“A Money Diet” vs. “Impulse Savings”

This past week, a friend posted on Facebook about waking up to discover her husband had canceled their premium TV and changed all the passwords.

In her words,

“Apparently he wasn’t very happy when we got a $15.99 bill for the Craft Channel and I did go on a multi-day binge-watch of GOT at $2.99 per episode and we did just go on a big trip with our daughter and agree to go on a money diet when we got home, but I had no idea he was talking about my favorite TV shows!”

Now, I know this next bit might make me sound like a goody-two-shoes but I mentioned it to her (and now I’m mentioning it to you) because it’s worked for me: switching my brain from being on a ‘money diet’ to racking up “impulse savings.”

What’s impulse savings? You guessed it: the opposite of impulse buying.

How does it work?

Well, let’s say (just for example…) you are walking through TJ Maxx in search of dog beds and the next thing you know, you find yourself in yoga pants. And you think, “Yay! I like yoga pants” and you pick them up and then…

You put them down.

That’s impulse savings.

Now some of you may be thinking, “Well how nice for you, Frances, but my impulse buys keep me sane. They’re treats I give myself when I’ve had a lousy day.”

I get it. And this is not a post about stopping impulse buying. It’s a post pointing out that should you decide to cut down on impulse buying it’s possible you’ll get further, faster if you change your mindset from “dieting” to “saving.”


Well, I’m no psychologist but I have been on diets and – in my experience—that number rarely goes down as quickly as I want it to. In addition, I walk around with a brain that’s set to deprivation, restriction, loss…

With impulse savings, however, I want that number going UP. It turns me on when it goes up. It keeps my brain in abundance rather than deprivation—for me, a far more pleasant place for it to be.

Still, seems like a struggle?

I get that, too. So I began keeping a list of all the things I didn’t buy—and their cost—on my phone. This has been a game-changer.

In fact, I’ve been known to check my total and swoon a little bit.

And swooning is a lot more fun than starving.


For more on changing your mindset around desires and cravings, check out, “4 Shades of Grey: Pain vs. Sensation, Desire vs. Craving.”