You are currently viewing 29 WAYS TO AVOID UNNECESSARY PURCHASES


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It is easy to lose track of how much money you spend on things you do not need. You might be buying something because it’s on sale or because “it’s time for a change.” But did you know that these unnecessary purchases can affect your bottom line? Wouldn’t it be better if we could all spend less money and still get what we want? In this blog post, I will share 25 ways to stop buying things you do not need.



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1. Use the 24-hour rule

If you feel the urge to purchase something, wait it out for at least 24 hours. Many times, we buy things impulsively when they are on sale. If you’re considering buying something that’s reduced in price, hold off for 24 hours. Chances are, the desire to possess it will pass, and if not, this would be an excellent time to think about whether or not it is worth spending money on!

2. Try to shop with cash, not credit cards

Transactions feel less real when you pay with a debit card or credit card; you do not see that money being taken away from your wallet and leaving forever. As a result, it is easy to lose track of how much money you actually have and spend more than you can afford. If possible, pay for things using cash to have no question about how much you have spent on an item.

Just note to avoid accidental overspending, do not carry all your cash and only keep out as much as you plan to spend.

3. Resist the urge to buy clothes online

You know that saying, “If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is?” That applies perfectly to online shopping. Just because something looks great in pictures does not mean that it will look as good when worn by your body type (or anyone else’s). Also, they may not fit properly because the sizing chart was inaccurate in the first place.

It takes some trial and error before finding out what styles work best for our preferences; therefore, we should avoid buying clothes online. Unless you can try everything on before buying, I would recommend avoiding this altogether.

4. Do not impulse-buy

This tip seems like a no-brainer, but many of us cannot resist the urge to purchase something new if it is available in front of us! Try as hard as possible to avoid walking into stores with no intention of purchasing anything at all. If you do go inside for whatever reason, resist the urge as best as you can.

Better yet, plan ahead of time what items you truly need and what items will be a waste of money, then you’ll have the chance to avoid these types of unnecessary purchases.

5. Try a no-spend challenge

I have done several of these challenges in the past, and they are so much fun! The rules involve spending no money for a specified period. As long as you can hold yourself accountable for this challenge, it will be an eye-opening experience that forces you to realize how often we buy things unneeded.

6. Do not shop when you are hungry or tired

You have probably heard the saying “never grocery shop on an empty stomach,” which is true for several reasons!

Shopping while feeling particularly famished will only lead to making more impulsive purchases than usual. And those who go shopping after a long day at work often end up buying things that they really cannot afford and impulse items.

Instead, eat beforehand or bring healthy snacks with you to keep hunger pangs under control. Also, only shop when you are feeling good.

7. Create a personal budget

Many people tend to spend too much without realizing how quickly their bank accounts are depleting! To prevent this from happening, create a detailed budget and stick with it (even when tempted by sales) so we’ll know how much money we have at our disposal each month.

Budgeting is an excellent way for you to have more control over your finances as it helps you learn how much you can spend without going overboard on unnecessary purchases! If this seems too much work at first, try breaking down costs into smaller chunks to make it less intimidating.

8. Use the 50/30/20 rule for spending

When thinking about where our cash goes every week or even daily, many people tend to spend more than they should on unnecessary items because there’s no structure in place.

The best way to avoid doing this is implementing the “50-30-20” rule into your daily life: 50% of income goes towards fixed costs such as rent/mortgage payments and bills, 30% toward discretionary purchases such as dining out and entertainment, and 20% for savings purposes.

By doing this, we’ll be able to monitor where our money is going and ensure we allocate it towards something that will benefit us in the future!

9. Consider minimalism

If you are serious about finding ways to stop buying things that you do not need, then minimalism may be the answer for you. Minimalists live with only the items they truly need, thus avoiding making unnecessary purchases, saving money and having more time for fulfilling activities.

10. Only buy what you absolutely love

When I am shopping at the mall with my friends, they often end up buying tons of clothing because “it’s on sale.” However, if we do not like something or are unsure about it, why would we spend our hard-earned money on it? If possible, try avoiding purchasing anything unless you absolutely love it.

11. Be mindful of how much makeup you have

This tip is primarily relevant only for women who wear lots of makeup every day. With so many different colours and styles available, it is easy to accumulate a lot of makeup over time. However, most folks repeatedly reach for the same few staples, while the extras never get used. Try not to buy any new products unless you really need them and regularly use them.

12. Keep your house organized

It seems like such a pain, but keeping things clean and tidy can save us lots of money! If we do not take care of our living spaces, they will get messy fast, which means buying cleaning supplies more often than necessary. Keep things nice and neat for long-term savings.

Further, having a messy/cluttered bedroom or closet can make it hard to find the items that you need when getting dressed for an occasion. An organized bedroom or closet can make getting dressed easier and faster!

To avoid wasting time and making unnecessary purchases, keep things nice and tidy!

13. Avoid deals that are too good to be true

You have probably seen a lot of advertisements for products or services on the internet. They seem great, but you might also notice that they offer a limited-time deal that will soon expire. Even worse? Sometimes these deals come with strings attached, such as an auto-renewal contract! If you do not want to commit, just don’t purchase it right away.

14. Create a list of your goals and dreams

I know that this will sound cheesy, but making a list can help you achieve what you truly desire in life! When we make plans for the future or write down our goals on paper, we are more likely to follow through with them.

Keeping a wish list also stops you from buying on impulse, as you will have a clear idea of what you want most.

15. Declutter your home

When you declutter your home, it is easier to know what items you do not need. You will see all of the things taking up space in your house and determine which ones you use regularly.

