Are you an impulse shopper? 5 ways to build your savings. | Refresh Financial

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Are you an impulse shopper? 5 ways to build your savings.

impulse shopping, build savings

I am definitely an impulse shopper and enjoy purchasing things such as shoes and clothing. Even though I have enough of each, I keep buying more. There are things that set off my impulse shopping, and I’ve been finding ways to cope and start to build my savings.

Here are some potential causes that may prompt impulse shopping and five ways you can fend off these impulses and start building your savings instead.

Triggers to impulse shopping


Friday paydays contribute to my impulse shopping. I’m happier since it’s the start of my weekend and have money in the bank, so I use this as an excuse to shop. Sound familiar?  Also, when I’m sad, stressed, or upset, shopping makes me feel better as well.


There are definitely certain locations that make me want to spend money. Malls, casinos, home shows, craft fairs, and certain online stores, to name a few. I call these the danger zones because the overspending can get out of hand. Are there certain environments that provoke your impulse shopping?


Is there a specific holiday or occasion that causes your impulse shopping? Could it be that you know your tax return money is coming in, or you’re getting a promotion or a bonus, and this contributes to your impulse shopping? Maybe you have a shopping buddy who is also an impulse shopper, and they help contribute to unplanned expenses?


Do you have certain stores that you visit and you have a weakness for? Winners store is that certain place that I have a weakness for. For my husband, it’s Best Buy and Cabela’s. These are danger zones for both of us. The best thing is to be purposeful about not going to these places—because based on past experiences, you know the shopping can get out of control.

 5 ways to build your savings and keep your money safe from your impulse shopping

  1. Instead of spending money on Fridays, I set up a direct deposit to have money moved over to my savings account. This helps me build my savings for the things that really matter, such as my retirement, emergencies, and meaningful purchases like a family vacation.
  2. Limit yourself to going to environments that you know prompt your impulse shopping. These places could be in person or online. Select one day a month to treat yourself—that way you don’t fear missing out and overindulge the next time. Make sure you put the money in your savings account during the rest of the month and keep building it up. Here's a great article on how to save money.
  3. Take your savings account off your ATM card so you can’t access it in the stores. This will help you stay within your spending budget. It also helps you tie your money up so you keep it safe from yourself. As for online shopping, if you’re obsessed with an online store, unfollow them – out of sight, out of mind.
  4. Control your occasion-determined spending by having a budget that allows you to spend seasonally and irregularly. Having a budget for this type of spending helps you keep your money safe from yourself, and therefore you're being more disciplined with your spending.
  5. When visiting your favourite stores, pay with cash. Once the money is gone, stop spending and remind yourself to start saving.

Take a look at some of the options Refresh offers to help you save money and build your credit at the same time.

Here’s a great tool to use to plan your next steps while getting your impulse shopping under control.


Triggers  I spend impulsively whenInstead I will
Mood Happy/Sad Evaluate my mood. Instead of spending I will put that money into an auto deposit savings.
Any other triggers?


Shenaya Sweetman is the Content and Social Media Specialist at Refresh. She's an avid writer with an interest in real estate, saving and investing for an early retirement. Passions include online health coaching and live fitness instruction. Her favourite finance blogger is Michelle Schroeder-Gardner.



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