How To Limit Impulse Purchases & Avoid Buyers Remorse

Are you suffering from buyers remorse? If so, you likely made an impulse purchase recently that caused you to feel this way. This feeling arises when you are conflicted about the purchase whether it be about the cost of the item or the actual need for the item. You will likely experience buyers remorse more often when you make expensive purchases (e.g. buying a car) since the financial impact is much more apparent. So how does one ultimately avoid making impulse purchases? We share five ways you can limit your impulse shopping while making better informed buying decisions.

Freeze Your Credit Cards

Yes. We literally mean freeze your credit cards! Put them in a plastic bag, add some water and put them in the freezer. By the time you thaw the credit cards, your decision to buy something will be much more thought out. This idea may seem extreme for some, so start by taking your credit card out of your wallet. Put it somewhere around the house that is less convenient to access. The idea is to remove the convenience of using your credit card, since you will likely reach for your credit cards first when making impulse purchases.

So what happens if you are in an emergency (e.g. car breaks down on the side of a highway) and need a credit card? Keep a lower limit ($1-2k) credit card in your wallet for these emergency situations.

Delete Auto-filled Credit Card Files

Retailers want to make the checkout process on their sites seamless and quick. Once you make an initial purchase with a retailer, they will often ask you if you want to save your credit card information in your account for future purchases. If you have trouble with impulse buying, click “No”. Your web browser may also offer this auto-fill feature for your credit card and personal information. Avoid this option when possible. Having to input all your personal and credit card information each purchase will give you time to think through the purchase.

Rainy Day Account

I used to laugh about this one growing up. Anytime I received money from a relative or from my parents, I was told to add it to my rainy day fund. Unfortunately, the weather in Southern California always helped to maintain my rainy day savings. It just does not rain quite enough! Ultimately, this type of savings account gets you into the saving mindset. You will eventually get to spend that money on something you desire down the road (i.e. on a rainy day). Being disciplined with your money is important and the rainy day account helps you save up for the things you really want, but cannot afford right now.

Avoid Marketing Gimmicks

We recently published an article highlighting 3 marketing gimmicks used by retailers to get you to make impulse purchases. Just because an item is on sale, does not mean you need to buy it. You can almost always find the item you want at a discounted price somewhere online. Wait until the item reaches a predetermined target price (i.e. the price you wish to buy it at). There are plenty of sites that help you track prices and will alert you when the price drops to your predetermined price. Your goal is to make an informed purchase decision. For more information on making informed purchase decisions, read our article featuring ways to save money shopping online as we offer tips to help you research product prices and discount opportunities online.

Loosen Up Your Budget

When you create a budget, the whole point is to stick to the budget. Avoid making your budget so restrictive that it almost forces you into overspending. This idea is similar to how some react on a diet. If you avoid eating treats too long, eventually you are going to binge eat that treat. Give yourself something to look forward to. You can budget in a small allowance each week that allows you to buy something you want (e.g. latte or massage).

In order to start eliminating buyers remorse, give yourself the opportunity to think about the purchase. Consider how it will impact your personal financial situation, whether or not you need it and if you really want it, start saving up for it.

What are some of the ways you successfully eliminated or reduced your impulse purchases? Share your tips for reducing buyers remorse and impulse shopping with our readers below.


Frugal Buzz