It happens all the time. Either we see something someone else has or we see something advertised and we gotta have it. We think, they have it, why can't I? It may not even be impulsive; we could be thinking about it for days, and we decide we want it.
Here are some things to think about, especially if you don't have the cash for it:
My late mother used to say, "Anything worth having is worth waiting for." She was right. Saving up for something makes you feel good when you go to purchase it; it's really yours. I learned this as a child; many times I would save for something, then go to the store to buy it only to realize I didn't really want it after all.
Think About The Future
If you have a lot of debt, and you know you should be paying it off before you buy something frivolous because you'll be going further into debt with the purchase, think about using that money to pay off your debt and how you'll feel when that debt is paid off. Or, if you have to go into debt to begin with by making the purchase, how you'll feel when the bill comes.
This is not to say you shouldn't reward yourself; after all, when you're on a diet you can eat chocolate cake sometimes.
You Don't Know The Whole Situation
When you see someone with something you really want, stop and ask yourself how they may have aquired it. Perhaps Aunt Martha died and left them the Lexus. That new grill? Could be they had to put $2,500 on their credit card; would you want that?
You Can Rationalize Anything
I do all the time when it comes to food. Most people do when it comes to buying things; they'll rationalize why they should have it. Every time you catch yourself rationalizing why you should have something, think about why you shouldn't have it. That way least you'll have the pros and the cons.
Yeah, I know all these things we see advertised are alluring. But think about how quickly things become obsolete in our techological world. 4-D is better that 3-D! Also remember the price of things go down pretty quickly; flat screen TVs used to cost as much as a small car a few years ago.
Was there a time when you just couldn't snap yourself out of keeping up appearances? Let me know in the comments below.