Are you and your credit card a picture-perfect example of a bad romance? You make impulse purchases because you just can’t resist, blame it on your personality, and you keep on spending. A few weeks later, nothing you’ve bought really satisfies you and you keep on buying in order to get that temporary “high” of happiness.

There are ways to overcome the temptation to spend on impulse and protect your bank account, however. It doesn’t happen overnight, so give yourself permission to slip up and overspend occasionally, but with enough practice at using one or more of the below methods, you can overcome impulse spending.

When you go shopping, don’t live in the moment. Actively think of the future whenever you buy something. Ask yourself whether this is truly a necessity (work clothes to replace an item you don’t already have and really need), a need that could be delayed (nice clothes to go out in), or a want (designer clothing). Make sure that you’ll have a place to put it when you get home – if your closet is already stuffed, don’t think, “Oh, I’ll put it in the closet.” Ask yourself if you’re still going to love it and use it in six months, whether you want to clean it and move it around when you need to get to other items in your closet, drawer or shelf and if you want to pack it (then unpack it again) whenever you move. The more logically you think about the purchase, the more clear it will be to you that you don’t need most impulse purchases.

Particularly when grocery shopping, bring the exact amount of money you’ll need and no credit card, if possible. If you have a certain amount budgeted to spend for the week’s groceries, take it out in cash the day before and then take that cash to the store. Once the money’s gone, it has to buy your food for the week. You’ll think twice about the “great deals” on sale.

Force yourself to justify anything you buy on impulse. That’s right – before it even lands in your basket (try to avoid shopping carts, because they look empty without impulse purchases), you need to give yourself three good, solid reasons to get it. Toilet paper will certainly pass the test, but another cute or tacky ornament won’t. Make yourself stand there as long as it takes to come up with the reasons, and if you can’t, just put it back.

Finally, you can try putting back all impulse purchases when you’re tempted to make them, going around the store to purchase everything you need, and letting yourself have some time and space. Like an ex-lover, the more time away from the item and the way it calls to your emotions, the more clearly you’ll think. You might even forget you wanted it by the time you go to check out… in that case, you didn’t truly need it that much.

Impulse buying is a hard habit to kick, but be persistent. If you accidentally buy something on impulse, don’t kick yourself too hard from it. Just learn a lesson from the experience and keep trying.