Girl Meets Budget

15 Impulse Buys You’re Better Off Leaving Behind

An hour before I started writing this, I bought a pair of lavender flats with doves on them, and a pineapple scarf. They were on sale! I had a moment of weakness, okay? Truthfully, I have a lot of moments of weakness, and I can’t exactly afford to have them. But there are just too many things, and I want them ALL.

Except if I bought everything, my apartment may start looking like an episode of Hoarders, and I wouldn’t have money to buy dinner. So, I’ve been trying to wean myself off impulse shopping. It’s hard. There are so many harmless deals and shiny things I want! But, like The Rolling Stones once said, you can’t always get what you want. And that’s a good thing. It’s time that you and I started practicing smart shopping and saying no to stuff we just don’t need.

Unsure whether your recent purchases count as impulse buys? Here’s our list of unnecessary goods we should all just walking away from:

1. Really cheap high heels

It’s hard passing up on some twenty-dollar heels, but do it for the sake of your soles (ha!). No, but really. In my life, I have never bought a comfortable pair of cheap heels. Those don’t exist. They are a myth. Like the Loch Ness Monster.

2. Starbucks accessories

Starbucks KNOWS you will probably cave and buy one of their stylish and adorable mugs, ornaments, or tea infusers because you haven’t had any coffee yet, and the line is super long, and you are incredibly susceptible to anything caffeine related that will make you instantly happy. Those mugs are like 12 dollars each! Step away. You have mugs. There is no need for a porcelain mini-Starbucks latte, bronze travel mug, or a cup made of chalkboard.


3. Yankee Candles

When I was in Massachusetts a couple summers ago, I did a very touristy thing and visited the Yankee Candle Factory, which is basically a year-round winter wonderland where you can make your own candle and sniff every single candle scent in the world. I ended up spending like $50 on a candle I made in the shape of a lobster, and a bunch of mini-candles on sale. It was insane. You don’t need expensive candles, you just don’t.

4. Super cheap makeup brushes

I only recently started wearing more makeup than just eyeliner, and one of the makeup artists at the mall suggested I buy some brushes to apply all the eye shadow I was getting. She pointed to their brushes, which were like $20 a pop. “No thanks,” I said, feeling proud of myself, and got a pack for five bucks at Claire’s. While cheap makeup brushes technically work, they break really easily, as it turns out.  Who knew?

5. Gangsta Of Love t-shirt

I know you are totally a gangsta of love. But you don’t need to buy a t-shirt to prove it (or any t-shirt that hints at your love life).

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6. Nail polish

I KNOW it’s super tempting to buy the perfect shade of mint green, but we must get a hold of ourselves. My nail polish collection is ridiculous!  I probably could have bought a new car by now with all the money I’ve spent on polishes.

7. Cheap bras

Although there is nothing wrong with a frugal undergarment purchase, beware of bras that are not good quality. They might be cute, and bright, and sassy, but if the underwire pops out after the third time you wear them, it’s time to invest in an elite few. That way, your bra doesn’t stab your boobs, and you get all the support you need and deserve.


8. The newest Oreo flavor

It seems like there’s a new flavor of cookie, chip, or cracker every single week at the grocery store. While I can vouch for the new Marshmallow Crispy Oreos, I’m not so sure about the cookie dough flavor.  I know pickled-flavored Pringles is something we should all at least try once, but maybe some mysteries should stay mysteries.

9. Makeup from Urban Outfitters

It’s always by the cash register, and it’s always glittery with temptation. Magnetic nail polish, soap in the shape of a neon pink skull, and hairspray that smells like cupcakes are all really cool buys, but the likelihood of you actually using them is probably smaller than you think.

10. Magazines

If you’re buying magazines at the grocery store for $5 each, stop doing that! It’s so much cheaper to just pay for a yearly subscription (I’m talking 12 bucks A YEAR).


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  • Laura Elizabeth Donovan

    Why is Essie SO EXPENSIVE?!

    • Gina Vaynshteyn

      Because every single color is SO ON POINT. But have you noticed some of their colors are too transparent? I end up doing three coats. :(

      • Rebekah Butler

        Yes! I bought a ballerina pink shade of Essie, and it looked terrible! I did 3 coats and it still looked cheap and thin. I was scarred and vowed only to buy OPI from that moment on…

        • Maci Miller

          Yeh, I’m a sucker for essie because their colors are THE most perfect shades. But by the third coat, it gets clumpy and messy looking. Thanks for this post. I need this kind of reinforcement on a regular basis.

        • Gina Vaynshteyn

          I think I have that one! Did yours come out almost clear? I was so disappointed. And agreed, OPI’s colors are way creamier. Butter is amazing but a little too pricey.

