Impulse Buying: Sleep On It

We’ve all heard that we should sleep on it when we are contemplating a major purchase. How many of us actually do it? What is considered a major purchase?

Whether we are in a financial bind or wanting to accumulate money, one of the actions we need to take is to spend less. One of the ways that will help us to spend less is to put a brake on buying costly products or services without really analyzing our actual need for it.

  • Is it a need or is it something that we merely want?
  • Will buying this product or service prevent me from paying my bills or not being able to save any money this month?
  • Will I need to purchase the product or service on credit?

The answers to these questions will be different for each of us because our incomes, living expenses and circumstances are different due to the amount of money we earn and the lifestyle we live. That being said, we still need to answer these three questions.

Impulse buying is very hard to overcome for many people who have not overcome that that silent voice in their head that says “buy me now” or you’re going to miss out on a great deal.

My wife and I have been married for 34 years. Our finances were tight when we married because both of us had just gone through a divorce. That prompted us to promise each other that we would:

  • Sleep on it if a purchase cost over $100.
  • We would talk it over and jointly decide on the purchase if it cost over $250.
  • We would never make a lifestyle purchase if we didn’t have the actual cash to pay for it.

We still follow this promise today … 34 years later.

Just this week I was contemplating on buying a service that cost $168. I slept on it overnight. I then slept on it for a second night. I woke up this morning knowing that I didn’t really need or sincerely want the service.

I overcame the impulse to buy. Many people would not have been so successful. A contributing factor in not being able to curb our impulse buying is advertising. It is estimated that U.S. companies spent $240.7 billion dollars on advertising in 2019. That is a lot of power we have to fight against to maintain our financial well-being. As we see around us every day, these companies are much better at getting us to spend our money than we are at not spending it. We have to realize the psychological manipulation that these companies utilize in their advertising to make us think that we need more, new or better to be happy.

I encourage you to overcome impulse buying. It’s your financial health that is at stake.


Please share your success in overcoming impulse buying. Please use the comment section below.


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Published by W. M. Brown

I am a retired U.S. expat living in Ecuador. I was a business owner for 32 years before retiring in 2012.

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