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Mindful Money Management: Overcoming Impulse Spending

Retailers are highly effective at encouraging impulse buying. Eye catching displays, curiosity inducing ads and crafty product placement are some of the ways we are inundated with things we “must have” to make our lives better. Giving into it on a regular basis can negatively affect your financial situation very quickly. This is why we all need to learn about mindful money management and what we can do to overcome impulse spending.

Why am I impulse buying?

Impulse buying is typically an emotional purchase. To understand why you impulse buy, you must start by exploring your spending triggers and buying habits. 

Feelings of anxiety, boredom, sadness, and/or a lack of worthiness can all trigger impulse buying. When we purchase something, it makes us feel good because our brain releases dopamine, a chemical that stimulates the reward center in our brain. That feel-good hit makes those negative feelings go away for a little while, which can turn into a big motivator for future impulse purchases. 

Occasionally indulging yourself isn’t a bad thing, but if your purchases are increasing the debt on already overloaded credit cards, that is not going to help you. More than likely it will increase the feelings of anxiety, sadness and unworthiness, perpetuating the cycle. 

How do I stop impulsive buying behavior?

To stop the cycle, you must start by considering the things that lead to your impulse buying behavior.

  • When or where does it happen?
  • What are you feeling emotionally?
  • Are there any other factors that come into play when you make an impulsive purchase?
  • What thoughts are going through your mind before and after the purchase?

By recognizing your patterns for impulse buying, you can start to pinpoint the reasons for it and make a strategy to curb the behavior. 

Some things to try are:

  • Avoiding the places where you typically tend to impulse buy.
  • Limit your time online or use ad blockers to reduce or remove your exposure to unnecessary products.
  • Have a shopping list and stick to purchasing only the things on the list. 
  • Bring only enough cash with you for the purchases you need to make.

These are primarily avoidance tactics, which are helpful, but to truly break the habit of impulse buying, it’s important to create a personal spending plan. Budgets can make people feel too restricted, which can just lead back to the emotional triggers associated with impulse buying. Instead, a spending plan allows you to choose where you spend your money in alignment with your personal goals.


When you focus your spending to make sure it’s in alignment with your personal, professional and financial goals, and you invest in assets to make your money work for you, a mindset shift will start to take place. You will become more intentional about your purchases. You will develop smarter spending habits that align with your bigger vision, and you will overcome impulse buying because of your focus on the bigger picture. 

When that all comes together, you will have everything in place to achieve mindful money management, and the over indulgence of impulse buying will become a thing of the past, as you build the life and lifestyle you really want. 

If you want to quickly jump ahead in your financial journey, the Wealth Library I have curated will help you leverage the time-tested principles that lead to true abundance and wealth. CLICK HERE to learn more.

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