Word of the Month: Impulse Purchase
Aisha was walking home from school with her best friend, Katie. They chatted about the upcoming Science Fair and the new Phys. Ed. teacher as they shivered in the cold.
They passed The Coffee House and watched as a bunch of their classmates walked out holding steaming cups of hot chocolate.
“Hey Aisha. Hi Katie!” their classmates called.
Aisha and Katie waved back. Aisha grabbed Katie’s arm.
“Let’s stop here for a minute—they make the best hot chocolate and it’s freezing outside!”
Katie shrugged. “I don’t want any.”
“Oh, come on, Katie, you can get a cup with mini marshmallows and a drizzle of caramel—it’s awesome!”
Katie shook her head. “I really don’t want any, but I’ll come in with you if you do.”
Aisha pushed open the door, and a few minutes later, she was holding her own cup of chocolaty deliciousness.
“I don’t know why you never spend your money,” Aisha told her friend before taking a long sip. “That’s what it’s there for, you know.”
Katie just smiled and they walked the rest of the way home in silence.
That evening, Aisha was looking through her wallet.
“Mom!” she called. “My allowance is gone again—and it’s only Tuesday!”
“You need to be more responsible, honey,” Aisha’s mom said. “Those seven dollars should be enough to last you all week! Are you ready to go?”
Aisha snapped her wallet shut and ran to grab her coat. She was going with her mom to pick up a some groceries at Target.
As they passed the front of the store, Aisha turned toward her mom.
“Mom—look! They have your favorite coffee store right here inside of Target. Why don’t you pick up a latte or a cappuccino to drink while we shop?”
Aisha’s mom turned toward her.
“Because that’s not on my list,” she said, pointing at the paper in her hand. “It’s just an impulse purchase, and if I make too many of those, I won’t have enough money to buy the things we need.”
“What do you mean?” Aisha asked as mom grabbed a cart and started wheeling it toward the grocery section.
“There are some things I need to buy, and all sorts of things I want to buy just because they look good—like those,” Mom pointed toward a rack of candy bars near a register. “Impulse purchases taste good now, but I don’t really need them. And they cost a lot, too.”
Mom patted her wallet. “I’d rather save my money for the stuff I really do need and keep those impulse purchases for special occasions that only happen once in a while. Doesn’t that make more sense?”
Aisha nodded. It did make sense. And she was finally starting to understand why her allowance never lasted long enough.
Tomorrow, she was going to be like Katie and skip the stop at The Coffee House on the way home from school.
She also wanted to save her money for the things she really needed.
- Can you give three examples of impulse purchases?
- How can you keep yourself from making impulse purchases when you shop?
- What are some impulse purchases that might be worth buying?