3 Ways to Curb Impulse Spending

Flickr - fisheye at the grocery store

Photo Source: Northwest dad’s photostream on Flickr

Impulse buys have a sneaky way of adding up, especially during flea market season. Before you know it, your wallet’s thinner and all you can show for it are … scented soy candles? Sigh.

Here, three scientifically proven ways to stop:

Don’t browse—search!

    • When you shop online, use the site’s  search engine to find what you want. In a recent study, 87% of impulse buys resulted from browsing “categories,” because people were exposed to a wider range of enticing items. Search, buy, and close that window.

Dodge endcaps.

    • Displays at the ends of aisles are often filled with eye-catching merch to make you linger. (Putting an item on an endcap can boost its sales threefold,research shows.) Round that corner like you’re fleeing the devil—which you are, kind of.

Organize your stuff.

    • Flipping through a catalog and suddenly “need” that single-serving smoothie maker? Clean instead. Studies show that cleaning can reduce stress as well as frustration—both powerful spending triggers. (Plus, you’re sure to unearth a few impulse buys of yore. Yay!)

Out of the Box

“The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.”  ~Erma Bombeck

Think first.