If you stick to a budget, you know how important it is to plan out your finances, and this includes essentially ever purchase you plan to make. However, even when you’re out with a shopping list, it’s hard to avoid those random impulse buys. There are new products everywhere we look—just tempting us to buy them!
Sometimes, an impulse buy actually ends up being a really useful purchase, but a lot of the time, when we buy something without giving it much thought, it ends up being a poor use of our money or something we never actually end up using. If you find that you are buying impulse purchases that you end up regretting, you might want to consider using this handy chart from The Penny Hoarder next time you’re about to make a purchase.
The chart provides a series of questions that can help you determine how necessary your impulse buy really is. It begins with an obvious, but an important one: “Do you already own one of these?” Next, it’s followed by “Did you look everywhere?”
Follow the arrows, and you’ll end up at a yes or a no, depending on how you answered the questions. You might be disappointed to find out that you often land on the “Don’t buy it,” but the flowchart forces you to think about whether or not you’re really getting the best value or if you can even wait to get the product later.
Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, you just need someone else to tell you to put it down and back away slowly.
Need help reining in your impulse spending? Print this chart, bookmark it on your phone, tape it to your wallet — whatever you do, make sure you’re aware of your purchase before you start loading up your shopping cart with all those extra items. You’ll thank yourself later!