Do you find that you are becoming an avid online shopper, bordering on addicted? While there are many benefits to shopping online, the ease of the process can lead you to shop more than you would otherwise, and spend more money than perhaps you should.
Sure, online shopping has it’s conveniences — easy price comparisons, access to online-only sales, wider selection of products, and you don’t have to go anywhere! But you are probably spending more money with online shopping than you should, diverting funds from your priority goals like paying down debt or saving for vacation/house/retirement.
Here are five tips on how to curb online shopping:
1. Just say no to retail emails
Don’t give out your email address. It’s a common trend these days for retail shops to ask for your email address at the point of sale. They promise to send you exclusive deals and sale notifications, so that seems like a win-win. But, you will soon be bombarded with flashy marketing emails enticing you to buy, buy, buy! They will have you lusting for new products or limited-time deals, which you would have otherwise been blissfully unaware. These emails keep the store, the products and shopping top-of-mind and encourage you to click “order” much more than necessary. Avoid excessive consumerism, especially with non-essentials like clothing, electronics, books, etc by not signing up for these emails, and unsubscribing from those you currently receive.
2. Don’t save your information
Never save your credit card information to an online shopping cart. Saving your payment info just makes it all too easy to make subsequent purchases, without much second thought. Having to pull your card out of your wallet, and enter all the info, may just make you rethink whether the item, the cost, and the timing really is a good a decision. It provides a good pause, before you pull the trigger.
3. Don’t keep web store links
Don’t “bookmark” or “favourite” those online store websites where you tend to spend a lot. When you are specifically looking for something you need to buy or price, it is very easy to search and find the store(s) you want. However, saving the links encourages you to click it regularly just to check what’s new, rather than seeking it only when the need arises.
4. Write it down
Mark down every online purchase you make into your budget or spending diary. Charging purchases to your card, and waiting for the items to arrive, makes it easy to forget how much you have already spent and on what. Until the bill arrives that is. So write it down and be accountable – when you reach your monthly limit in your budget in a certain category – such as clothing – stop buying until the next month.
5. Don’t be pressured
Remember that limited time sales are usually not really limited. In general, a product will be placed on sale several times throughout it’s vending period, with varying degrees of discount. One day it may be discounted by 10%, the next by 20%, the next week it has free shipping, and so on. Try not to be pressured by the end-of-sale deadline. Buy only what you really love and really need. A sale price on something you don’t need is not really saving you money, it’s costing you money.