How To Curb Impulsive Spending

Impulsive spending is a desire to make a purchase, no matter how big or small, in the heat of the moment. Whether it's spontaneously placing a few purchases on that credit card or grabbing a few things in the checkout line. There wasn't much thought to the process, you just simply made the purchase because you wanted it.

Nothing wrong with occasionally making an impulsive buy. We all do it at some point. But when it begins to consume your finances, and becomes uncontrollable you may find yourself depleting your funds.

I've always been pretty good with controlling my spending habits. I usually make grand purchases if I am treating myself, but I have made an impulsive buy only to observe my purchase later wondering why the hell did I buy it. Or, I will look back and ask myself how did I blow through my extra funds so quickly.

"Setting a Budget" seems like the easiest fix, but understanding in what instances are you diving into the cookie jar too much is what really matters. Is it online shopping? Is it stopping to that shoe store that you pass on your way home?

Limit Your Access To Spend

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Ever heard the old saying that your pockets are burning? Well, for some, when they have a good bit of money to work with, they tend to feel this desire to spend it. Limit how much you're able to have each month by giving yourself an allowance. Even if it means transferring the bulk of your money into an account that you cannot withdraw from, it helps. When you know how much you're working with, it can help to minimize the excessive spending. This will also help to manage your money so that a little can go a long way.

Get Rid of The Credit Cards

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The thrill of having a credit card is amazing. You have immediate access to funds and it's so easy to just swipe and sign. However, you have to pay that debt back. If you realize that you lose control with the convenience of making credit card purchases, it could be time to get rid of them to fight that urge. I personally like to have no more than two credit cards, and use them only in emergency cases. However, it takes some discipline to set this in stone.

Wants vs. Needs

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There's a very fine line between what you want and what you need. But understanding this helps tremendously with impulsive spending. Do I really need this? Will I not be able to make it without this between now and later? Seriously ask yourself why you're considering the purchase. If you realize that there is no dire reason for its purchase, it's simply a want over a need.

Think On It

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Give yourself some time to really think about if it's worth the purchase. Walk away from it. Allow a day or two to pass and sit on whether or not you really want it. In most moments, you see something you want only because it's in front of you. But if you never saw it, would you have wanted it? If you find yourself still thinking about it after those days have passed, go for it.


  1. These are some great tips! I think it can be really hard for all of us to truly be honest about what is a want and what is a need when it comes to spending.

    1. I agree. It really does make you stop and think about if you really need something

  2. These are such helpful tips. I tend to really be an impulsive spender and need to get better about it. I always think I need what I actually just want.

    1. It happens sometimes. I've learned to take a day to see if I still feel the same way

  3. I think the tip that resonates the most with me is "think on it." Usually by the time I finish walking around the store, I've changed my mind. Same with computer purchases. I get up and to get a drink of water or coffee before I push the button.

  4. Oh! Yes, for sure! I love your take on this, and I need to "curb my enthusiasm" so to speak! I especially like your point to... pause and think on it! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Oh this is always a struggle! I try to make a list of what I want versus need as well, and usually I don't need it.

    1. I find a lot of times I don't need it either.