You spend some time carefully preparing your shopping list. But when you entered the store, you instantly fell in love with something that’s out of your list and you make an unplanned decision to buy it. Do you often see yourself in this kind of situation?

If yes, you’re not alone.

40 per cent of Australians find it hard to resist the urge to impulsively buy products. While 29 per cent spend more on wants than needs.

Though seemingly harmless when done occasionally, impulsive spending can become an addiction that could lead to a frustrating amount of debt.

The 30 day rule

J.D. Roth, the founder of an inspirational and award-winning personal-finance blog Get Rich Slowly, generously shares how he dug his way out of debt and how you could get rid of your impulsive spending habit. He teaches us this 30-day rule where you wait for 30 days before purchase, and see for yourself if you still want to buy that product.

This is how it works:

  1. Whenever you feel the urge to splurge — whether it’s for new shoes, a new video game, or a new car — force yourself to stop. If you’re already holding the item, put it back. Leave the store.
  2. When you get home, take a piece of paper and write down the name of the item, the store where you found it, and the price. Also, write down the date.
  3. Now post this note someplace obvious: a calendar, the fridge, a bulletin board. (I use a text file on my computer.)
  4. For the next thirty days, think whether you really want the item, but do not buy it.
  5. If, at the end of a month, the urge is still there, then consider purchasing it. (But do not use credit to do so.)

Do you have impulse buying experiences that you truly regret? What did you do to stop this behavior? Share it with us in the comments below.