The average American spends as much on impulse purchases

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Shopping on a whim is something most of us do. However, some of us do it more than others. Such purchases could disrupt your entire budget and lead to additional financial stress. The average American spends several hundred dollars on impulse purchases each month.

You probably make routine monthly purchases for regular expenses like rent, utility bills, groceries, and gas fill-ups. But you probably also make impulse and non-routine purchases.

Maybe you decide to grab a pizza on the way home from work or hit the mall for some spontaneous shopping therapy. Filling your shopping cart with unexpected items while you’re at the grocery store is another example of impulse purchases you can make.

But do you know how much these impulse purchases are costing you?

Americans spend $314 a month on impulse purchases

A Slickdeals survey recently found that 64% of Americans surveyed increased their impulse buying habits in 2022 compared to previous years.

According to the same study, the average American spends $314 per month on impulse purchases. This represents more than $3,700 spent each year on unplanned purchases. That’s a lot of money.

How do your expenses compare? If you have no idea how much you spend on impulse purchases, you might want to consider keeping a closer eye on your spending habits.

If you’re not careful where your money goes, you might accidentally spend more than you can afford.

Could impulse purchases have negative financial consequences? Absolutely. You might spend more money than expected, have trouble paying your bills, or run into credit card debt.

While some impulse purchases aren’t a big deal, making frequent purchases without thinking about the impact on your finances can be a hassle.

Four tips to reduce your impulse spending

The good news is that there are always ways to improve and you can learn new financial habits.

If you often make impulse purchases, these steps can help you reduce those expenses:

  1. Establish a monthly budget. A budget helps you stay accountable and can ensure that you don’t spend more money than you earn.
  2. Watch your spending. You will learn which habits you need to change when you are more aware of how you spend your money. If you love digital tools, budgeting apps make it easy to track your purchases.
  3. Have a plan. Having a list can be useful if you need guidance while shopping. Plan what you want to buy before you start shopping to avoid overspending on impulse purchases.
  4. Ask yourself if the purchase is of value to you. Before making an impulse purchase, ask yourself if the item will improve your life in any way. Some impulse purchases can be worthwhile if they add value to your life.

Remember that no one perfectly plans every purchase they make.

You don’t have to obsess over planning every purchase, and indulging yourself is fine. After all, your money belongs to you!

However, being aware of what you are buying and how often you make unplanned purchases can be good for your finances.

Are you looking for other ways to improve your financial habits? See our personal finance resources for more tips.

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About Kristina McManus

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