Impulse Spending Checklist

Do you have a closet full of stuff that you never use but you “just had to have?”  Do you have regrets about the amount of money you spend on items that don’t end up bringing you the joy you hoped for?  Have you ever broken your budget because you bought something you weren’t planning on purchasing?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you may benefit from an Impulse Spending Checklist.  The checklist is a tool to help you be more deliberate in your purchases.  It will help you reduce impulse buys and ultimately should help you reach your financial goals.

There are a bunch of checklists available by doing a Google search but some of the best have these questions in common:

Y/N       Do I need it?

Y/N       Is this in the budget?

Y/N       Will I have to use my credit card to buy this?

Y/N       Will I be able to pay my credit card off in full next month?

Y/N       Can this wait until next month?

Y/N       Can I borrow it instead?

Y/N       If this wasn’t on sale, would I buy it?

Y/N       Is this less expensive somewhere else?

Y/N       Would a used item work?

Y/N       Do I already have something like this?

Y/N       Can I wait and ask for this as a gift?

Y/N       Will this create any additional expenses?

Y/N       Am I shopping because I’m happy, sad, or emotional?

___        How many hours will have to work to pay for this?

­­­___       How long will this last?

___       How many times will I actually use this?

If you save this list or one like it on your smartphone and look at it before you make a purchase, you are likely to dramatically reduce your impulse purchases.  This will leave you with more money and fewer regrets.

Return to library of Money Messages.