Consider donating or selling your items before making new purchases. Before purchasing anything new (especially the big-ticket items), consider selling other things to recoup some of the money you spent. If that item still seems like a good buy after selling your old things, then go ahead and purchase it!

16. Do an inventory check

Always do an inventory check of your home before going shopping. Doing so will help you realize what items you already have and how often you use them. As a result, it will become much easier to determine if something is worth buying or not.

17. Avoid shopping when emotional

Shopping while we’re upset about something else in our lives may lead us to buy things that we do not really need simply out of convenience or comfort. If possible, try avoiding making purchases unless we truly need them.

Keep in mind that retail therapy is only a temporary fix. Instead, do the hard work of addressing the underlying emotional issues. Doing so will improve your overall well-being, avoid unnecessary purchases and your wallet will thank you too.

18. Make a list for grocery shopping and stick with it!

When I go grocery shopping, I love picking up new products because there are so many different options available at my local supermarket. However, this means spending more money than necessary on unneeded snacks/ingredients.

Whenever possible, try to stick with your list and only pick up the items you had planned to buy. Using a shopping list can help us avoid making unnecessary purchases and overspending in the process!

19. Limit yourself when shopping online

Shopping online is so much easier than going to a store because many different products are available at our fingertips. Limit purchases while browsing through new websites or apps whenever possible by choosing one item per session instead of multiple. If you really want something, save it for later after doing some research first. Do not buy anything right away, especially if you cannot afford it!

20. Keep up with trends instead of following them blindly

It seems like fashion changes almost weekly, which means something popular today could quickly become out-of-style tomorrow! If possible, educate yourself about current styles/trends before making big purchases (especially clothing). This way, you can avoid wasting your money on something that won’t be in fashion next season

21. Learn to shop for fewer clothes and more accessories

This tip is also mainly only relevant for women. If we can learn how to use different types of accessories properly, our wardrobes will naturally become smaller! A smaller wardrobe means fewer items are sitting around, taking up space until they are donated or thrown out. We all know the saying: “Less Is More,” so why not give it a try? 🙂

22. Avoid self-checkout lanes

Avoid making purchases at stores with self-checkout lanes. When we can complete our transactions without needing assistance from another person, we become much more likely to make unplanned purchases. The same goes for online purchases. If you want to avoid unnecessary spending, do not make your transactions via self-checkout lanes or websites where you can purchase things without speaking with someone on the phone first.

23. Avoid making purchases at the mall or other crowded stores

When it comes time for us to start shopping for new items, we often visit places like the mall where tons of people are around (especially during holidays). Crowded stores can make trying things on and comparing products more difficult than usual because we cannot focus properly due to too many distractions. Whenever possible, try avoiding these types of locations when purchasing something that requires extra thought!

24. Don’t shop online unless you have a list

Shopping for pleasure is one way that people end up spending more money without realizing it. If possible, try avoiding shopping sites like Amazon until you actually have something specific in mind that you want to buy! 

The same goes for apps like Groupon or other deal-of-the-day websites. If you want to avoid spending money on things that are not necessities, use the tips above and avoid these types of sites when making purchases.

25. Do an annual review

At least once per year, sit down with your family and go through all of your expenses. An annual review will help you see what is essential to spend money on (i.e., bills) and which items can be cut from your budget entirely to save more cash for other financial goals! After about a year has passed, it is also good practice to create a new list of objectives to know where exactly you should start saving next time around.

26. Do more research about upcoming purchases

Before making any large purchase (especially online), do enough research first, so you’ll know what you’re getting into. Try looking up reviews and see what other people think about the product before deciding to buy it or not. By doing this, you’ll avoid making a purchase that might not suit your needs or wants and end up spending a lot of money on something unnecessary!

27. Do not be tempted by clearance signs

When we go shopping, we often look at all the things on sale to find something cheap for ourselves! However, this usually does more harm than good because if there is nothing available (or they do not meet our needs), we spend money on items that were never even needed.

Instead, why not try thinking logically about which purchases would benefit us most?

For example, if you’re out shopping and see an item on sale which seems like a great deal, consider how much use you’ll get from it instead of just wanting to purchase because you feel like getting a “good bargain.” This consideration can help us avoid spending money on things we really won’t need while still finding ways to save!

28. Be mindful about spending

When thinking about whether or not you should purchase something, try being as mindful as possible by asking yourself a few questions: Do I really need it? What would happen if I didn’t buy this item right now? By doing this during any shopping trips, we’ll make smarter decisions, resulting in less unnecessary purchases!

29. Be grateful for the things you already have

It is easy to take for granted all of the wonderful items we already own! Even if they are not perfect, think about how much use you get out of them and what would happen if one day that item broke or got lost . It is important to appreciate everything in our lives – no matter how big or small. And when something breaks (and it will), try fixing it instead of buying a new replacement immediately.


Add these tips to your list of what you can do to stop buying things that you do not need! With so many different ways to cut back on unnecessary purchases, choosing which ones work best for our lifestyles is the only thing left.

What are your favourite tips for avoiding unnecessary purchases? Please leave them in the comments below!

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Ever feel like money just seems to slip through your fingers month after month? Our Monthly Budget Tracker will guide you to start making the most of every dollar. It’s a game changer—get it free for a limited time!

Nikki Kirimi

Nikki Kirimi is a recognized finance professional (MBA, CPA, CMA) and founder of Money World Basics. Her personal finance advice has been featured in Yahoo Finance, MSN, and Go Banking Rates.