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Money Management

Resisting the Call of Impulse Spending

You do not need a toy cell phone full of jellybeans.

Have you ever walked through the grocery store, and when you get to the candy and snacks aisle, you have to avert your eyes or you’ll start buying stuff? Yep, that’s a classic danger for those prone to impulse spending. We all have that greedy little child in the back of our heads that wants everything we didn’t have the ability to get for ourselves when we were younger. Once you have independent spending power, it can be very easy to just throw your money away into whatever flashy pit grabs your attention. Do that, and you’ll end up with a migraine-inducing case of buyer’s remorse.

When you’re out shopping for something, either for everyday stuff like groceries or more specific stuff like electronics, the most important thing is to make a plan and stick to it like Velcro. You came out to get one thing, and you should leave with one thing. Anything else in a store might as well not exist. Unless it’s something that you know you need now or are reasonably certain you will need in the near future (and I want to stress need, not “might need”), you do not need to buy it right then and there.

Of course, shopping online can make this process both easier and harder. If you know what you’re looking for when you go to Amazon, you can just go right to it, click it, and you’re done. The danger comes from all of the recommendations and related items. Even if you have no intent to buy, the siren song of window shopping is hard to resist. Once you start browsing and seeing things you like, that little kid in your head starts making plans.

“I didn’t know it was this cheap!”

“I could cut money from my budget to get this.”

“I can go without such-and-such for a little while.”

“It’d be so simple!”

NO.

When you start making plans on the spot, the possibility of an impulse purchase becomes more real, and you do not want that. If a purchase does feel imminent, then stop, take a deep breath, and come back to it tomorrow. If you have some time to sleep on it, you’ll more than likely find that your “plan” wasn’t at all feasible, financially speaking.

Remember, just because you have money doesn’t mean you need to spend it all at once. Instead of opting for instant gratification, save that cash for what’s really important in life.

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