We are all guilty of buying things on impulse, and specifically some of us more than others. Usually something catches our eye see, and we immediately justify the purchase by convincing ourselves that it's a necessity. That split second decision driven by emotion can often be detoured with a simple pause or hesitation. According to The Five Cent Nickle, "simply stopping to question your buying decisions can go a long way toward cutting down on frivolous expenditures." That is why I have developed a unique system called "Counting Up to Impulse Buys" which caters to the severity of each impulse.
The next time you see an item that walks the fine line between impulse and necessity, try counting up to the total dollar amount in your head before deciding whether to purchase it. The more expensive the item, the longer you will be counting. You might think twice before buying a $60 pair of shoes if you must first mentally count to sixty. Counting engages your brain in another activity, and removes your focus from the desired item.
I am not saying that when you finish counting the purchase will magically become rational, but it is a good way create a pause long enough to encourage a rational descison.