It’s fine to occasionally cave in with a little indulgence, right? Well, it depends on how often that’s done. It’s amazing how much a weekly impulse buy can add up. At the end of the year, convenience purchases like coffee, candy, and gum can really make a huge dent in a family’s budget: hundreds if not thousands of dollars!
Let’s say you buy a Dunkin Donuts medium coffee every week. That’s an average of $98.28 by the end of the year for skipping breakfast at home. And, if you’re going to the vending machine every day? A daily bag of chips comes to roughly $456.25! (Yikes!)
Impulse buys are, by their very nature, designed to make you slip up. The products themselves are easy to avoid early on, but you grab for them because of their convenience. Why, for instance, do they put the gum and candy at checkout? It’s because, by the end of the trip, you’re suffering from something called decision fatigue.
Researchers estimate that people make an average of 227 decisions on food choices alone. After a certain point, you willpower fades and you’re less likely to think through your choices fully. That’s decision fatigue.
The same thing that makes judges give harsher sentences later in the day is the thing that makes you grab that candy after spending the afternoon carefully clipping coupons. But there’s hope! If you can avoid the bad decisions that come with decision fatigue, you can cut down on your budget in a wholly new and subtle way!