Avoiding Impulse Purchases
Have I mentioned before that I’m terrible about impulse purchases?
I see something on TV or on Pinterest or on a blog and I’m just like, “Yup! Gotta have it!”
Is this a form of me trying to keep up with the Joneses? Is this me letting lifestyle creep sneak up on me? I’m not sure.
But either way – I’m trying to make a much more concerted effort to not allow impulse purchases to get the better of me.
Bitches, it’s hard. REALLY HARD.
Here are some of the things I struggle with and what I’m doing (attempting to do?) to curb my shopping issues.
Issue 1: Amazon Prime
I am an Amazon junky. I have Dash buttons in my house. I have subscribe and save set up for dog food and my favorite snacks. I have one-click ordering set up on my Kindle for instant delivery of terrible romance novels. I can just ask Alexa to order more popcorn. I love Amazon so much.
The problem is that I’ll see something on Amazon and I’ll hit “Buy It Now” without even a SECOND of hesitation. Like, there is not one pause for me to stop and think about what I’m buying. I just need it.
Here are a list of things I’ve bought this week:
- Scrapbook pens (I don’t even scrapbook)
- A new notebook (I have so many notebooks, you guys)
- Spring Roll Wrappers (I was hungry)
- Two Kindle books on website design (one was only $.99! That doesn’t even count!)
- Two board game as gifts for a coworker
- A birthday present for my mom
That’s over $200 just in impulse Amazon purchases this week! I need an intervention for sure.
So how can I combat this? Well… also this week I have added the following items to my wishlist.
- A three pack of sports bras
- Two tunic tops
- A shoe cabinet
- Curtain rods
- A raised garden bed
What? Seriously think about how much money I would have spent if I had just added all that crap to my cart? There is at least $300 there.
The wish list allows me to put those impulse purchases on hold and come back to them later.
I’m a big proponent of the wish list. I add stuff to it constantly and I’m constantly going back through it and deleting stuff off it. Why did I want to buy this ugly purse again? What was I thinking?
Another tactic I’ll use is to put stuff in my cart instead of using “Buy It Now.” If I do that for a weeks’ worth of impulse items, I’ll come back to the cart and wonder why there is $250 worth of stuff in there and start deleting all but the necessary items. It’s very helpful.
Issue 2: Facebook MLM groups
OMG you guys! I know MLMs are terrible. I get that it’s all totally marked up garbage sold under the guise of helping stay at home moms make an extra buck. I’m not stupid.
BUT I CAN’T STOP BUYING SHIT!
I have so much LulaRoe it’s disgusting.
All of my totes/bags come from Thirty-One.
My nails are covered in Jamberry.
I just can’t stop. I am uber Basic.
Combine that with the fact that many of these groups take PayPal and it’s super easy to just hit “Sold” and I fall into the trap Every. Fucking. Time.
What did I have to do to stop this from happening?
I unfollowed every person I know that sells MLM stuff. It’s amazing how that immediately stopped me from buying stupid expensive leggings. Out of sight, out of mind.
Issue 3: Pinterest Projects
Are you sensing a theme in my shopping patterns? If I could just disconnect from the internet, my life would be so much more fulfilling.
I feel like this issue right here should be a whole post all by itself. Can I just tell you about the last time I decided to do a Pinterest project?
We had just re-sided our house and our front porch needed a little makeover now that it was no longer a depressing, scary place filled with spiders and mosquitos.
I typed in “front porch makeovers” on Pinterest, as you do, and was immediately assaulted with the cutest fucking porches you’ve ever seen.
“I could do that!” I thought to myself. “That’s super simple.”
I did not have burlap or curtain rods or kitchy throw pillows or adorable wreaths just laying around my home waiting to be repurposed for use on my brand new porch.
Instead, I took a trip to Amazon, loaded up my cart, and 24 hours later I was not only $100 poorer, but I realized I was not crafty at all.
My husband’s response when I showed him our beautiful porch makeover was, “I… don’t get it? Why is there a curtain on a porch? We’re outdoors.”
Anyway – I’m not sure what the answer here is really. Obviously, this once again boils down to my lack of self control. But spending a little less time on Pinterest probably won’t hurt me in the long run.
And it will probably save me from spray painting my dog or something.
I suppose the big takeway here is that I know and am realizing that a lot of my issues come from spending indiscriminately online.
I don’t physically go out and shop very often. Mostly because I hate people. And crowds. And people. But when I do shop in a store, somehow I’m able to look at an item and decide I don’t really need it or it’s too expensive or whatever.
And yet, when I’m shopping online, something else happens and I’m just much more likely to say “yes!” to that item.
One things I’ve found that does help me is checking Mint on a regular basis. Seeing where I am with my personal spending or with our overall budget really helps me say no to some impulse shopping.
I suppose there is a point where checking your bank accounts every day becomes sort of compulsive in and of itself (and my husband would say I’m probably already there). But it’s got to be better than spending all your hard earned dough on a Pinterest project that looks like someone gave a 5 year old a pair of scissors and a hot glue gun.