The thing about online shopping is it is so easy. It’s convenient, it’s fast, delivered right to your door. What could go wrong?
Plenty. If you’re not careful you can find yourself easily piling up the bills for items that you really don’t need, and might not ever use.
I have clients that come to me asking for help from their spontaneous online purchases. It may start with just one or two items, but with 24/7 access to any store at our fingertips, it’s easy to succumb to temptation. It’s habit forming.
There is a veritable tsunami of commercials, print ads, brand labels, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, ads on your phone or anything a business can produce to get your attention and compel you to buy. Digital Marketing experts estimate that most people are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each day. – Red Crow Marketing.
Tips to help minimize the potential for over-spending when online shopping:
- You don’t have to subscribe. How may times have you said yes when making a purchase to having your receipt emailed to you? Convenient to have the receipt, yes. However, this often triggers daily eblasts filled with alluring offers to tempt and sway you. These are delivered right to your inbox, every day. All day. When you are asked again, just say no. It’ll cut down the spam and keep your screen-shopping in check.
- Don’t become a member of any site. This is harder than it sounds. Once you’ve signed up to be a member, online stores will handily keep your credit card on reference for you. Easy to shop, proceed to check out and make your purchase, and you haven’t even budged from the coach. However, this simplification is deceiving. It’s easy to purchase a mascara or some jewelry for a special occasion. Retailers keep track. They will entice you with hard to resist bonus offers, discounts and free delivery once you’ve reached a price threshold. Suddenly, you’ve got a drawer filled with cosmetics you’ll never use and don’t really need, all for free shipping.
- Set a limit to your online shopping. Just as you make a list and have a plan when you go to the mall, do the same online. Set a limit and stick to it. Discipline is best way to manage your money and your spending, particularly around the holiday season when everything looks so good and it’s easy to complete your list. Be realistic and be truthful. You’ll know what you need, what you can spend and what you can’t.
Finally, almost anything you want is available online, from groceries to trips around the world. It’s all very tempting. By adhering to simple rules and limits, you’ll manage your spending, online and off. Impulse shopping can be a slippery slope. It’s easy to look at that tunic appearing on the right hand of your screen and think: “that’s just what I need.” Chances are you don’t. Just because you work online all day, don’t let those relentless ads creep into your wallet.
I’m Judith Cane, Canada’s Money Coach, I’ll help you get out of debt and stay there. Call me with your issues, I’m listening. 613-875-5834