Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Controlling My "Impulse Buys"

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday! Is it just me, or does it feel like this week is dragging? I feel like it should be at least Thursday... but maybe that's just because I have Friday off and I want it to get here as fast as possible! ;)

Anyways, today I'm going to talk to you about how I've learned to control my "Impulse Buys".. You know, where you go into a store to buy one thing and walk about with 14 other items? Yeah.. I've been there. And done that.. And I'm now a (mostly) reformed Impulse Buyer!

Admittedly, I went through a couple of

phases a little while back.. First, when I started MandysSecrets. I was a beauty blogger! I needed items to review, damn it! I needed to expand my stash to include EVERY MAKEUP ITEM EVERRRR!!! And so I bought. And I bought. And I bought. And finally my poor husband was like "No, seriously. You're cut off."

So I abstained. And then I got hired at my current job. Where I work in a makeup/beauty store. And the vicious cycle started all over again. "But it's on sale! And I get a discount! And I neeeeeeeeeeeeed it!" I was like a woman possessed. Makeup had become my crack and I could barely leave work without buying something. 

And then I took stock of my beauty products and realized how much stuff I truly have. (Trust me, it's a LOT..) So here's how I now decide if I truly need that 32nd pink creme polish, or that 11th taupe shadow:

1. Do I have something similar?
This is especially true for my 400+ bottles of polish. I don't need 5 versions of the exact same color in different brands. What makes this bottle unique to my collection? And if I buy this one, would I be willing to part with at least TWO other polishes I already have to keep it? If I can't answer the first question, or the answer to the second question is "no".. then I put the product back.

2. Do I actually need a new one?
Since I get products to review for MandysSecrets, and I get gratis makeup at work.. I already have a large bag of brand new makeup for when I run out of my current products. Do I really need that black liner when I already have 3 new ones sitting at home? Or am I just in a snatch-n-grab kind of mood? 

3. Am I buying it for the sale?
At my work, we're always running great sales: BOGO, B2G2, B2G1, etc.. and that weighs very heavily on my impulse to hoard beauty products. Do I NEED 4 shower gels right this second? Absolutely not.. "But it's Buy 2, Get 2 FREE.. and then I get my discount on top of that! That makes them SO cheap!" Or I get lured in by our countless Gifts with Purchase that we have. So now I ask myself: Would I buy this without the sale or the promise of a GWP? If not, I keep walking.

4. What attracts me to this product?
Most of the time, I want things just because they're new. "It's new! I can review it on MandysSecrets!" ...And then what will I do with it after that? I have a whole pile of products that I've swatched once and won't touch again. Or I get sucked into the whole "Limited Edition" gimmick. Now, I have to make sure the product will solve a beauty problem that I already have before I plunk down cash.

5. Will I actually WEAR it?
This seems like an obvious question, but we've all bought a product at some point that we simply know we will never use. For me, it's colored liners. I usually only use a pop of colored liner below my bottom lashes.. and I've actually found that I enjoy using shadow so much more than liner for that purpose anyways. Even though I find it hard to step away from a gorgeous liner (Urban Decay Woodstock, I'm looking at you..), I think back to the 20+ colored liners I have in my makeup bag that have been used once or twice, and I slowly step away from the product.

Now that I follow these guidelines and really analyze what I'm buying and why I'm buying it, my impulse shopping has dropped dramatically! Even though I admit, sometimes it sucks and I'm standing with an armload of products going 

..Knowing that I'll have more money left over and a happy husband at the end of the day can generally convince me that I'm doing the right thing. And don't get me wrong, I still indulge myself occasionally, but I've found that buying myself something once in a while gives me much more satisfaction and makes me appreciate it more than buying myself something every day. :)

- - - - - * - - - - -

So now I'd love to hear from you! Tell me your tips & tricks for avoiding impulse buys.. and if you're the type who always gives in.. tell me why you're okay with doing so! I love to hear your opinions!


  1. Haha, this is all very true! I've gone through a lot of the same thought processes and it's certainly helped! Great post sweetie!

  2. Amanda (Fashion Footing)July 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    I am so completely guilty of this... I have no tips to control it, as I'm still trying to fight it! LOL

  3. These are great tips!!! I was the same way, I just wanted stuff because it was new or on SALE! But now I have a tight budget so I always have to stop myself and think if I have something similar I should definitely NOT buy it! My most recent incident was with the new Urban Decay Smoked palette, I really wanted it but I stopped and compared it two my UD Book of Shadow IV and the colors were pretty similar so I decided not to buy the new palette!