      • Barbara Olson

        Apply a coat of Blanc, then Ballerina whatever it is… I do that for all of their “I love them but they are too sheer” colors. Like Limoscene, as well.

    • Susan Jordan

      I’m addicted to ‘some’ Essie polishes. I use the excuse ‘It’s for the blog’ more than even I believe at this stage. When it comes to this particular brand though, search swatches first and hit eBay. I’m talking $3-$4 a bottle for ‘must have polishes’ (they’re totally a thing).
      I do the same with big make up brands such as Bare Minerals too. Serious savings to be made. Of course you save more by JUST NOT BUYING THE THINGS but I can’t do that. I tried. I can’t.

      • Gina Vaynshteyn

        Omg, thank you Susan.

  • Liz Caruso

    “You’re not going to watch Zoolander more than twice.”

    *shamefully raises hand* have already watched Zoolander more than twice… about ten times to tell the truth.

    • Diana Del Valle

      Nothing to be ashamed about! It has some great lines.

    • Naomi Cruz

      Guilty! I’ve seen it a dozen times too…hahaha but nowadays I don’t spend money on any DVDs anymore

    • Katie Sweet

      I was hoping I wasn’t the only one that was thinking that! I have seen that movie way too many times.

  • Reevah A

    Everytime your underwire starts popping out and poking you in the side… get out your sewing kit! Buy some super tough thread (a bit thicker then usual thread but if thats all you have it will be fine as well). Start on the inside just below the spot thats ripped/ where the wire comes out and sew up the hole!! Make sure you go over it a couple of times and your bra/wire will not poke you anymore. Ive done this now to several bras including the one I’m currently wearing. Simple hand sewing (or basting) is pretty easy so dont use the excuse you dont know how. It will save you loads of money in the long run… check youtube

  • Loretta Oliver

    I just want to know where to find these lavender dove flats that are on sale….

    • Gina Vaynshteyn

      Modcloth :). They might not be on sale anymore though.

      • Vanessa O’Rourke

        I actually saw these on Modcloth the other day – very cute :) I knew they had to be the ones Gina was talking about hehe.

  • Erika Thrilliams

    Comfortable $20 heels are a thing! I’m poor, so maybe I’ve never worn very expensive shoes though. Payless’s Comfort Plus heels though cost about $20 and they are the only heels I can spend an entire night dancing in without killing my feet.

  • Veronika Specht

    Cheap shoes exist! I have a pair of $35 heels that are surprisingly really comfortable. I also have a pear of $5 lime green heels because at that price they are worth it after one wear. Not super comfortable for a night on the town, but comfortable enough to wear to dinner or fun get together! Cheap bras are NEVER worth it though.

  • Leah Gosnold

    Yankee Candles are flipping awesome! And always worth the money. Cheap candles just dont smell as nice or burn as nicely….sorry I TOTALLY disagree with that one.

  • Hannah Marie Seeger

    OMG thank you for making this article haha. Just today after class I wondered into a few shiny stores to “just look” I held my temptation and walked out with nothing though. CLOSE CALL! I am sucker for nail polish and cheap heals though. One of my shiniest, highest, and cheapest heals are also my most painful…true story bro!

  • Tara Celine

    The cookie dough oreos are my new true love. Just saying.

  • Nicole Cicalese

    No cheap makeup brushes: not true. E.l.f. Studio brushes (the black ones that are $3, not the white ones that are $1) are awesome and last a long time. They can be cleaned without falling apart and keep their shape!

  • Dani Golightly

    E.L.F. brushes are definitely decent. I even got a full set of brushes from amazon that were $15 and they’re fantastic! But of course, some things are very hit-and-miss. As for bras, the most awesomely comfy bras I ever got (and they were cute!) were $3.00 each at a discount store, it was like finding the holy grail. Lolz

  • Elyse Ellen

    Zooey doe :/

  • Karen Sweigart Hagee

    I have not worn nail polish in a long time. It chips very quickly when I do, so why bother? I do spend good money for foundation garments, and take good care of them.
    I have never had a Yankee candle in my home. Allergic to many scents, so the expense is not warranted.

  • Libby Uglesich

    We use our popcorn maker every time we make popcorn. We don’t buy the bag kind anymore and it’s an air popper so you don’t use any oil at all. So it’s so much better for you! My family couldn’t live without it… We have popcorn at least once a week. And it saves a ton of money!

  • Erika Knutson

    regarding DVDs I only buy DVDs I know i will watch more than once unless they are cheaper than renting. My boyfriend comes home with DVDs all the time he paid 10$+ for and it drives me nuts

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  • SheRa

    The most comfortable pair of heels I have ever owned were a $14 special from Walmart. Since I beat the heck out of my shoes, it was a great purchase.

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