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By: AgFed Credit Union

Welcome to AgFed Credit Union's MoneyDig blog! 

Get confident about your personal finances with a number of articles, tips, advice and more.


4 Ways to Stop Impulse Buying

 Mar 30, 2021
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4 Ways to Stop Impulse Buying

Right now, you can easily buy anything you want with a quick tap on your phone or a swipe of your card at the store. Beyond that, both brick-and-mortar stores and websites push impulse purchases on you constantly, making it even harder to say no.

But you can take control over impulse purchases — you just need to set a few rules.


1. Don’t Go Cold Turkey

Cutting yourself off cold turkey from impulse purchases isn't always the right move. For a lot of people, that decision can feel like a punishment, and they may want to rebel against their self-imposed limitations. Instead, be realistic about your shopping habits and let yourself have a few impulse purchases. Everyone deserves a fun treat once in a while.

To keep that under control, consider giving yourself a weekly or monthly allowance. Once you reach the limit, you can't make any more impulse purchases, but in the meantime, you can grab what you want. This helps you strike a comfortable balance, and when you budget for impulse buys, you think more carefully about them.


2. Set a Limit for Each Purchase

If large impulse purchases are a mainstay in your world, set a limit for each purchase. When an item is over that limit, for example, $50, require yourself to think about it for 24 to 48 hours. At that point, the purchase is no longer impulsive because you've spent time considering the impact on your budget and whether or not you truly want the item. Oftentimes when you delay purchasing an item, you’ll find you no longer feel like you need it.  


3. Disable One-Click Buying

One-click buying options are quickly becoming more popular with online shopping. No longer do you have to spend time choosing a payment method or selecting a shipping address every time you purchase something. You enter the information once, and each time you make a purchase going forward, you simply click once to buy the item. By offering this feature, retailers are lessening the time for you to reconsider your purchase.

If you’re trying to cut down on your impulse shopping, go to the websites or apps you use the most and disable the one-click buying option. This will allow you more time when making the purchase to really consider whether you need it or not.


4. Lock Your Cards

To put another barrier between you and impulse purchases, consider locking your credit and debit cards. Most financial institutions offer this feature where you can lock and unlock your cards through their apps. You may easily lock and unlock your AgFed Debit and Credit Cards through the AgFed Debit CardControl App and the AgFed Credit Card App. These apps are available for download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Here’s how it can work to your benefit…

Imagine you pay all your bills for the month, take out some cash for incidentals, and then you lock your debit or credit cards for the rest of the month. If you ever want to make an impulse purchase, you have to go through the additional step of unlocking your card, and that can help to minimize impulsive shopping habits.


We’re Here to Help!

Impulse purchases can instantly derail your monthly budget. However, by setting a few rules, you’ll be able to keep your finances on track and enjoy treating yourself occasionally.

To learn more about budgeting or additional options to get the most out of your accounts, give us a call 202-479-2270 or email us at


Your Turn

How do you curb impulse buying? Tell us in the comments!

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