  4. Got to think about that rainy day comming. Everybody has one when something needs repair or replacing. Or just having a savings account.
    Think, must pay bills and obligations first. That makes a new item seem less neccessary.
    Focus on long term goals and ask yourself if this dress, nail poslish, or makeup brush, is getting me closer to that new car.

  5. I am so guilty of this. I think I am somewhat okay with it, cause I make more money than I am used to. I haven't quite adjusted to the new paycheck. I really should. Maybe if I did, I would be able to save up for a nice vacation or something like that.
    Great trick, will try to ask myself that the next time. :D

  6. I totally understand your post. I actually stopped blogging a short time after I quit working in the makeup store where I got gratis and 40-20% off. I mean on top of the freebies My whole paycheck would go right back to the store buying stuff to review. The worst part is that it never got used. it might get swatched...or if lucky I would use it two times and then never touch it again until I rediscovered it and it was expired, or old or I just wasn't interested in it. I used to have a lot of issues with the husband too, he doesn't understand why women need different colored eye shadows or different lip products. Also I found it was harder to really get motivated to use my makeup when I had to dig through bags of it. I'm down to 7 makeup bags now lol. Seriously still a lot. Another thing that helped was having a baby. I'm less likely to spend all the extra money on myself, now I budget for $100-200 a month for my beauty needs.

  7. This excellent topic is so timely for me; I'm saving up for Hawaii. Sephora, Ulta etc are trying to tempt me so much w/ sales/gifts/limited editions! I'll see a You Tube or Blog w/ a product that I want to look like and I about roll over. My solution is to put it in my Shopping List or My Cart for as long as I can stand it.

    By waiting I can look back in my stash to see if I have something similar (Will another pink blush truly look different on my cheek, or will another shade of brown look different from the 25 I already have?). Then if I still NEEED it (Need v.s. Want) I'll send for it. (I don't live near any stores, so that temptation is taken away.) Or if I find I'm not still dying to get my paws on the item, I can delete it from My Cart (often times I leave it in my Wish List).

    Let's keep this subject going; I still need (Need v.s. Want) all the tips and hints I can get to curb my unbalanced spending. I'm not in debt, but my clothes look, well, very used. ; )

    Thank you Mandy!!!!!

  8. Thanks, love! Sometimes I try to counsel people at the registers, lol. It's sad.

  9. I still struggle too, but I think it's okay! Sometimes I wish I could just go back to spending without a care in the world, but it's not conducive to our longterm goals.. so I have to try to be a good adult. Sucks sometimes :(

  10. Thanks, girl! I know.. I love UD shadows, but their palettes are always SO similar to each other. Sometimes it's so hard to control those urges, though!

  11. Thanks, Dina! I know.. We were so used to being a one income house for a while that I was like "I CAN BLOW MY WHOLE PAYCHECK! WHOOO!!!" but.. it doesn't serve us well in the long term. I've found that making it a competition to see who can get more in their savings account has been a really fun pass time for me and the hubby.. especially since we're both super competitive!

  12. YES! I have SO much stuff that I just HAD to have and have never used. Or I bought it with the intention to blog about it and haven't used it yet because I'm too lazy to do the swatches or whatever. How sad is that?!

    Customers always tell me "I couldn't work here! I'd be broke!" Uh.. yeah.. but when it comes down to needing money to live.. and you've already bought half of the store at one point or another.. you kind of realize you can control those spending urges at times.

    I still buy stuff, but now it's maybe ONE nail polish... and not the whole collection. :)

  13. Thank you so much for your comment, Susan! Lucky you, saving for Hawaii!

    Polish blogs are my best/worst friends. I have noticed that I'm generally more selective now, and I always wait to see a polish in person before I buy it. Since I work in a makeup store, I also have no shame in returning a polish that just doesn't work for me when I get it home, either.

    I *LOVE* your idea about keeping things in your wishlist! I do that with Amazon! And I also do something similar at work.. Since I can put things on hold, I'll take the items that I just "have to have" and put them on hold.. and then wait until my next payday to buy them. Usually by the time that rolls around, my lemmings have quelled enough to where I can make an accurate assessment of what I TRULY will use versus what looked amazing in the moment. :D

  14. These are awesome tips!! I usually ponder it for a day to a week and usually by then, I don't want it anymore :P