Who doesn’t love the ease of online shopping? If you have access to the internet and a credit card, then you have everything you need to take advantage of the convenience. However, if you find your money disappearing through your modem, then it’s time to take stock of your online shopping habit. Here are a few tips to help you get back in control of your finances.
Work out why you spend
Impulsive spending can be triggered by many things. Is it as a result or boredom? Do you spend when you are feeling stressed? Or is there another emotion that makes you want to log on and shop? Once you have understood why you are spending, then you can search for other means to manage this emotion, for example find a hobby.
Set a budget
Cutting it out completely might not be the best way to manage your online spending habit, as a complete cold-turkey approach is never sustainable. Why not incorporate an ‘indulgence amount’ into your monthly budget? Setting aside a little money each month that you can dedicate to yourself can be a more realistic way of handling it, but only if you stick to it.
Remove your credit-card details
You may have saved your credit-card information on your favourite shopping sites to make purchasing easier. This makes it all too easy to spend on impulse without thinking about what you’re buying. If you delete your details it means you will have to physically get up, find your wallet and input your details again, giving you time to think about your purchase – you may change your mind in those few minutes.
Unsubscribe from mailers
Your favourite online shopping sites may be sending you daily updates on what’s available, what’s on special, and what they have selected for you based on previous purchases. The whole aim is to lure you to the website to browse and ultimately spend. If you unsubscribe you are removing that daily temptation and will ultimately save money on things you don’t need.
Set a time before you hit the buy button
Give yourself a cooling-off period. You have the items in your cart, but if you have set a mandatory waiting period of an hour or 24 hours before purchasing, you will have time to clear your head and realise that you don’t really need what you are about to buy.
Set financial goals
If you have a clear idea of something you are saving for that really matters to you, then the impulse to buy unnecessary things won’t be so strong. Next time you are tempted to drop something into your cart, ask yourself what is more important – those new shoes, or the overseas trip you’re saving for?
The information contained in this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.
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