UNITED STATES—Are you someone that buys on impulse? You see it, you want it and you just buy it? Perhaps that is a vast majority of Americans, but that is not always the smartest thing to do people. Why? You tend to regret it shortly after the purchase or within a few days after the purchase. I recently had a conversation with a family member who said, “I have everything I want. I don’t need anything.” My response, “Great, but humans by nature will always want, it is engrained in us.”

We may not want something, but if we’re out and about and we see something we like, that temptation is always going to be there to purchase. The notion to buy even though you do not need surrounds you no matter where you go people. What does that mean? You cannot escape it, it is simply a mental strength that some of us have more than others. I know people who can see something and just resist it and that willpower to resist is so impressive for me.

I on the other hand am quite good and resisting impulse purchases, but at the same time, I have seen myself as of late run into situations where I am purchasing more than I care to purchase. Why has that changed? I think it was a direct result of the pandemic people. There were literally months where all things were closed, no shopping, limited to no travel, the only place you could visit was the grocery store. So when many retailers and attractions opened back up, it was like a free-for-all. Buy what you can, as much as you can without a care in the world.

Let me rephrase that, you had cares in the world, it was just the fact that so many Americans had such an influx of disposable income we spent a lot more than what we should have. I mean can you blame me? I got pairs and I mean pairs of Levi Jeans for $5. Yes, you heard me clearly America $5, and I stocked up, but in recent months I realized that I just had clothing sitting in my closet that I never wore and was just collecting dust.

How did I remedy the situation? I sold the clothing and earned some money. I used that money to purchase more household essentials, groceries and used the extra funds to pay bills. Look at it as my inside hustle one that helps when you to keep a cushion in your finances. You know you’re an impulse buyer when you open your closet and you have tons of T-shirts, jeans, coats and jackets that still have the tag on them and have had them on them for over a year. Yes, over a year. If you haven’t worn something in a year, it’s a sign it is time to let the product go.

So how can you curb that impulse purchase? First, you have to ask that question: is this something I absolutely need? If the answer is no, then don’t purchase the product. Understand the difference between a need and a want. ‘I want’ is something that tends to make you feel better, it brightens your day. A ‘need’ is something that you must have for survival. With that said, things like clothing is vital. You need clothing in real life, you need shoes, you need housing, you need food, now do you need Louis Vuitton or high-end designer clothing? No, but if you can afford it go for it, but be careful of not spending so much that it puts you in debt.

At the same time, I have come to the realization that I know if I’m going to be tempted to purchase something it might be a good idea not to enter that establishment. There are those stores you go to simply browse and a browsing turns into a purchase. If you absolutely do not need that item there is no reason to venture into that store. Now, if it is a store or establishment that you frequent and there are items that you do indeed NEED, then stick to a list and don’t deviate from that list. Also don’t let people influence you.

I know people who just always say just buy it. That’s easy for you to say because you’re not spending your money, it’s my money. Don’t listen to that person; there are always people who just love to see others spend because it makes them feel like they’re spending and that is so damn annoying people. When you have those types of people in your life, it is sometimes not a bad idea to leave them at home. Don’t allow someone to influence you in a situation where you don’t want to be influence.

Do you want to be in a situation where a day or two later, you’re heading back to that establishment to return the item? Look, there is no shame in making a return. You don’t want the item, as long as the tag is still there and the return policy date hasn’t expired, you’re good to go. However, the lesson of the day is just because you can buy, does not necessarily mean you have to buy. If you remember that you won’t have an excessive of things that are never used.

Written By Jason Jones