Tread lightly

Mantras to stop impulse buying

Shopping bags to illustrate mantras to stop impulse buying

I’ve decluttered thousands of things from my home. I love it and I want to keep it that way. I’ve also set an audacious financial goal that excites me. Does that make me immune from buying crap on impulse – no!

Despite all my good intentions, I still find myself in a shop, a prospective purchase in hand (or in my online cart), on the precipice of a not-so-great buying decision.

Occasionally, I slip up and make a random impulse purchase. However, while I’m still tempted – often – my powers of resistance are much improved. Pesky social conventions like actually buying the thing I’ve stood in line for five minutes waiting to purchase are no match for me! So, what’s my secret?

Repeat after me

Well, for starters, you need to acknowledge that there’s a multi-billion dollar advertising and marketing industry doing it’s all to tempt you into buying things. You’re constantly surrounded by subtle, and not-subtle-at-all, messages that your life would somehow be better with their crap.

Financial freedom feels better than any purchased products. Mantras to stop impulse buying. Shopping. Black Friday. Cyber Monday.

You can’t escape them, not totally, but you can counteract them. You need to shop forearmed with strong counter-messages of your own. Come up with a couple of mantras that resonate with you and repeat them, often. Here are my mantras to stop impulse buying:

  • I am enough
  • I currently have everything I need to be happy
  • My house is a home, not a storage unit
  • I don’t have to own it to appreciate it
  • Financial freedom feels better than any purchased product
  • This can stay money
  • Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now
  • Save 100% by not buying it
  • Fast fashion is happiness for a breath, quality is joy for a lifetime
  • Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or go without
  • Wait until tomorrow

Minimalism Personal Finance Intentional Spending

Question yourself

If you find yourself thinking that a specific item is a must-have, it pays to question yourself. Try these questions as a way to clarify whether buying it really is a priority for you right now.

  • Do I want to dust/mend/maintain/pickup/store this?
  • Is this an item I’ll declutter next year?
  • How many hours of work is this item worth?
  • If a stranger offered me the value of the item in cash, what would I want more – the cash or the item?

 And finally, don’t forget it’s never too late to pull out of a purchase!

If you have trouble resisting a bargain, check out my post with three strategies to stop bargain hunting ruining your money MOJO.

 What are your tips to help stop impulse buying? I’d love to hear your stories of not buying it and ditching a purchase at the last minute.


  • Midlands Minimalist
    November 23, 2017 at 2:14 am

    I love this post! It’s a helpful guide for all of us, but also for teens (I’m about to write on this soon)! I remember an Iyanla Vancant quote that has always stuck with me: I have everything I need. Love “This can stay money”. Will remember that!

    • Amy @ More Time Than Money
      November 23, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks Catherine. “This can stay money” is a favourite of mine too, motivates me to put things back on the shelf.
      Looking forward to your post about teens. That’s a few years away in our household, but such a pivotal phase of life in terms of your relationship with both money and stuff.

  • The Daisy Pages
    November 24, 2017 at 3:49 am

    Motivating post – I love your mantras, and what great timing with Black Friday just around the corner. “This can stay money” resonates with me, too. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • onegoodlifefamily
    November 24, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Save 100% by not buying it! That’s the truth. Keep these posts coming. Good stuff.

  • onegoodlifefamily
    November 24, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Reblogged this on One Good Life Family and commented:
    This post is spot on. How much money are you wasting on impulse buys???

  • […] from More Time than Money wrote a really good post on impulse buying, which links really well with these thoughts. As adults who care about sticking to a budget, we […]

  • FindMoreMeaning
    December 29, 2017 at 3:54 am

    I love the idea pf re-framing our purchases by thinking “this can stay money”. I’m currently saving for some big purchases, and I’ll take all the money I can keep for those! I am also a huge advocate of keeping receipts and actually returning an item if it doesn’t bring me as much joy as I thought it would. I’ve returned both clothes and items that just didn’t do it for me. Just remember that most have a 30 day policy with receipt to get your full money back!

    • Amy @ More Time Than Money
      December 29, 2017 at 8:18 am

      That’s a great habit to get into. Great for clothing that seems great in the shop, but not after 1 minute of wearing at home. I can think of a top sitting in my drawer I wish I had just returned.


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