Impulse Spending

Spending becomes compulsive or out of control when it becomes a customary way of achieving self-esteem, or of dealing with stress or emotional distress. Here are some strategies for controlling spending.
  • Do not take credit cards with you.
  • Go on fewer shopping trips.
  • Think through the "decision making steps" before final decision.
  • Stop and think what you will be giving up.
  • Sleep on the decision - the bigger the purchase, the more nights.
  • Make a list and stick to it.
  • Develop desire for experiences rather than things. Seek activities and diversions, which do not cost money.
  • Ask someone to support you in self-control and discipline if impulsive buying is a habit.
  • Seek professional help if a family member has a compulsion to spend and may have deep-seated problems.
  • Keep most of your money in checking or savings accounts. It is safer than cash, and the process of writing a check or withdrawing money may make you think twice before purchasing.
  • Check three places to compare prices or services.
  • Estimate how many hours of work is required to pay for item or extra cost of credit to determine the value of it to you.
  • Plan first, then purchase. (Many problems arise when something is bought without sufficient thought as to how the bill will be paid.)
  • Use cash if seeing the money makes you stop to evaluate its use in terms of what other purchases will be given up for this use.
  • Do not take tags off of clothes until you wear them. If not worn in two weeks after you buy them, take them back to the store.

The above information should be understood to be a general discussion of the subject matter and DOES NOT constitute a legal opinion about the situation. For further information please consult a qualified attorney. Financial information provided by the Financial Center.

(c) Consumer Credit Counseling Service (r) of Central Indiana, Inc. 2001. Reprint with permission only.