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Are You an Impulsive Buyer?

Understand what triggers this behavior and what it can do to your finances.

Impulsive spending can be fun. But done too frequently or carelessly, it could damage your family’s finances.

Five in six Americans admit to having made an impulsive purchase, according to a poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International for CreditCards.com in 2017 — with millennials as the biggest offenders.

An impulsive purchase is unplanned and unnecessary. It’s no surprise that young adults are twice as likely to do it: Nearly all millennials (91%) admit to impulse spending, whereas one in five senior citizens say they’ve never made such a purchase.

No matter what you’re about to buy, think before you act. Go have a cup of coffee, take a walk or engage in some other activity as you consider the pros and cons — whether you really need the item, whether you can afford it and how you might feel about it a few days later. Consider what your spouse might think.

If you make the purchase and later suffer buyer’s remorse, remember that some credit card issuers offer guaranteed returns — even after it’s too late to return an item to the store. Rules vary; if in doubt, call your card issuer’s customer service number.

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