The Malta Independent 6 December 2023, Wednesday
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Overcoming the temptation of impulse purchases

Sunday, 19 November 2023, 06:55 Last update: about 18 days ago

Luca Caruana

In personal finances the tendency of impulsive spending constantly emerges and it clashes with our financial wellbeing all the time. This compelling subject warrants a deeper exploration to discover strategies for more prudent spending.

Recently, the conversation has centred on the pitfalls of excessive spending, an issue that can derail anyone's financial health regardless of their income. However, the spotlight today is on a subtle yet prevalent spending behaviour known as impulse purchasing. This phenomenon occurs when we spontaneously buy something without adequate contemplation.


Impulse purchases often stem from our emotions hijacking our decision-making process. Have you ever felt you earned a little self-indulgence? Perhaps you've thought, "Life's fleeting, why not relish it today?" Such feelings are common. Yet, these fleeting desires can lead us to acquire items that, in hindsight, weren't necessary or meaningful.

Consider this: how often have you bought something impulsively, only to lose interest shortly after? That once-desirable item becomes just another forgotten piece in your home. And so, the search for the next fleeting pleasure begins anew.

But what if you could fulfil these impulsive urges without undermining your financial stability? Enter the concept of the "Happy Money Fund". This involves allocating a designated sum each month exclusively for those impromptu purchases. This approach allows for enjoyable spending, free from guilt, while safeguarding your savings objectives.

You might wonder, "Is this approach truly effective?" Indeed, it is! The Happy Money Fund transcends mere financial management; it's about striking a harmony between savouring the present and preparing for a financially secure future. It offers a way to embrace impulse purchases, secure in the knowledge that they won't jeopardize your financial aspirations.

Let's consider the case of Emma, who earns €4,000 a month. Emma's financial hurdle wasn't her bills, but her tendency to impulsively shop for apparel and footwear. Always seeking the latest fashion trends, this habit was eroding her earnings. That was until she discovered the Happy Money Fund concept. Opting to try it out, she set aside a fixed monthly sum for these purchases.

With her new system, Emma's outlook transformed. She could indulge in the latest fashion items guilt-free. Crucially, since her spending was confined to a predetermined amount, her purchasing decisions became more deliberate. Gradually, Emma's wardrobe evolved to reflect items she genuinely adored, rather than impulsive, fleeting choices. And her finances? They were noticeably healthier.

So, why not experiment with the Happy Money Fund? It's a modest adjustment that can yield substantial benefits. By achieving this equilibrium, you'll come to cherish the small pleasures of the present while paving the way for a more prosperous future.

In the end, managing impulse buys isn't about forgoing all enjoyment. It's about embracing joy in a wiser manner. By discovering this equilibrium, the act of spending becomes an art form, ensuring each euro is spent wisely on your path to financial liberation.


Luca Caruana is a certified money coach and founder of the Money Coaching Hub

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