Most of us like to shop. It’s fun to see all the things you’d love to own, whether it’s new clothes or the latest gadgets. The only problem is that looking often leads to buying, and that’s bad for most budgets. How can you keep your impulse shopping under control.

My own preferred method of handling impulse shopping is to control the impulse part of it. I rarely allow myself to buy on impulse. I have to think about it first.

If you can get past the urge to buy right away, it’s really not too hard. Build the habit of walking away from something you want to buy on impulse. Go look at other things. Maybe even give it a day or several.

The idea is to give yourself time to think if you really need the item or if it’s just a want, and if a want, if it’s worth giving in to that want.

The thing to remember is that pretty much anything you see while out shopping will still be there later. Very few things are all that limited, and most really limited things you might buy on impulse aren’t things you really need. The things you need are more likely to be there day after day, week after week. Even if you don’t buy them right away, they’ll probably be there later.

Coming back to a potential purchase later works pretty well if you have a few options to consider. It’s time to consider the advantages and disadvantages of the things you’re considering. You might find that a feature that attracted you immediately doesn’t matter as much as one you notice with a little more thought.

This even works when it comes to buying snacks when you’re out grocery shopping. This can be good for your grocery budget and your waistline, depending on the kinds of impulse buys you tend to make there. Of course, better yet for controlling your grocery shopping is having a list and sticking to it.

Of course, if impulse shopping is a problem for you, the first step may be finding ways to limit how often you do any sort of shopping that can lead to impulse buys. If you like to just wander shopping malls or online shopping sites, or if you get easily tempted when you see an online review for a product, it helps to find ways to avoid those situations. Look at when you’re getting tempted and how often the temptation is to buy something you’ll be glad you bought in the long run. If you’re getting tempted into far more bad purchases than good, it may be time to find something else to do.

A little patience and a little planning can help you quite a bit when it comes to controlling your impulse shopping habits. What works for you?