Most of us have hesitated over an in-store purchase. You try something on, and you're just not sure about it. Or you come across some gadget that seems useful, but you just don't know if you'll use it enough to make it worthwhile. This indecisiveness can be a big waste of time and willpower. Setting a dollar limit on your decisions can make things easier.
Photo by Lara Cores
The fewer decisions you have to make, the better those decisions will be. When I find myself wavering over a purchase, deadlocked over whether or not to buy it, I use the price as a guideline.
If the item is less than $5, I stop wavering and buy it. If it's more than $25, I put it back. This way, if I make the wrong decision and impulse buy, at least I'm only out five bucks. And if I regret not buying something, I can always tell myself, "well, it was pricey, anyway" (and I can always buy it later).
If the price is somewhere in between, I usually entertain it with a bit more thought, but most of the time, I put it back. The point is: setting some kind of limit can help make your decision automatically.
Of course, I only do this for purchases I'm seriously deadlocked on. With most impulse buys, I know better. If I automatically said "yes" to every impulsive item under five bucks, I'd bust my budget and have a room full of junk. But some impulse purchases are within my budget and they're useful — those are the buys that get tricky.
If you use this rule, your dollar values are probably going to vary. After all, everyone's budget is different. But having a rule in place can help limit your choices. This leaves your willpower free for more important decisions.