5 Ways To Stop Bad Purchasing Decisions6 min read

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There are so many deals out there and marketers are really doing their job of making you feel like you need to have something that you won’t even use very long. I have to make sure I am on guard about most of these things or I will get sucked in very easily and end up spending extra money that I really don’t need to be spending.

Some Examples I Have Dealt With Recently

Buying From Friends

This has actually happened to me a couple times in the last month. We had a friend come over and do a demonstration of Cutco Knives that he had just started selling. He had told me that he just wanted to pitch me and he got paid for it regardless. This was a great idea to me, since I would be able to give him some tips about how his presentation was going. Truth be told, he did a rather good job of demonstrating the product’s strengths and pitting my old knives against the new ones. By the end, I could definitely see the need for us to get new knives, but just knew that we couldn’t afford them at this time since we are still building our emergency fund. The way that I was justifying it to myself was that I told myself “we cook at home a lot, this would make prep time so much faster!”. Luckily, my wife talked us off the ledge. I am not even the one who does the cooking most of the time, she is!

Do I Really Need All That Tech?

Do I really need more technology to get the job done?

The day this is getting posted is also another hard day for me, as I’m all about tech and love to score a good deal. I was looking into the Amazon Prime Day deals and found that they were going to be selling a Chromebook for only $199. I’m not sure which model or what the original price is, but I know some of them go for upwards of $350 and I have been having an itch for one since I have been flustered by how my iPad writes to WordPress. I am not a big fan of the standard WordPress app due to it being clunky and missing many features. Well, I had been looking into some ideas of how to use my iPad better for writing posts up on this blog. I found an app called BlogPad Pro that was $4.99 and seems to provide more features in how I can write my posts with my iPad and does online/offline support. I went ahead and picked it up and think that the app will work great for my future posting needs for WordPress. Needless to say, I will not be buying the Chromebook just yet as I am going to give this a go and I think I will be quite satisfied with it. How did I purchase this app out of my budget without holding a budget meeting, you might say? I am using my blow money aka fun money that we each get each month to spend on whatever we would like. Since I still have some, I can spend it how I need to.

Avoid Going Places That Cause You To Impulse Buy

I’m quite sure that they tell alcoholics to stay out of bars when they are trying to get sober. One of the best things to do when you are trying to keep yourself from impulsing is to stay out of stores. If going into stores, or going to that company’s website normally causes you to impulse and reach for that bank card/credit card, remove yourself from the situation.

Unsubscribe From Newsletters & E-mail Lists

One of my biggest impulses is when I start getting deals in my email inbox. I have tried many different things to keep myself out of the loop when looking at tech. I have filtered my email so that it doesn’t go to my inbox and goes to a separate folder so that I know where to look when I am ready to buy. But, the temptation is still there. Sometimes using the good old unsubscribe is best for us. I know I have to be particularly on guard around the holidays when everything appears to be on sale, but we’ve got bigger goals then just collecting “stuff”! Look at all the different places that you are subscribed to and see what you can declutter so that you are not having to battle decision fatigue.

Force Yourself To Wait Overnight

As hard as this can be sometimes, forcing yourself to wait overnight to see if you are just making a bad decision can help you get out of the situation completely. By making yourself wait to make the purchase, you are giving your feelings time to calm down and allow yourself to make an informed decision.

Distract Yourself

Sometimes, we get all hyped up about a decision (eating extra food, buying extra to get a deal, etc) and the best thing that we can do to deal with our financial weakness at the time is to distract ourselves with something else that we enjoy doing. Just be careful that what you are using to distract yourself isn’t costing you in a different way. I know that when I sit down to watch TV or a movie, I have this feeling that I should be eating at the same time. So, instead of eating more, I started working on my iPad or only watching TV and movies while I’m working out. Find a harmless way to distract yourselves so that you don’t sabotage your goals.

Bring Your Decision To An Accountability Partner

If all else fails, you might have to find yourself an accountability partner that will talk you down off the ledge. For me, that’s my wife. She has talked me down from many a purchases and forces me to research and come up with a better case in order to try to make my stupid purchases. If I can get the presentation through her and she feels its a good idea, I feel fairly confident that I am making the right decision going forward. Find someone you can trust and that will tell you the truth and won’t just agree with you.

I am going to try to stay away from Amazon today and try to stay focused on my budget and my goals that my family is trying to accomplish. What are some of your weaknesses that you have to work on financially and what do you do to overcome them? Let me know in the comments below!

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Steven Goodwin

Owner/Blogger/Consultant at MyFamilyOnABudget
Steve Goodwin, a stay-at-home dad of two girls is passionate about finances and is helping others just like you get out of debt and build wealth handling money God's way. His goal is to inspire people like you to gain control of their finances by destroying debt and building wealth using their cash flow.
Posted in Finances, Frugality, How To and tagged , , , , .


  1. Fantastic article Steve! I will definitely be implementing these techniques to cut back on unnecessary spending. BTW your articles are very well written sir!

    • Thanks man! Give me some examples of what you did when you get a chance! And thanks for reading, I really appreciate it!

  2. I really liked this article too Steve. Particularly the impulse buys and waiting overnight for purchases. I think sometimes we are so fed the lie that we should buy now and pay later we start to believe it! Today I avoided Amazon Prime although it was very tempting. Thanks again!

    • Glad you enjoyed it Jonathan! Yes, those marketers are ever so clever at trying to make us feel uncomfortable with what we have. Glad you were able to resist the sales as well! Have a great day!

  3. Impulse buying can be so difficult to void at times especially if you have children in your presence. I have gotten better however i could definitely work on it.

    • Bismah,

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes it can be trying when children are present. We have found that we try not to take them with us if possible to plan that so that there is not temptation. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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