The Benefits of Waiting Before You Buy

Impulse buying affects everyone. It may show itself in different ways, but the same core desire to comfort ourselves through the things we buy is present in children, adolescents, and adults alike. And it works, to a point. It does feel good to buy something new. We rush home to plug it in, or try it on, and delight in our new purchase. But then a day passes and before our eyes that something new turns into something old, joining the growing yet curiously unsatisfying collection of things we already own.

That doesn’t mean we should never buy anything. But the next time you find yourself standing in the checkout line, or hovering your mouse over that “Buy Now!” button, take a step back. If you can, walk away. Don’t spend your time agonizing over whether to make the purchase, simply move on in life without it. The next day, come back to it and ask yourself again if you really want to make that purchase.

Most often I’ve found that I simply don’t want the item anymore. Whatever feeling or emotion there was that drove me to want the purchase passes. Other times I’ve found that I still want the purchase, but less of it or something different. Whether or not I make the purchase, I always feel better about the process afterwards. Instead of feeling restless for missing out, or guilty for caving in, I feel like I’ve made a choice. That I was the one who decided whether or not to buy, and not some passing desire, and that feels good.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Get the latest in budgeting content — straight into your inbox.

Thank you!

See you in your inbox.

Search for


Say hello to Goodbudget

  1. A strong philosophy.
    Transform your financial life with the Goodbudget Way.
  2. A time-tested system.
    Goodbudget is based on the envelope budgeting method.
  3. Great budget software.
    Available for the Web, Android, and iPhone. Get started with Goodbudget. Sign up now!

Get Help




Leave a Comment