Impulse buy

I made an impulse buy and it isn’t one I will regret. I did the sensible post already. The one (here) that gave my tips for avoiding impulse buys. What the hell though. I wrote that after an impulse buy to remind myself of how to avoid them. But this post is dedicated to spending money on things you don’t really need. Things you want – like immediately. We can all be a little bad with money sometimes…surely?!

A quick build up of ‘What the Hell’

My impulse buys are not always on the spot. The big ones take a little bit of build up. The good advice will tell you that waiting 24 hours (never done it) will work. I consciously ignore good advice when being impulsive. In this case I built up my impulses within, oooh, about 12 hours.

It started with a breakfast meet up with two friends. I casually mentioned that I really needed to get a new laptop as my old one was grinding to a halt. I should note that this was not my impulse buy. An expensive purchase, yes, but definitely budgeted in, saved up and planned for. I (even more casually) threw in a comment about fancying a piano, noting that there was digital piano shop being near (ish) to the location of the apple store.

I said it out loud which is a bad thing for impulses. Basically I was halfway to buying one at that point. I have always fancied a piano but realistically my flat is small, they are expensive to buy and seemingly a pain to maintain. But digital ones are different. They look like a piano and sound exactly like a piano. Even Elton has one (apparently). They also have a full range of keys. I was three quarters sold on the idea by the time these thoughts were running through my head.


So after a quick squizz (look) at laptops I tailed it quickly to the piano shop. Cue a very cheery salesman who played lovely piano music to me and got excited when I told him I hadn’t played since I was at school. He was more excited than me and so we pianoed (I know it isn’t a word) around for a while. I looked at one option which in my head seemed sensible. Well it certainly wasn’t as expensive as the expensive ones. It also was in the ‘sale’. More thoughts pushing me to buying and yes I know I know that technically not buying would be the most sensible option.

He tried his best to upsell me to the next model. However being very sensible, kind of….ok not at all really, I kept to my quickly made up budget. No point in kicking the complete backside out of my impulsive spending.


The most important thing about impulse buys are how quickly you get them. If I had to wait a week for my piano I would have regained a sense of financial composure. But, nope, it was coming the very next day! The card was out quicker than something…erm…really quick. Sold! I bought a digital piano. I kept the information to myself in a deliciously impulsive secret type of way.

I skipped home (drove) and reorganised my living room. Then I waited. My friend popped round and noted the shuffled furniture whilst he also secretly wondered about the large space it had left. My neighbour got a table I don’t use. I patiently waited. This was on the Wednesday.

Thursday came and so did the delivery man. I was pleased as punch (I am not sure where that saying comes from). A gorgeous digital piano which basically looks like an upright.

Moment of Doubt

I sat down on my sofa and panicked. It looked massive. Is my living room now all piano and no space? Should I ask them to take it back? Should I have spent money on this and not on something sensible (like money towards a new boiler for example)?

These thoughts quickly passed when I dragged in my neighbour and the builders from next door to have a look. They were all excited too. So after a little bit of reassurance I sat down to marvel at how bloody well that digital piano fits into my room with the typically high Edinburgh ceilings. I even applauded myself on how well it matches the rather large old fireplace surround opposite.

Well Worth It

Sometimes impulse buys work out. I have had my new digital piano for just over a week now and have played every day. I have even had a wee music session with my neighbour on guitar. I am pretty basic in skill but I have all my old music looked out and have even admitted to a few people that I bought one. So it was definitely worth it. The boiler can bloody well wait .

Photo by Siamak Mokhtari on Unsplash. I could have used my own photo but this looks exactly the same and I like crediting people who are good at taking photos (although maybe a good camera should be a future impulse buy!)

3 Tips to Avoid Impulse Buys

I will admit this is the first of two posts because I thought I should start with the sensible one. So here are three tips to avoid spending on impulse. Basically buying things you don’t really need and can’t really afford, but you just have to get. Impulse buys. We all do this. The problem with impulse spending is that it can lead to overspending.

The best thing, however, about buying things on a whim (impulse buying) is that it is fun! Well fun at the time. Until you regret it. Or until you stare in wonder at the item you purchased and don’t know for the life of you why you thought it was a good idea. I still have an Armani dress in its box in the cupboard. Far too expensive and far too small for my backside and waist to get into. It is lovely though. I live in hope that if my backside reduces enough to get into it the fashion may have come full circle and I will be able to wear it. Anyway on to the sensibleness. Here are the best tips I could find that have worked for me.

1. Have a budget plan

Budgeting is boring. Actually it may be exciting for some people. But if you are like me, i.e you like spending money, it is a necessary evil. At least to avoid you being completely skint (Scottish for having no money). Being skint is rubbish and means you end up having to budget anyway. So you might as well start each month with an idea of what you realistically want to spend.

The point of this tip, yes I am grudgingly getting to it due to the fact I find budgeting difficult, is this – if you know how much you have to spend, you probably won’t make stupidly impulsive buying decisions. Probably. Not fail safe…but helpful. Excel and Numbers both have basic budgeting templates that are pretty easy to work and there are apps you can download. I would avoid the bank ones – but that is just me. I always think they might use the data to tell me off at some point.

2. Have a wish list

This tip is pretty self-explanatory. If you have a wish list of the exciting stuff you want to buy but can’t afford you won’t (hopefully) be tempted on a whim to spend any spare cash on something else. If you have savings well done for being an organised person! If you can manage to save anything and do this regularly then you might get through your wish list.

I have a long wish list. In my head. This does not always work out so well and I am taking my own advice and listing one today. Some big things are on the list like a new kitchen (to sort the feature wall disaster), a new boiler and new bathroom. But I also have things like a Dyson curly hair thingy on the list too. So any spare cash I get – I will be more likely to have a check on my list to see if I can get something I really want. If I am doing this I am definitely not being impulsive. Fanciful maybe but not impulsive.

3. Don’t shop after Alcohol and/or with impulsive friends

Internet browsing after a wine or two is a bad idea. I have ended up with a heat face lamp thingy that apparently helps boost collagen, a car seat massager and some other things I won’t admit to even on an anonymous blog. So I try my very best not to shop after wine. This is hard given my shopping trips in Edinburgh often start with a cocktail just to celebrate the day. Which leads me on to wayward friends (and family for that matter).

Don’t shop with people who encourage you to spend money. Technically I am one of those people. A colleague at work took me along once to buy a watch purely because he knew I would encourage him into spending a load of money. He was far too sensible and needed the push. If you are far too sensible you are probably not needing tips on how to avoid impulse buys so this won’t matter to you. Me…I need people around who tell me I will get things online cheaper, that something isn’t worth it, or even that I look horrible in that dress I want.

How do you manage it?

I have other things I do but in reality these are the three things that work best for me. Add in the act of cutting up my credit cards and you could almost say I have finally matured.

It doesn’t always work though which is why this is the first of two posts (second one here). Constant splurges would be really bad. But sometimes a little or even a kind of rare expensive splurge is ok.

Anyway I would love to hear how you manage to curb your spending on impulse buys. Feel free to give me your tips even if I don’t put them into practice. Also appreciated are amusing examples of things you have bought on a whim and wholly regretted after.

Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash