When you go to the grocery store to stock up your pantry, do you have a list? Or do you go through each aisle and just pick up whatever item you feel like taking home with you? It may be oversimplifying things, but if you tend to do the latter, you just might be an impulsive buyer. And guess what? Researchers say that financially impulsive people might be damaging more than their checking accounts! In fact, they go as far as to say that those who are financially impulsive actually overeat, damaging their health as well!
Researchers asked over 40,000 people if they would prefer £45 in three days or £70 in three months. Those who wanted the smaller amount were also impulsive in other areas of their life.
They were more likely to want the immediate pleasure of a cake, an affair or a puff on a cigarette than consider the long-term effect on their health or relationship.
The study by University College London found people who are young, poorly educated and on a low income were the most financially impulsive.
It’s not all that bad, though. According to Dr. Stian Reimers, those who are impulsive can learn how to control their impulsive urges:
“Simple techniques can help reduce impulsivity, like imagining how you’d feel about your decision in a year’s time or trying to avoid making decisions in the heat of the moment.”
The next time I feel like indulging in more chocolate cake that I should eat, I will try this trick.