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How To Slay Your Impulse Shopping Demons

by Alonzo on February 17, 2012

Who hasn’t ever given in to the “Call of the Mall?”

It’s simply too hard to resist.

From the gleaming glass and aluminum of an iPad to the soft supple leather of the latest designer handbag, we’re bombarded with a tsunami of shopping temptations.

And the rush of endorphins as we anticipate carrying away our prized purchases makes the retail seduction complete.

Unfortunately, once the “shopper’s high” wears off we’re left with the uneasy feeling that comes with mounting bills, bloated credit card balances, and blown budgets.

Impulse shopping is the enemy of financial freedom.

But there’s hope. You can tame your inner shopaholic. It’s often as easy as leaving your credit cards in your car. When the urge to splurge hits, a walk back to the car to retrieve your plastic is often enough to dampen your shopping urges.

If you can’t bear parting with your credit cards for even a second, try a self-imposed cooling off period. Promise yourself to wait 48 hours before purchasing anything over $50.

Alternatively, create a system that reminds you of larger financial goals when you’re in the clutches of retail seduction. You can, for instance, wrap your long term goals around your credit cards. A small picture of a house clipped to your cards could remind you of the down payment you’re saving for, stopping impulse buying in its tracks.

Don’t forget to keep the price tags on everything you buy, at least for a few days. If buyer’s remorse sets in you can always return your purchase.

Finally, if you can’t beat them, join them. Perhaps the best way to beat impulse spending is to embrace it responsibly. Budget in your impulse shopping. There’s nothing better than guilt-free spending. At the beginning of the month set aside cash in an envelope just for your spending splurges. Just make sure that when the fun money is gone so too is the fun spending.

It’s your turn. What are some of the ways you curb the urge to splurge? How do you tame your impulse spending?

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