Impulse Buys and Consumer Habits

I’ve certainly made some poor decisions when buying things. I’m going to assume that like most people, I am a victim of impulse spending.

When you purchase something on impulse, you are not making a purchase because you want something. You’re buying it because you really, really, really just have to have it!

That’s how children operate, not rational thinking adults. What you eventually end up with is large collections of things that clutter your living and storage spaces.

One of my biggest sources of frustration was four stacks of magazines that were sitting beside our bed, along with a laundry hamper and a small stool. Oh, and pretty much anything else that could get crammed in that space if needed. It really bothered me.

Most of the magazines were from a subscription I had for over 10 years. But a good portion of them were impulse buys at the grocery store.

After I cleared out the area that the magazines lived in, I thought about the whole process and also how the magazines were just like any other item I had bought on an impulse, or because I just had to have it.

As an example: when I was growing up, I always wanted Star Wars toys, but there were many left in stores because the original movie trilogy had ended a few years back. So after I “grew up” and started getting disposable income (there’s that nasty term again), I began to buy toys I wanted when I was a kid, but never got.

But now, I have boxes of sealed action figures and other toys that just sit taking up space. They have little value, beyond their original purchase price. I sold a huge bin full of them in our last yard sale for about $15. That hit me hard, because it was money wasted!

I bought these things because I just “had to have them”. They didn’t cost much, and they were piling up quickly in my storage areas. I bought them on purpose, I bought them on impulse, just like I did with the magazines.

As I’ve been clearing out the things I don’t need, I have looked at these items and decided I don’t need them anymore. I didn’t need them to begin with! It’s a lesson learned, and thankfully one that didn’t cost me too much money.

When I go to the store now, I may pick up a magazine and flip through it. But, it stays in the store. Someone else can buy it.


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