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Why You Make Spur of the Moment Purchases

Updated on August 17, 2020
Pamela99 profile image

Interested in investing money properly and good credit When making big investments or life changes, make them carefully with your mate.

Shopping at the Grocery Store

source flickr
source flickr

Temptation to Buy

Exceeding your budget can lead to personal debt and it can impact your financial security. This is easily done with tempting unconscious spending. Managing a household budget is difficult without discipline. The temptation of unconscious spending is greater than you might think.

Deciding What to Wear

source fashioncent
source fashioncent

Example of Unconscious Spending

You might be out with your girlfriend shopping, and she buys these cute new shoes; so suddenly you have a pair of new shoes in your shopping bag also. You didn’t need any new shoes, but the display was so attractive. You found some that matched an outfit you have at home, so it is easy to justify your purchase. Then, the credit card bill will come in and have to be paid.

External and internal pressures make it tough to resist unconscious spending. What really makes sense is conscious spending if you want to stick to your budget. You have worked hard for your money, and you should buy what is best for you and your household with the money you earn. Most people don’t buy this way because they are unconscious spenders.

Huge Range of Available Products

Another aspect of this topic is the incredible range of products now available to us. In most developed nations you can buy anything you want day or night. If you look at the new catalogs and think about it, they are loaded with things we lived without for years.

Now they serve a purpose, such as special clips to close bags of chips, a huge variety of shapes and sizes of storage containers, holders for your large number of remote controls, and so forth.

Breaking budgets can lead to personal debt

Why is this True?

Advertising itself is a big enticement. There are hundreds of highly paid psychologists, statisticians, filmmakers, marketers, copywriters, and artists hired to influence your buying decisions

We are bombarded with TV ads, sales coupons in the paper, ads in the newspapers, brochures, catalogs in the mail, magazines, and even on the radio. They have spent years learning how to influence people, and it isn’t easy to resist some of these ads.

Retail people also know how to arrange their merchandise in an attractive display that is pleasing to the eye, along with their signs, which are meant to turn your browsing into a purchase. It works quite well for retailers. The only thing that is helpful to you is the fact that they know what type of items you like to buy.

For instance, in the grocery store, if you buy the same brand of cheese, you are probably going to get a coupon printed on the back of your receipt for that cheese at some point. If we went into the grocery store and actually only bought the few things on our lists the stores would probably have to close.

They count on our spur of the moment weakness to pick up several extra items, which is called unconscious buying, even if they are items you eventually use. They may have added up enough to put you over your budgeted amount for food that month. Of course, never go grocery shopping when you are hungry,

Great New Shoes


Technolgy Advances

Another reason people buy things is the fast-moving pace of technology. VHS tapes ( I still own some) are now DVD’s, but wait, now they have Blue-ray DVDs. A computer that is more than 5 years old is obsolete.

Another product is the expensive iPhone where you can download movies, and I am still learning things about my iPhone. Also, CD’s are now becoming minidiscs for music that will also become obsolete.

In Conclusion

The problem with all this pressure is how do you pay for these things if you are spending over your budget each month? Credit cards, home-equity loans, store cards, and even advances in paychecks are sometimes used to meet the expenses.

You will never get ahead living on borrowed funds. Make sure you prepare and live within your budget to gain financial success. Decide carefully before you make a purchase if it is necessary. This is the way to stop unconscious spending.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Submit a Comment
  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Audry, Thanks for your comment. Yes, I didn't even realize it was 300 until I got an email. I am drowning in finance hubs I think.

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 

    10 years ago from Washington

    Great points to make, Pamela and nicely presented!

    And congrats on #300!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    JY, Thanks so much for your comment.

  • JY3502 profile image

    John Young 

    10 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

    Good job on this one Pam. Definitely been there

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Martie, Thanks for sharing your situation and for your comments.

  • MartieCoetser profile image

    Martie Coetser 

    10 years ago from South Africa

    Most of the time I stick to my budget, but sometimes something get hold of me and I go and buy the stuff on my wish list – plunging into my overdraft... tightening my budget for the next how-many months. Back in the green again that something get hold of me again! So Pamela, you’ve written this hub especially for me, and I’ve voted it UP and UP. Thanks!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    rpaluluis, It's easy to do. Thanks for your comment.

  • rpalulis profile image


    10 years ago from NY

    Unconscious Spending Over your Budget can be so subtle, great tips Pamela, this is something we all need to be on guard with.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Hendrica, I think that is the case for many people. Thank you for your comments.

  • Hendrika profile image


    10 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

    Sometimes I really despair of myself as far as this unconscious spending is concerned. So often I allow myself to be tempted when I can least afford it!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Om Paramapoonya, I appreciate your comments.

    Hello, Supermarkets are great at this. Thanks for your comment.

    Green Tea, Thank you very much.

    Katiem, I think we are too. Thanks for your comments.

  • katiem2 profile image

    Katie McMurray 

    10 years ago from Ohio

    This reminded me of why we over do anything, maybe we're trying to feel better. Well done as I think we are all pron to unconsciously spend. Thanks for the help in this area. :) Katie

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    Good Hub.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    10 years ago from London, UK

    The supermarkets are professionals inmaking you spend more then you have to. Great hub.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 

    10 years ago

    "Unconscious spending"....hmmmm that's such a polite way to call stupid spending lol Nice hub, Pamela. Rated it useful. :)

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    acetnna, I appreciate your comments.

    Anginwu, I agree with you. Thanks for your comments.

  • anglnwu profile image


    10 years ago

    No wonder the dress looks good in the store until you bring it home. I agree, retailers are good at creating alluring displays. Nice work again.

  • acaetnna profile image


    10 years ago from Guildford

    You are absolutely right, an awesome hub. I need to be on my guard!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    debbiesdailyviews, I'm glad you related to the hub and I appreciate your comments.

  • debbiesdailyviews profile image


    10 years ago

    This absolutly deserves a big vote up !

    You are so right . We have all experienced this very cleverly srategically placed items in shops. And even though we didn't need them, it does work because we bye them.

    And yes I am also guilty of keeping up with the Joanse's.

    I am going to have a big talk with myself this year. Thank you for bringing this to the for-front of my mind.


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