What is Impulsive Buying and How to stop it - Kotak Bank
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The term ‘Impulsive Buying’ may sound happening in the moment or a matter which is too easy and trivial that you could avoid looking it in the eye. But the elephant is already in the room, and you should be honest enough to address the issue. Impulsive buying is probably the greatest enemy faced by your savings account. Often times it can leave you with too much debt, something you should avoid to secure your finances.

What is Impulsive Buying?

It is simply buying something that you weren’t intending to at that time. A purchase not in line with your budget plan and something that is not part of the priority list can be tagged as Impulsive Buying.

It could be as simple as a takeaway dinner, buying an OTT subscription based on word of mouth promotion or ordering a new smartphone when you know the current one is working well. Just because ecommerce is flooded with year-end sales and you don’t want to miss out.

Why Impulsive Buying is an unending circle?

To understand the recurring pattern of Impulsive Buying, we have to look for the reasons leading us to such a position.

  • Human emotions
  • External influences
  • Fall prey to marketing gimmicks
  • Natural tendency to shop

Human emotions: Please be honest, and ask yourself before your next purchase, “Am I buying this stuff just because I’m feeling low and this one thing will replace how I feel?” All of us are driven by an array of emotions. Often times, our personal finances take a dent when it comes to our emotions.

A bad day in the office might lead to a big takeaway order. Depleting situations might be reflected in the size of our shopping cart. It is ok at times, but you have to be your friend and philosopher when it comes to financial wellbeing. Don’t let feelings make your savings suffer.

External influences: Let’s blame it on social media. Yes, it is intimidating, the race to be and get what the other person has, but do you need it? That is what you should ask. This is what marketers are playing on, and we are getting played. Avoid social media, not for life, but when you see it is influencing your finances in a negative way.

Fall prey to marketing gimmicks: Flat 70% off! Free 1 Day Shipping! Hurry, only one day left! By now you have got my point. We have seen it all and fallen for them, and that’s ok. But plan things ahead; don’t let brands drive you to what is not needed.

Make an honest list of needs and wants, and then hit the market. You will notice, this habit will help you make a conscious decision.

Natural tendency to shop: Some of us have this good or bad habit, whatever you want to call it. One possible solution is to ask those around us to keep reminding us of this. Also, being true to oneself is helpful.

Why impulsive buying is harmful?

An impulsive purchase will immediately damage your savings. You will cut corners and use your debit card to make a purchase when you have cash available in your savings account. Next thing you know, the moment you are running short on cash, there is always someone offering a credit card. Using a credit card for impulsive shopping is more harmful, as you are using money you don’t even own to buy products. A big credit card bill becomes a daunting task to pay off; irregular credit repayments will directly decline your credit score. And a low credit score will make lending difficult in the future.

How to avoid impulsive buying?

The good news is that we can deal with it (if we want to). Below are some essential tips to help you beat impulsive buying.

Wait and consider – An essential tip is to pause for a day or two before making a big purchase. Write the reasons why you should and should not go for it. Then take a note of how this will impact your financial condition. And if your reasoning is adequate, do go ahead and make the purchase. This halt will help you identify if the new item is an impulse or a requirement.

Try and save more – Don’t let money lie around idle. You can always open a savings account or invest in Fixed or Recurring Deposits. Monthly SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) is a good option to let your money grow. Now a days you can open zero balance savings account online, and get up to 6% interest on your savings. This move will help you manage your money in the best possible way.


Create a budget and stick to it – You must have a budget plan, and if you don’t have one yet, stop right now and grab a pen and paper. A budget will show you where your money is going every month. This will help you plan healthy financial goals. You will understand how to distribute your savings fund, debt funds, monthly expense funds and goal funds.


Limit credit and cash usage – Make sure you don’t over use your credit card and keep only a small amount of cash on hand. Out of sight is out of mind, and this works for money as well. Channel your money and make it grow.


Reward yourself – A little reward will never harm no one. It will keep you motivated on your savings journey. Plan your next purchase well in advance before you actually buy it. Start saving every month and once you have accumulated 70 – 80% of the purchase value, then you can go ahead and make the purchase. This is helpful in multiple ways. One, you will not hurt your financial planning. Two, the 30 – 40 % you pay using credit will be much easier to repay and will help you build a good credit score.



It is easy to spend money. But mindless spending haunts you afterwards, and the excitement of getting a new thing is not permanent. Clear and controlled actions are rewarding in the long run. It is your money, spend it the right way.


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