How Much Are You Spending on Impulse Purchases?

Stores are set up to get you to buy more!

July 12, 2018

© Robert Kneschke |

I get sucked in at quite a few stores. I go through the aisles and get what I need or what I found and bam, the checkout area gets me. Ever notice how retail stores put certain items in the area you need to wait until you check out? And let us not forget that Amazon Prime Day is coming up on Monday. They always get me with the "other people also bought" suggestions.

They don't put those items there just because. They know people will be bored in line and look at whatever is in that area and hopefully add more items to their carts. These little goodies found near the registers are called impulse buy items. They can vary from snacks and drinks to beauty products and pretty coffee mugs. 

My weakness when it comes to impulse purchases is Sephora where they have the little sample sizes of products on sale. TJ Maxx and Marshall's also get me with their coffee and motivational quote artwork. 

According to a new study, I'm not the only one who falls victim to making impulse purchases. Slickdeals did the research and found that the average American spends about $450 a month on impulse buys. Do the math and that adds up to $5400 a year. I knew I fell victim to these types of purchases, but I never thought I spent that much. Looking back now, I am probably above average with my spending here. 

What else did we learn from the study? People are more likely to make these purchases if they are happy or excited. Also, 54% of these impulse buys are things we are buying for ourselves. I tend to impulse buy for others more often than not. I will see a special coffee mug or something with cats on it and buy it for one of my friends. 

And what things do we impulse buy the most:

1. 71% goes to food and groceries.

2. 53% clothing

3. 33% Household items

4. 29% Takeout/delivery food

Hmmm, I can't believe health and beauty products weren't up there on the list. Those are the ones that get me almost every time!

How can you control yourself better when it comes to grabbing these random items at the checkout?