Six Lessons I Learned from Being an Impulsive Buyer

March 04, 2017

"Should I get it?". A small voice in my head miraculously kept talking to me.

"But I just picked up three lipsticks this week. I am sure I don't need another one." Another voice reasoned out.

And by some epiphany, my hand raised itself, casually picking one color I was so sure I never had.

I was in denial.


But if you ask me, that was me some few years ago. Yes- I was an impulsive shopper, had a habit of hoarding or giving away my stuff to family members, friends or hoard them just because they look oh so beautiful. When I had to do all seasons' cleanup, I had to involve my brother, sister, nephew and a househelp to help me threw/ gave away things I don't really need. It affected me so much that I told myself, I had to reform else, I would lose all my space and won't be able to create one for the more important things.

If you're curious, here are the five things I learned from being an impulsive buyer:

Money was not the problem, I was!
Money is a resource that can be scarce one day if you don't take care of it.I've been blessed to have a good job but I was focused on short term happiness over material things I thought could take away all the stress, pain or disappointment from everything that was happening which takes me to my next realization. 

Track your expenses
By monitoring your expenses, you will have a better view of where your money goes and if they are even worth spending for. Materialism flutters. I realized I had more makeup, shoes and clothes and some of them are similar in color and style. Focusing my energy on material or superficial things was a temporary relief from my grief. It was fun for sure, but after a while, I still felt all the negative feelings inside. I knew I shopped more when I was lonely but still when I was happy, I shopped too! Okay, maybe a little less.

Minimalism is the key. 
Don't get me wrong- I haven't achieved the full minimalism powers like most Japanese people do, but instead, I look at what I was before and how I am now. I look at my progress. And I know I've improved in terms of my spending habits. I still have more than five pants though which I plan to reduce as the time goes by. 

 Don't buy things, instead- spend on experiences. 
Perhaps travel is my most guilty pleasure and takes most of my money in one go. Experiences make us better people, allow us to be more empathetic with others and learn different cultures even better than books. Before it used to be travel and lots of shopping. But now, it would be travel and if I got lucky, a little shopping.

Find someone who is more frugal than you are and learn from that person. 
We often get inspired by people who travel and conquered the world, so why can't we find an inspiration in terms of being responsible with his money. This person can be your mentor who would constantly remind you not to overspend. Ask, ask and ask. Take pointers. Don't get offended when they say you're an addict- a shopping addict.

Consider investment.
Investment can be a course, you've been wanting to take for the longest time. When you invest in improving your skills, you are more empowered to take bigger responsibilities. Investment can also be in a form of buying a house or a car as having a mortgage can teach you an improved form of discipline as it usually takes three to five years to payoff a loan and 10-25 years for a house. This shall prevent you from buying impulsively as you would need to set your priorities.

I am still a work-in-progress in terms of my spending habits and to be honest, I picked up one pretty lipstick this week for Php 250.00. You probably ask why. I have three answers for this:

a. It is cheap
b. Life is too short
c. Why not? (I work hard, yes?)

These days, anything which costs above Php 1,000.00, haunts me like a ghost. And anything which increments to that amount is also a warning sign. Think about it first. And come back when the pros outweigh the cons.


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