Breaking The Impulse Buy

The Sickness

All of us have been there. In only a moments time, the whirlwind of emotion engulfs us as we swipe our plastic and bring home a new toy to play with. The problem is that whether or not buyers remorse is in the near future it’s likely the purchase could have been evaded. You’re now on the path to living a simplistic life.

Clutter can manifest physically and psychologically. Possessing too many unnecessary things can decrease your overall quality of life. This idea may be foreign to many Americans that need to unlearn bad buying habits.

How To Make The Change

Give yourself time to consider the impact of your decision. This works well not only with buying material possessions but also standard decision making. But how much time is enough? Try my simple method.

Spend the same number of days contemplating a purchase as the years that purchase will affect your life.

I’ll break it down like this. According to a report by the Department of Transportation the average car ownership of a U.S. citizen is 6 years. If you are in the market to purchase a new car then you will spend 6 days on any one purchase.

Statistically a single article of clothing won’t stay in fashion for more than 2-3 seasons so spend a few days in your thinking chair before buying that new wardrobe. I contrast this to the previous point to show you that the method works even with smaller things.

The time you take to think about the value of a purchase can be used to research it.

iPhone 4 Home Screen


When I go shopping I’m usually “that guy” who stands in the middle of Target on his iPhone reading reviews on a particular product before I buy. Even things as simple as TV dinners are not beyond the wrath of smart consumerism. is a great site to read a review on a product while Google Answers provides reviews for services and companies.

The point is, most purchases will seem unnecessary after critical analysis. Save your money for the purchases that really matter and pass the test. Don’t hang your head in shame when you return home with that new television. Hold it high for all to see because you were thorough in your logic.