Impulse buying: path to indebtedness

Imagine yourself in the following situation: a product catches your eye in a shop window. Before deciding to enter the store and make a purchase, do you ask yourself about your needs? Consider looking for the same product in another store for a better price? Or are you one of those who can’t resist temptation and buy on impulse?

The Credit Protection Service carried out a survey to provide an overview of impulse buying in the country. Among the interviewees, more than half (55.3%) reported having the habit of planning their purchases. However, the survey found that all consumers give in to the impulse to buy at least one of the 45 products investigated, with 46.6% of them reporting having an average degree of impulsivity. However, the study identified that there is a difference between what was stated by the interviewees and their attitudes: 26.5% of those who showed a high degree of impulsivity reported that they never buy products that they don’t need.


Impulse buying generates indebtedness

Impulse buying generates indebtedness

When consuming, there are two sets of benefits that people are looking for. The first set is called utility benefits, when the consumer does it because there is a need. The others are the so-called informational benefits, of a social nature, mediated by other people. This category includes status, prestige, luxury brands, fashion and so on, with the person trying to stand out in the group – these are precisely those that are associated with impulse buying, which generate excess expenses in relation to revenues and lead to indebtedness.


5 tips to avoid impulse buying

Differentiate need from desire

Differentiate need from desire

This is a fundamental practice to reduce impulse purchases. When you are able to differentiate what is a need from what is a desire, it is possible to avoid buying everything that is not programmed. Although you do not have to avoid desires, they must be carried out according to your planning and financial possibilities. Read the post How to turn dreams into projects.


Keep your cabinets organized

A practical way to identify what you really need and superfluous items is to keep your cabinets organized. That way, you can see what you really use and reassess your spending.


Make a list of what you need

market list

When shopping at the supermarket, for example, when you have a list of items that are missing from your home, you stick to it and avoid buying the countless superfluous products that are displayed on promotion – see some tips to save at the supermarket. If it’s not on the list, don’t buy it because you don’t have to. In the SPC Brasil survey, two out of ten consumers (21.8%) stated that they make impulse purchases frequently, with street stores (34.6%), shopping (21.5%), supermarket (15.2%) and virtual stores (11.6%).


Going out for a walk or shopping?


Going to the mall has become a common habit of Brazilian families, including those who seek only leisure. However, keep in mind that this is just a walk, not shopping – that is, avoid entering a store “just to see” any product, as in one of these you may end up surrendering to the impulse to buy. If you go to the mall for a walk, it is also worth looking for cheaper or free alternatives, such as parks, the beach or museums.


Keep your home budget up to date

Keep your home budget up to date

Planning is essential for a balanced financial life, where needs are met and desires are met, in an organized manner. By keeping your household budget up to date, you know exactly how much you can spend and you can control the urge to spend an amount that is not foreseen on clothes, for example. If you don’t cultivate this habit, how about starting right now? In the Downloads section of our website, we provide a spreadsheet to help you control your personal or family budget.