Impulsive spending – How to stop

Darryl Bachmeier
Aug 10, 2020

If you constantly feel the need to shop at every whim, you need to stop and see if your shopping has become an impulse of yours. If you have new packages coming to your house every day, or you realize that you are spending way too much time in malls and grocery centers, this is a sign to self-reflect.

What is Impulsive Shopping?

As the name suggests, impulsive shopping is the thoughtless shopping for unnecessary shopping at every whim. This can start from weekly shopping sprees from your local mall to shopping online on the go, impulsive shopping has now become a problem in the digital world where everything is just one click away.

What triggers impulsive shopping?

Impulsive shopping has certain triggers that can make you buy aimlessly. Each person has certain triggers that make them purchase items they don’t need but feel the need to spend money on it anyway.


Certain environments have certain obligations. If you go to a mall, shopping center, or grocery store, you will want to purchase something. People that often take trips to shopping spaces are seen to be more impulsive in aimless purchases.


Certain moods make us act a certain way. Most buyers are observed to have negative moods (anger, sadness, hunger, frustration, etc.) when making impulsive purchases.


Hanging around certain people can make you buy things more. For example, a rich friend who doesn’t need to worry about their expenses can also make you shop more.

Another example can be friends who like to hang out at the mall and window shop, or a fashion-forward friend who constantly updates their wardrobe, or a group of people that like to eat out a lot, all of them can sway you to become an impulsive buyer.

Who is affected by impulsive shopping?

It is most commonly assumed that women are the target of impulsive purchasing. Many think since women are the ones seen shopping a lot, they must be the main target, right? Wrong. Studies conducted have shown that men are more prone to impulsive shopping, and the worst part is, they don’t even realize that they are impulsive buyers! Another survey conducted has shown that 23% of men and 16% of women have admitted spending over $100 on impulse. That is a lot to spend on things that you do not need. Think about this when you go ahead and buy those “too good to leave” deals at your mall.

Let’s Talk Numbers

90% of Americans have admitted buying on impulse at least once a week. On a daily basis, it is estimated that about $6 is spent on impulsive buying, making it about $183 a month. Another survey estimates that about 88.6% of Americans make 156 annual impulsive purchases, making it a total of $5400 per year. Now, if we add all of the numbers together, that is absurd how much we spend on impulsive shopping.

How To Control Your Impulsive Buying Tendencies?

Many things can aid you to reduce the urge to buy everything you see. Here are some helpful tips:

Separate Your Savings Account

You need to have a separate account just for your savings that is far from your regular account. This helps you ensure that the money you have tucked away.

Stay Away from Places That Make you buy

You don’t need to make so many trips to malls or grocery stores. Go when you need to. This removes you from the environment that encourages you to spend money on useless things.

Think for a day before making a purchase

If you feel like buying something, think about it for a day. Question the need for that item in your life and see if you need it in your life.

Add all the expenses

When you think of an item as ‘cheap’, just think about saving. How much money would you save up if you saved that amount every day?

That $5 coffee doesn’t seem like too much, but if you add it up, that $5 daily in savings makes up $1,825 in savings.

Keep less money with you

When you go out with friends, keep less money on your person. This can help you spend only what you have and not more than.


Buying something on a whim seems like a fun time, but the tendency to buy can spiral out of control, leaving you with saving issues. Maybe it’s time to realize the severity of the problem and fix it.

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