Impulse Buying: Beware Now More Than Ever

Impulse Buying

Impulse buying is a threat to budgets everywhere, even under normal conditions. Even more so with the current conditions with COVID-19. People are panic buying some products fearing a shortage is imminent. In other cases some products are actually hard to find because of an increased demand. Whatever the case may be, now is the time for extra awareness regarding the dangers of impulse buying.

I’m looking for larger sized weight plates for my home gym. I have smaller sized plates used to make dumbbells, but I need heavier ones for exercises like bench press and squats. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic they are in high demand and short supply.

Impulse Buying Can Make You Overspend

A local fitness shop posted on Facebook they had received a shipment of weight plates. Excitedly I read the plates were the rubber coated variety seen in high end gyms. The listed price of $2.99 a pound didn’t sound bad, until I did the math. I wanted about 230 pounds of weights, which would cost me nearly $700. That price was way more than I was willing to spend.

The impulse buyer in me thought about how many weeks I had been waiting for plates to be in stock. If I didn’t buy now who knows when they might get another less expensive batch. Fortunately, I was able to talk myself down. I reminded myself that I had been getting along without them just fine. It would be nice to have larger plates, but I could still do adequate strength training until the right opportunity came along.

Impulse Buying Can Add Debt

A bout a week later, the same fitness shop posted they had received a huge shipment of traditional metal plates. The price of $1.29 per pound was affordable, and along the lines of what I wanted to spend. Unfortunately we had just spent $1000 on a new water softener earlier in the week, and purchasing the weight plates did not fit in the current budget cycle.

My impulse reaction was to immediately drive to the fitness shop and put the new weights on a credit card. After all, they were less than half the price of the original batch, and again I wondered when they would get more in if I didn’t take advantage of the situation. I was able to use logic to talk myself out of doing so. It was just a week ago they had gotten the high priced batch, so it appears they are able to get periodic shipments. I could wait until some plates fit in the budget and see if they have any on hand. If they didn’t, a new shipment would likely show up eventually.

There’s a general feeling of uneasiness and uncertainty in the world today, but we must not let that distract us from being financially responsible. Impulse buying is dangerous now than ever. Keep your mind and logic clear, and your checkbook close.

How about you, EOD Nation, have you found an increasing desire to make impulse purchases lately?

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