How to Stop Impulse Shopping (and Buying Everything You See)

How to stop impulse shopping
How to stop impulse shopping

Boy have I been there. I’m still not completely over impulse shopping, but I’m getting there.

7 ways to stop impulse shopping

7 ways to stop impulse shopping

how to stop impulse shopping

how to stop impulse shopping

8 Ways to Stop Impulse Shopping

Stay organized

I’m not the tidiest person. My stuff tends to be everywhere at all times (working on it), but especially my makeup since I take my pictures in a different room. That means I can’t find anything when I need them or when I’m in a hurry because my makeup is rarely in its designated space. For example, I won’t be able to find a powder when I’m doing my makeup. So when I go out to the mall and see a powder, I’ll buy it on impulse because I think, “oh I don’t really have one” or “I don’t know where mine is.” You realize just how much stuff you have when your things are organized and tidy. And, you clearly see that you don’t need more stuff. You’ll forget about some of your things when things aren’t tidy. That’s when something new and shiny will find it’s way into your shopping bag, and into your home. That is how the cycle continues.

Rotate your products

Every few weeks I like to set aside certain makeup products and clothing pieces that I want to wear or use more often. Rotating your products allows you to shop your stash. And, you’ll become reacquainted with things you once loved, but have since forgotten about as you made new purchases. This really helped me stop impulse purchasing because it keeps your collection fresh in your mind. Again, it feels like you’re “shopping.” But, you’re shopping through the things you already own that have slipped your mind instead of buying new things.

Make a wish list + organize your wants

Making a wish list is a great way to stop impulse shopping. Write down everything you really want so when you do want to purchase something, you’re organized, and have thought about it in advance. I’ve controlled my impulse shopping ever since I started making wish lists– like my latest beauty wish list. I plan out my purchases now so when I’m at the mall or online shopping– my biggest vice– I usually just pick up things I’ve wanted for a while instead of picking up random things on impulse. Plus, you get to check things off your wish list. The act of ticking things off is just so satisfying, amiright? It’s like, ‘hey, I’ve accomplished something!”

Self shame yourself

This idea came to me when I was literally blowing all of my money on makeup/beauty products on a whim. Your girl likes to treat herself, but spending hundreds upon hundreds (upon hundreds and hundreds) of dollars a month on makeup– especially when you already have so much– is not a good idea when you’re trying to save money LOL. So, I started writing down every single makeup/beauty/fashion purchase I made that month, and totaled it up. This shelf shaming technique really opened up my eyes to how much money I was just blowing away on material items that I would never use up because I already have so much.

Wait a while

Another trick is: before you make your way to the register (or to the checkout page online), tell yourself to wait at least 30 days before you buy it. This is a great way to see if it’s actually something you’ll use, and if it’s something you really want, or if it’s just your impulse shopping need kicking in. I’ve saved loads of money by doing this because many times I end up realizing it was just my need to impulse buy. I recently went through my Loves list on Sephora and saw firsthand how many things I’ve added to that list, but didn’t pick up, and my life isn’t worse off without those products. In fact, I’m glad I didn’t purchase a lot of those things because I know they would’ve just sat in my collection and gathered dust.

Buy it as a reward/ for a special occasion

I 100% believe in rewarding yourself. And, if you have the means then you should reward yourself once in a while. Set goals, and once you meet that goal tell yourself you’ll purchase something you’ve been wanting for ages. I personally don’t go HAM on my birthday and buy all the shiny things I see. Instead, I like to plan out what I truly have been wanting, and that’s when revisiting my wish list comes in extra handy. Instead of buying a ton of random things, I’ll stick to one or two luxe products I’ve had my eye on for a while.

Unsubscribe

Sales ALWAYS make me impulse shop because I’m like “hey.. I’m saving money!” But, think how much you would’ve saved if you hadn’t purchased anything. I’ve saved so much money ever since I unsubscribed from several company newsletters (and unfollowed their social media accounts) because I no longer hop on to their site and buy everything just because it’s on sale. Are you really going to use it or will it just sit around looking pretty? If you’re subscribed to a brand that you don’t really love, but only keep them around to see if they have a sale so you can save some money on products that just slightly pique your interest– unsubscribe. For me, LA Splash was this company. I love liquid lipsticks so whenever they went on sale it was very tempting to pick up some new shades. But, I don’t even use the few shades I do have from them so it’s not worth it. Instead, stay subscribed to the brands that you truly love and care about so you don’t miss out on the things you’ll actually use and love. For example, buy one or two Marc Jacobs liquid lipsticks instead of 5-10 LA Splash ones. Figure out which brands/retailers you use the most and keep them around. Unsubscribe from the rest.

Give back instead

The best way to stop impulse shopping is to think about others, and to give back. When I was visiting London a few years ago, I was standing at the Tom Ford beauty counter in Harrods and the atmosphere had me feeling SO spendy. I was about ready to cough up the money and pick up two TF lipsticks, but I stopped myself. I told myself I’d think about it, and come back before I left if I still couldn’t get those two lippies out of my head.

A few hours later I was on my way to meet friends for dinner. I came across a man (probably late 20s, so not much older than me) sitting outside the Underground, holding up a sign about how he was traveling, lost his money, and had no way of getting home. It was about 40 degrees outside, freezing cold, raining, and this guy was sitting outside with nothing to keep him warm. I don’t know why, but I instantly broke into tears (I do know why… I’m a softy on the inside) and went searching for a place to buy him a warm blanket or jacket. But, because I had no idea where I was, and because I’m pretty directionally challenged as it is, I wasn’t able to find a place to pick either of those things up. Instead, I settled on buying him a large hot chocolate and some warm food. The look in his eyes when I gave him a meal is honestly enough to bring me to tears (like right now). It really puts things in perspective.

I was about to spend $100 on two lipsticks when this guy didn’t even have enough money to buy himself a jacket or a blanket to face the cold. I know people are quick to judge the homeless and say that a lot of them are scammers or drug addicts. But, regardless of whether this guy was lying or not, it really made me very thankful on so many levels. I mean, I’m sitting here on my Macbook Pro with my iPhone next to me on one side, my iPad on the other side, and a big ass flat screen TV across from me. Talk about thankful. Seriously though, giving back is such a powerful way to stop impulse buying. Instead of spending money on frivolous items, spend it on someone in need. Even if you don’t want to give someone money, buy them a meal, buy them a gift card to somewhere they can buy personal products, put together a care package, anything. I’m in no way saying you can’t have nice things or that you should feel guilty for buying expensive things. Not at all. I’m saying that it’s always nice to give back, especially if you have the means.

How do you stop impulse shopping? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Dom

    I loved reading this post Nida! You have a beautiful heart and I love the message. Speaking of Tom Ford, I had the impulse to once more purchase 6 new lips and boys. Then I thought of the 20 + lips and boys that I hardly ever touch. It made me feel silly for continuing to buy so much makeup that often gets neglected and unused. What a great post!

    Xo
    Dom
    http://www.calibeaute.com

    • Thanks so much Dom! I don’t blame you. Those Tom Ford Lips and Boys lippies are stunning! Being a beauty blogger definitely makes impulse shopping harder because you want to do it for the blog lol!

  • I think i need to start self shaming, my beauty buys arent so bad but my clothing buys are! great post and advice.

    Abigail Alice x

    • Thank you :). Self shaming worked for me haha. Hope it works for you!

  • This is the post I needed to read today! I was so ready to buy something from Sephora for no reason earlier, but luckily the mall was closed due to a water main break. There are many larger (non-beauty) items I want, and buying a lipstick here and there makes it impossible to save enough. These are really fabulous tips!

    xoxo Jenn │ Beauty by Jellybean

    • Haha the water main break was a sign! It’s so hard to save up sometimes when shiny new makeup calls out to you.

  • I totally needed to see this post today. I’m such an impulsive buyer. Great tips!

    Sarah | sarahinwonderland.co.uk <3

  • These are such great ideas. I’ve been shopping my stash for over a year now and love it. My memory is so bad that I forget what I already own. I’ve also been project panning – setting my self a challenge to finish up, or make a certain amount of progress on, certain products. This really puts into perspective how long makeup can last in terms of usage. It’s nice to keep a running total of the £ amount I’ve used up too. Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks

  • Self-shaming is really what I need to do, I’m so shameless for buying new things when I know I don’t need it. Rotating makeup helps, especially with lipsticks and eyeshadow, God knows if I will ever run out of mine.

    Selene Addicted

    • Haha I feel you girl. It feels like I’ll never finish up my lipsticks and eyeshadows, but I’m on a mission to!

  • Wow, I feel like this post was written for me. I struggle a lot with impulse buying, which is really bad especially because I have a wedding coming up in March! And when my fiance and I have our own place, I will not be able to shop the way I am right now, so shopping the stash is such a great idea. For me, I’m always thinking…”oh! I need this! This would make for a great blog post!” I’m sure everyone can relate, haha. The self-shaming almost sounds like writing a food diary if you’re trying to lose weight too.

    I also agree with waiting…when the Kylie “Spice” lip kit came out, I wanted it so bad. I mean, I still do, even though there’s a dupe list for it on the interwebs and I have some of the shades (ABH “Craft”, Dose of Colors “Berry Me”, ColourPop “More Better”). And it’s been almost 2 months since it was released and I’m still thinking about it.

    After the holidays I will definitely buckle down and use my wedding/marriage/new life as a way to not spend as much.

    Hannah
    Floraful

    • YES buying things because it’ll make for a great blog post is one reason it’s hard to stop impulse shopping for me! I wish you all the luck, girl! It’ll be nice to save up some money and spend it on memories with your new hubby :)

  • I feel like I’ve reigned in my spending somewhat! Definitely agree about keeping things tidy (I seriously need to be more vigilant with that…) and rotating my daily stash! Also waiting a while is so true. Most of the time I forget I even wanted it, or after the hype dies down I realise I don’t need it haha. So true about giving back – such a beautiful story Nida! <3

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

    • I’m so untidy lol! Getting through the hype is the hardest part because it’s so tempting to buy everything everyone loves.

  • Nida, I think you just shamed me into reconsidering my recent spending habits. Sephora and me is on the fast lane of becoming BFF while I’m on the verge of breaking up with my bank account. You’re right, I should be thankful for being so blessed in life and too often I forgot all the good in my life. Thank you for writing this hun. xx

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • Haha that’s how my relationship with Sephora and my bank account was going as well. We can control our spending habits together!

  • I really enjoyed reading this – we all need to stop & think more about our spending from time to time. I dread to think how much I spend on beauty products in a year! xx

    Beautylymin| LuxuryFragranceBundleGiveaway

    • Girl, so do I! I don’t even want to think about how much I spend in a year or how much I’ve spent on makeup in my whole life omg

  • YES to product rotation. I started doing this a few months ago and have been using so much more of my makeup up and haven’t been buying as much!

    Olive & Ivy

  • I’m super guilty of impulse shopping, ugh. I can never just walk out of the mall or a store with just one thing. That def has to change. I really enjoyed reading the last point. So nice of you to help the man out. I bet giving back would be so much more rewarding than buying an overpriced makeup item!

    Nicole | The Glam Surge

    • I’m the same way. I’ll go shopping with a friend who needs to buy something and they won’t buy anything, but I will buy like 20 things lol! Giving back is definitely very rewarding. Even if it’s not a huge thing, it matters.

  • I really enjoyed reading this post. I used to do that all the time, because I had a mall right in front of my school. Now I’m happy to say that I usually search a lot reviews before I really spend my money on products. Well, okay, sometimes I slip, but who doesn’t? :D

    Michelle Morchella

    • I bet having a mall right in front of your school was hard! Reading product reviews and doing your research before buying something is a really good way to stop impulse shopping too! It’s okay to slip up every once in a while :p

  • Really loved this post! I can try the self shame technique pray for me 😂 Also loving your blog just followed you :)

    • Hahah I hope the self shaming technique helps! That’s what really helped me.

  • Bernadette

    This is something I need to do more. I mean I have gotten better at not just buying random makeup I won’t be using. The more I’ve established my makeup taste the more I get stuff I actually use. And I pretty much save up, plan and take my time with each makeup order. I use to see random stuff and impulse shop. I’m still an addict but by saving up I don’t like to waste money on just any makeup. Ps. Your posts are always awesome!

    http://www.themakeupaficionado.com

    • Thank you so much, lovely!! Establishing your makeup taste is so important! That’s helped me stop impulse shopping as well.

  • Thank you for all the tips! I too have been buying way too much recently. I really need to unsubscribe from all the mailing lists. One of the first things I do each morning is go through my emails and I’m always tempted by the sales. It doesn’t help that there are new sales everyday this time of year! And thanks for sharing your story about giving back <3 I'm very thankful for everything that I have and don't want to take it for granted!

    Mili | Sharmtoaster

    • Same! Sales always get to me. I check my emails in the morning and late at night, which is so dangerous. I would make excuses to buy things simply because they’re on sale, which is never good because I know those things will just sit around barely used.

  • Taylor

    Ah I am so guilty of this!
    The only time I don’t impulse by is when I totally forget about it and remember weeks later glad that I didn’t buy whatever it was haha!
    Such great tips!
    xo.
    http://www.itswhatsin.com

    • Haha I feel the same way. I forget to buy things, remember later, and then I’m glad I didn’t because I know I wouldn’t have gotten use out of it.

  • Tiffany Tales

    Such great tips! I had to self shame myself today x

    Tiffany Tales | Beauty & Lifestyle