Budgeting | Personal Finance | Article

Purge the Urge: 3 Ways to Avoid Spending Impulsively

by Cherry | 8 Jun 2023 | 3 mins read

Digital payments, digital wallets and online shopping have revolutionised the way we pay and shop for goods and services. It is now easier than ever to make a purchase with just a click, scan or tap.  

But there is a downside to this convenience. The ease in buying things has made it easier to spend impulsively, without thinking about the purpose or financial consequences it could lead to.  

Impulse spending makes us lose track of how much we are spending and messes up our budget. If left unchecked, such reckless spending (even for cheap items) can quickly add up and leave us with little to no savings, or worse – piles of debt. To avoid that from happening, here are some practical steps you can take. 

Set up a separate spending account 

List down what your monthly expenses are and how much you would like to set aside for your savings and investment. Set a spending budget and transfer that amount to a separate bank account.  

Throughout the month, make sure you only withdraw, transfer and spend money from this account. As this is your spending budget, you can also link your e-wallets for online purchases to this account. This will stop you from tapping on your other pool of savings. 

Give yourself 24 hours before buying something 

To avoid impulsive purchases, you can set a waiting period before buying something you really want. For example, you can wait 24 hours to give yourself time to think about whether you really want the item and if you can afford the purchase. 

This waiting period can also be used to further assess the impact of the purchase on your future finances. For instance, although using a credit card allows you to purchase many things on credit, if you can’t make repayments, uncontrolled use of credit can land you in a bad debt situation.  


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Create spending rules 

In addition to setting a budget, consider creating spending limits for certain categories of expenses to avoid overspending. For example, if have a tendency to indulge, you can limit how much you spend on dining out or entertainment every month. 

You can also avoid shopping (online or physical) when you’re bored or unhappy. Or, use only cash to pay for your purchases so credit payments don’t become a convenient crutch for you. 

You can also create rules to limit your spending for online and offline purchases. With the right set of rules in place, you can avoid overspending, save money, and make smarter financial decisions.