How To Stop Impulse Buying

So many people are able to find an item, if not multiple, in the back of their closet that was an impulse purchase either because we thought we needed it, because it was on sale or simply because we were bored (or feeling other feelings) and needed something to do, something to distract ourselves. Not only are impulse purchases a waste of money, they are also so wasteful in terms of resources and water. It is not cheap for the environment to make clothing so for the impulse purchase to end up in the back of your closet or as an item never worn at a landfill, is not ideal to anyone (well maybe to the store you purchased it from but since they are on the same planet as you they will also go down with the it.. so the money from your impulse purchase does not really matter...). Here are some ways to stop impulse buying:

Have a list of what you need
If you find yourself in a situation where you need something or find something you want then make a list with items you think about buying. Have the item be on the list for a couple of months and if you still need it then go ahead and purchase it but you may also have found an alternative or maybe you didn't need it as much as you thought. By making a list and having to wait x amount of months, it ensures you that you do not make impulse purchases and that what you buy will actually be used. Try making the rule that you can only buy what is on your need-list after 4-6 months of waiting to see if it is really needed.

Question before purchasing
See something you want? To make sure it is not an impulse buy figure out why you should get it. Why would you get this? How would it bring value to your life? What would be the benefits of this item? Before you purchase anything ask these questions and make three valid reasons why you should get it which can't be; because I like it, because I want it or because you feel like it. It has to be actual valid reasons like, you need a scarf for when you go for walks during the fall/winter or that you are in the need of a pillow for your back when you read in bed - reasons like that.

The 'one in one out' rule
If you are out and find something you want but it is not on the list, make it a rule that you then have to think of a thing to get rid of in exchange for the new item. If it is something that is not on the list then use the one in one out rule. If you want to bring this item home with you, you have to get rid of an item you have in the same area, for example, clothes with clothes. This way you won't expand on the things that you don't need because you have to replace something in your closet. And you have to want the new item more than what you already have. 

Don't look just to look
Most impulse purchases are made because you are just looking. Stop browsing the different sites or stop going to the thrift store (or other stores) without a reason. We make the most purchases when we are bored because it is something to pass the time with and when we feel bored, our judgment of what we actually need is not that great, terrible in fact. Don't look when you are bored, remove email subscriptions from brands and remove the 1-click-order option.

If you are impulse buying a lot of clothes
I think the most impulse purchases I have ever made is clothing. It is so easy to go to a store and find something because why not (read: bored) or I have bought something because it was on sale with no other reason than that. To prevent clothing impulse purchases, before you buy something make at least three outfits (you genuinely want to wear) with the item you want to buy. This way you will make sure that it works with your closet. You can also put it on your list, wait a couple of months (some wait half a year) and see if it is still something you want/need or if it was just a itch you needed to scratch.

On sale
This is such an impulse thing because it's on sale so you save money. Well, if it is not something you truly need then you actually waste money and you took something home with you that is going to take up space and suck your energy + hurt the planet. If you are standing with something that is on sale and you want to know if you should get it ask yourself: 'would I have bought this if it were the original price?' If you wouldn't (which is typically the answer) then you will not use it and it is not worth it and if you would then use the advice above and  make (at least) three outfits with the item before purchasing. 

Try a no-buy period
If you want to break the habit completely try a no-buy month or two, some do 6 months, some do a whole year, where you don't buy anything other than food or other necessities (read: necessities!!) - if you want to know more there are tons of videos about the topic on youtube - I would recommend Hannah Louise Poston's videos on the topic.  A no-buy period will probably be the best solution for some, I know it would have been for me because I still made excuses to purchase items I didn't need a year or two ago when I tried to slow down my purchasing.
When you have a problem with purchasing things you do not need it will be to vague to say 'only buy the things you need' because you do not have a sense of what that is. But saying 'I can't buy anything for 6 months other than food' is clear; you can't buy anything. It will be most effective the longer the period is - but a months will also do wonders.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you can use some of these tips to add to your routine when trying to break the impulse purchases.