bottom line you need to learn to be mindful when making purchases, take a deep breath and ask what need (physical or emotional) the purchase satisfies and what value(s) it aligns with.