How Our Community Members Overcome the Impulse Buying Urge with ADHD

How Our Community Members Overcome the Impulse Buying Urge with ADHD

Ever get that frothing at the mouth excitement when you see something you want to buy, and click that checkout button? Ever regretted it afterwards because you hadn't really thought about whether you really needed it or not? Was it simply bought on impulse?

The symptoms that come with ADHD make living in a world where the average person sees 10,000 advertisements a day very difficult to manage. In our 'ADHD & Money' Community we asked members how they manage their impulsive buying tendencies, and if so, what strategies they use to curb the worst of it. Let's dig into some of the top answers our members gave to see if any of them resonate with you.

"Taking a photo of the item and sending it to daughter and partner group chat... ..quite often I'll then forget to talk to them about it!"

One of the most powerful tools you can use to curb your impulses is to become accountable to a trusted friend or family member. In this case, sending a picture or wishlist to the rest of your immediate family gives the feeling of 'not forgetting' or getting a second opinion. In reality it allows others to potentially convince you it isn't needed and with time we move onto something else and forget all about it.

"I try to put it in a basket then close the app. Doesn't always work, I often go back and stick buy it a bit later"

Virtual window shopping can be a powerful way to give yourself a little dose of that dopamine purchase without spending any money. Sometimes the act of searching and putting things in baskets can give the illusion of buying without going through with it. As this member says though, it doesn't always work. You need the self awareness and control to close that window before clicking the checkout button.

"I distract myself with stuff from Freecycle groups /free items from Facebook Marketplace. It costs petrol chasing around for it, but it gives a dopamine hit. Just scrolling for free items can be enough for a while."

Getting the feeling of something new and shiny without spending a penny? Winner. Making use of the endless free items on websites like Facebook can satisfy that urge to buy new things that interest you without breaking the bank. One thing to be careful of is how untidy your home can become if this gets out of control. Make sure to recycle the unused items back into marketplace again.

"I have recently been purchasing Christmas presents. It's working. So I don't buy random crap anymore. When I get the urge to shop I buy a gift and put it back."

Almost everyone needs to buy gifts for the important people in their life. Birthdays, Christmas, Easter and Weddings. Anytime you get the urge, try buying for a future gift. This way it isn't overspending on yourself, but something you will need to get in the future anyway. This way, you get the hit without wasting as much money.

"I screenshot it so I have the details if I really want it and then move on. If I haven't gone back to it within a few weeks I deleted the screenshot (or get a reminder 6 months later of something I was going to buy lol)"

If you have ADHD I'm sure you resonate with the "out of sight, our of mind" symptom. This can be annoying when forgetting appointments or losing items around the house. It can be used to your advantage. Placing an item in a shopping basket or taking a screenshot means you are technically saving it for later, however, 9 times out of 10 you will just forget and move on with life.

"Stopping to think what I could save or spend it more wisely on instead that would add more value"

This member really understands the 'Opportunity Cost' and tries to bring it into their everyday spending decisions. The Opportunity Cost is how your behaviour today can negatively impact the future version of you. Stopping and thinking about how buying a certain item could potentially take away from future you is powerful. As an example, let's say your goal is to save for a holiday next year. You get the urge to buy a Playstation. If you stopped to think, you might consider how buying the Playstation could take away your chance to go on holiday. That might be enough to stop you in your tracks.