Talking Myself out of Impulse Buying Mode

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Talking Myself out of Impulse Buying Mode

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Impulse buying has always been my downfall. I can instantly fall "in love" with some of the most unnecessary items. Do I feel guilty about my impulse buying? Most of the time, the answer is "no," even though many of the items end up in a closet or a drawer. 

Impulse buying had a great deal to do with my credit card habit. Haven't you thought, "I'll put whatever on my credit card and pay for it next month?" It's a slippery slope, and I slid all the way to the bottom before I realized that this just couldn't go on any longer.

That's when CareOne came into my life and started putting me back on the right financial track, one month at a time. 

I'll give you a few examples of my impulse buying urges:

  • At one time, we had a Beagle.  I found a purse with the picture of a Beagle on it.  The purse was decorated very smartly, considering there was a Beagle staring out at everyone.  The price was over fifty dollars but I had to have that purse.  (I paid for it with a charge card).
  • I was at a demonstration of an electric mop. A real flashy model with its own mop cloths and liquid cleaner.  It was guaranteed to clean any surface and leave it sparkling clean using just tap water and the liquid cleaner.  It even had a steam feature.  Keep in mind that I already had a Swiffer mop and a Shark electric mop.  Nevertheless, I had to have this mop too, at a cost of nearly $100-again, paid for on the charge card.
  • I attended a Pampered Chef party with absolutely no intention of buying anything because the stuff is expensive.  I told myself I was just attending to help the hostess get her free gift.  I spent in excess of $150 that evening and, yes, I put it on the charge card.
  • I happened into one of the local department stores that was having a whopping 85% off sale in the women's department.  I had an absolutely wonderful time trying on clothes and ended up spending in excess of $400.  Everything is 85% off I kept telling myself, as the dollars mounted up; but I had my trusty charge card with me.

So, I guess you get the idea. It took nearly financial ruin for me to take a few steps backward and take a real good look at what I was doing to myself and my husband. I didn't like what I saw or what I had become and knew a change had to be made. 

CareOne has helped so much in me making that change. Of course, with the charge cards closed, my impulse buying was completely shut down. But, it's like being on drugs-there may be no money, but the urge to buy just did not go away overnight. What did I do to change? I stayed out of the stores I had frequented and where I had spent so much money buying goodies. For at least a year, I did not set foot in the local mall. It was like detoxing cold turkey. 

During that time, there were gifts for friends and family that I needed to purchase, so I shopped online. If I could use my checking account or PayPal I could still make purchases, but these were controlled purchases. I couldn't spend as I did with a charge card because I needed the checking account to buy necessities like food and gasoline, and to pay bills, etc. It was tough but I made the change and slowly my impulse buying urges have gone away. 

I don't even WANT things these days. I can go to the mall with my husband or friends and enjoy just looking. I'm not entirely an angel though.

There have been a few times that I was tempted but I have learned how to talk myself out of making the purchase by asking these questions:

  1. Could I find this item cheaper somewhere else?
  2. Do I already have something very similar to this item that does nearly the same thing?
  3. Am I considering buying this item because my friends are buying the same thing?
  4. Does my budget allow for this expenditure without a problem somewhere else?
  5. Why do I want this item?

By the time I run through the list of questions, I have pretty much talked myself out of the purchase. If the "want" is still lingering, I just tell myself I'm going home to think about it and I might come back tomorrow. By the time tomorrow gets here the want is gone and my budget is still intact.

What I have done by using my question system is provided an outlet for myself to get out of the store without making a purchase. I'm giving myself time to think about the purchase. I may go back and make the purchase but, if I do, it won't be an impulse buy-it will be well-thought out and researched.

In short, impulse buying is a real danger, especially to me, and I'm working very hard to stay out of that trap. So far, I haven't fallen off the wagon but I continue to be very vigilant when I'm in a store. I have come to realize that impulse shopping can be controlled by staying away from temptation. A lot of things are like that, aren't they?

I think there is a popular Country-Western song with lyrics that go something like: "The harder I try, the harder I fall." So true, but I intend to keep trying-how about you? 

Kimberly Johns, Debt Management Plan Customer with leading provider of debt relief CareOne Services, Inc.Kimberly Johns

Kimberly has been on the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP) for just under a year. Kimberly is very active in the Community Forums, some of you may recognize her Community user name; Tiquie. Recently retired, she is going to share how she and her husband manage the financial challenges of living on a fixed income. The John's have found some really creative and fun ways to offset the limitations of a retirement income, which Kimberly is generously planning to share in her My Journey out of Debt blog! Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.


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  • I am very disturbed at the fact that the payments that I have been making to Care One is causing negative Credit Reporting on my credit reports.  I am about to make my final payment to Care One and recently discovered that some of the credit cards that they are paying monthly have been paid 30 days or more past due.  My payments are scheduled on an Automatic Draft each month and I have never made one payment late to Care One. After speaking to a Representative about the issue... I was basically told that only the Rate and Payment amounts are negotiated when we sign up.  Although my Cards are almost paid off, I have negative Credit Reporting from my Credit Card Companies because Care One does not care when your payments are due.

    Initially, when I signed up for service the Analyst set everything up for me, prior to the agreement on my contract. Care One will not fix, nor do they care about the negative reporting that was reported.  They said I should have read the contract and picked a better payment due date then the one THEY put on the contract.  I strongly advise each and every one of you in this program, especially if you are paying multiple check with your Credit Card Companies to ensure that this does not happen to you. This was a surprise to me as I was never informed by my CC companies, nor did it appear on my monthly CC statements.  

    As for Care One, I would advise that each of your staff be coached to point out key factors in a agreement prior to having someone agree electronically.  There is a reason all of us have reached out to you for assistance, we care about our Credit.  If only the Analyst had told me to choose my Automatic Draft date based off the date my Credit Card are due.  I could have avoided this issue all together.  Furthermore, you would have still received the payments each month and I would still be a happy customer.

    My experience overall with Care One was a good one until I discovered this.  Yes my debt is paid for, but this will affect me for the next few years.

  • Hi rachb - I think your comments were meant for the "forums".  You might want to copy and repost on the "forums" where you should get comments from other members and maybe even Coach Tammy or one of the other coaches.

  • I'm terrible when it comes to impulse buying but I am trying to curb that bad habit. Thanks for your post

  • Hi Barb - good to hear from you.  Impulse buying is a very difficult thing to deal with - at least for me.  I finally decided the only "cure" for me would be to stay away from temptation.  That meant staying out of all stores where I knew I would spend money.  Any mall was completely off limits and that was tough.  Good luck to you in fighting the battle!

  • Thanks for your post Kim.  Nice to know that I'm not the only one out there that falls in love with material objects so easily.  I can "always" find something when I'm out with friends.  Even they say that!

  • Gina--Baby:  I guess we just aren't hard to please.  Shopping used to be my "pacifier" whenever I was upset, angry or just feeling blue.  Nothing like a trip to the Mall to make me happy.  We could probably start an impulse buyer's therapy group (LOL).  It's great to know we are not alone in the world!

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