A Cure for Impulse Buyers: The “Wants List”

A twenty-something girl has got to splurge sometimes, right? We don’t usually have extra money lying around to buy Michael Kors shoes that aren’t on sale at Marshalls/TJ Maxx. So when we do, that’s what we like to call an investment. We invest in material items the way guys (and finance friendly females) invest in the stock market. And just like I don’t understand why poor 20-somethings gamble away their savings in the stock market, most men do not understand why us women spend money on clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, decorations for our room, organic food, etc.

After a long time of being asked by brothers, boyfriends, and guy friends (and maybe some girl friends) why I’m buying “that,” I decided to finally think about this question. For many of my items, I couldn’t find an answer. For instance, why did I buy another cute dress that looks like 3 other cute dresses already in my closet when I knew I really wanted blue pumps? Why did I buy two cheap necklaces and a pair of earings when all I really wanted was a nice watch? I realized that if I did not purchase any of these impulse buys (most of which I only wore once), I would have enough money to buy a f*cking Chanel bag.

Since buying things such as a new designer bag or a pair of expensive, long-lasting boots is almost a (way) better feeling than getting asked out on a date by some guy or getting our first job offer, 20-somethings really need to ask the question “do I need that” before buying anything. Anything means food, alcohol, shoes, shirts, pants, dresses, accessories, etc… even that bottle of hairspray and new curling iron.

This is not as hard as it sounds. In fact, I have developed a way to cure the age old shopping addiction. Keep a list of things you want (and need too)! You can hand write this list and keep it with you at all times or you can jot the items down in your iPhone’s notepad. Every time you think of something you really want, put it on the list. You can even put the list in order of what you want the most. This way, the next time you see a dress you love, you will remember you are saving up for a bag… a vacation… or maybe even a car. And if you think on impulse that you love the dress so much that it takes precedence over all the other items on your list – think again.

If I see something I want that is not on my current list, I walk away from the item, think about it for a few days, go back to the list, and ask myself “do I really need that?” Then I add to the list if necessary. You will find that more often that not, it isn’t necessary.

So make a list. And since it would be stupid and unrealistic to tell yourself to stop buying things you don’t need… focus on stopping yourself from buying things you don’t want as much as other things. Every 20-something deserves a pick-me-up. And if you get highs from shoes, bags, and clothes, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, I am a victim. Here is my current list:

– Colored jeans.

– Blue or red pumps.

– Inexpensive blue crossbody bag.

– Neutral colored Marc by Marc Jacobs crossbody bag.

– Red mini skirt.

– Dre Beats.

– Black tights.

– Lingerie (it gets expensive).

No, I will not buy all of these things right now. And maybe I won’t buy them at all. But at least this list will make me think twice about buying a dress on sale at Urban Outfitters just because it’s cute… and on sale. So what’s on your list, twenty somethings? Has it helped you to stop impulse buying?

Samantha Matt

Hi I’m Sam. I made this website in 2011 and it’s still going. My first book, AVERAGE IS THE NEW AWESOME, is coming out in January (you can buy it right now on Amazon or from your fave bookstore!). I like pizza, French fries, barre, spin, more pizza, more French fries, and buying clothes. Writing is fun. Follow me on twitter & Instagram at @samanthamatt1... and on this site's meme account on IG at @20somethingproblems. OKAY GREAT THANKS BYE.

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