I know most of us have heard that it is best to go grocery shopping right after a big meal so we aren't lured into buying something we really don't need or want. This is called impulse shopping and it also pertains to almost anything. A good rule of thumb is to only make a purchase after you have had time to think about it, sleep on it if you must. If you still decide you just must make the purchase, ask yourself a question.
Is this something I want or is it something I need? When I say need, I mean can you just not do without it? Would life as you know it cease to exist if you just simply did not have that new hat, purse, or whatever other frivolous item you are considering?
Next, ask yourself if you didn't make that purchase, could that money be put to better uses? Perhaps your emergency fund or paying off some bill, maybe your credit card for example.
I am in no way saying you should not spoil yourself from time to time but if you are a true impulse shopper and just cannot stop yourself, try making a list before going to the store. Sticking to buying only what's on the list is a start but lets take it a step further and look at your list closer prior to going shopping. Is there anything on the list that could be classified more as a want than a need? Is the majority of your list wants versus needs? These are just a few things to consider before spending your hard earned money. With a little self control, you don't have to be an impulse shopper.