How do you manage your impulse buys?

I visited an antique shop with my cousin recently, as we sought inspiration for an apartment she will be moving into in a few months. I wasn’t planning on buying anything, but I saw a piano bench that looked perfect for our piano. My son had been complaining about our bench and the hinged top of this bench appealed to me; the current bench didn’t have a place to store music.

On impulse, I bought the bench for $65. I don’t regret the purchase. It’s a nicer bench than what we had before, and now my son has a place to store his sheet music and lesson books — instead of just tossing them on the floor.

This prompted me to started thinking about impulse purchases, though. Normally, I plan out most of my purchases because I don’t like to spend money that could go towards my vacation fund. Still, I clearly make unexpected purchases. And it’s not just me. Impulse shopping is far from uncommon in America. According to a survey from, about 54% of Americans have spent $100 or more on an impulse purchase. The survey also points out that 84% of Americans have made impulse purchases, and 20% have even made purchases of at least $1,000 on impulse.

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