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Death By A 1,000 Small Purchases

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    HowToCurbYourImpulsiveSpendingHabits_Opener_MaryGalloway
    Illustrated by Mary Galloway.

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    It's been a long, hard day at work, and you have a precious free evening to yourself. I'll run errands, you think, beelining for the nearest Walgreens. You're out of shampoo, so you'll just pop in quickly and grab some. Of course, the shampoo is way in the back, and as you snake your way through the aisles, you see so many other things you just can't live without. A new nail polish. A three-pack of gum. A new scent of deodorant. Cleaning products. Suddenly, you've got an overflowing basket of stuff. And when you get home, you realize you've forgotten the one thing you needed: shampoo.

    You know you're not supposed to buy things on a whim, and yet you fall into the same trap over and over.

    If it's any consolation, you're not the only one. According to a survey conducted by CreditCards.com, 75% of Americans are prone to impulse buys. And we're not talking about small things: of the survey's 1,000 respondents, 10% admitted to spending at least $1,000 on these purchases, while 16% spent at least $500.

    While nearly 48% of the respondents said they felt excited when they made the purchase, people don't just buy when they're in a good mood. Almost 30% of women surveyed said they made an impulse purchase when they were sad, and 10% when they were angry. (Who hasn't indulged in a Sephora spree after an especially bad day at the office?)

    Unfortunately, according to the survey, most people feel bad after making an impulse purchase, with 52% of women reporting buyer's remorse. Not that last-minute buys are bad, mind you. There's nothing wrong with indulging yourself once in a while. But if your wallet is starting to feel the pinch, here's what you can do to keep unplanned purchases to a minimum.


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  2. Illustrated by Mary Galloway.

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  3. Illustrated by Mary Galloway.

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  4. Illustrated by Mary Galloway.

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  5. Illustrated by Mary Galloway.

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  6. Illustrated by Mary Galloway.

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