Even though Christmas shopping for my son was pretty much complete a couple of months ago, he recently became fascinated by the concept of owning a pinball machine.
In fact, it was the only thing he asked Santa for at Bass Pro Shop.
So in an order to help Santa out, I checked out Target. I’d already found a cheap, tiny made-in-China type of thing at a party store earlier that day; the kind you’d find in the bottom of a box of Rice Krispies.
But it was at Target that I found the perfect pinball machine for him:
A Ninja Turtles pinball machine, on sale for about $22 (from $25); which is more money than my wife and I agreed to spend to help Santa out on this.
My wife and I are strict Dave Ramsey followers. Therefore, every dollar is specifically accounted for. But in addition to our shared income budget, she and I also each have an annual stipend consisting of birthday and Christmas money from family to last us all year.
I texted my wife: “I am tempted just to spend my own money to buy this for him!”
It was the perfect opportunity for an impulse buy. He would be so happy and so surprised on Christmas morning to unwrap that!
But I thought about the gifts we had already bought him, and considered the other mysterious gifts he’ll get from others, and decided against buying the pinball machine.
If he really is disappointed with the “cereal prize pinball machine” he’s getting, he can spend his own money on the Ninja Turtle one at Target; though he probably won’t. He’ll probably spend it on Legos instead.
So I did it: I resisted the urge to make an impulse purchase. I’m almost surprised at myself.
I will close with an infographic that explains the psychology behind an impulse buy:
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