How to Shop Online Without Breaking the Bank
Shopping online is easy and convenient. With a click of a button, you can get everything you need without having to get dressed, let alone leave your home. While online shopping might make life easier for many busy, lazy, and anxious people, it does have some drawbacks.
Since you don’t need to travel to a store and walk around to find the things you’re looking for, and you’re not handing over physical cards or cash to pay for the items you order, limiting yourself can be more challenging. Many people go overboard and wind up in debt from shopping online.
If you’re prone to impulse shopping and spending big money online, it’s important to break the habit before you break the bank, especially during these current times. From researching products to finding good deals and limiting your spending, this guide will provide the best tips and tricks for shopping online while sticking to a budget.
Research the Items You Need
Many people choose to shop online over visiting physical stores because they can save a lot of money. If you learn how to shop smartly, you can too. One of the best things about shopping online is that there’s no pressure to buy the first product you find. There’s plenty of time and information at your fingertips to research the products you’re looking for, which guarantees that you’re getting what you need and ensures that you’re getting it at the best price.
When shopping for something online, ask yourself – and the internet – whether there are better deals for similar items on other sites. Always do some research before you click on the first sale you see. I always do this and it can save you a lot of money.
Avoid Shopping Out of Boredom
Whether you’re procrastinating on getting housework done, having trouble sleeping, or are stuck at home after some friends canceled plans, if you’re like many other people (myself included), you might break out your phone or computer and start browsing online shopping sites when you’re bored. Shopping out of boredom is a great way to spend money unnecessarily and mess up your budget in the process.
To avoid shopping out of boredom, try designating specific hours during the week for shopping online. If you think of things you want to shop for, keep a list and browse the internet for whatever you feel you need to buy on a set day and time. Prohibit yourself from shopping outside of that window to ensure you’re not doing it as a means of entertainment.
Don’t Impulse Buy
Aside from shopping out of boredom, impulse shopping is another serious challenge for many people. Impulse shopping can get the better of you even if you’re only shopping during the time you set for yourself. Say you visit a site to buy something for your home, but you see an advertisement for an awesome new gadget on sale. You see that the deal is being offered only for a limited time, and you suddenly feel like it’s something you won’t be able to live without if you pass it up at such a reasonable price. This is precisely how many people drive themselves into credit card debt.
To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, wait a set time before going through with unplanned purchases to be sure they will be reasonable purchases. The best thing you can do in such cases is to follow a 24-hour rule, which says you can put the item in question into your shopping cart, but you must wait 24 hours before purchasing it. If 24 hours pass and you decide that you really need the item and have enough money to buy it, you can go through with the purchase. However, in many cases, you might find that the item isn’t actually worth it.
Look for Online Deals
One of the best things about shopping online is that you can save a lot of money if you look for online deals. Many online stores have discounts and sales that allow you to find products at much lower prices than physical stores. There are even price comparison searches you can do that will help you easily find the best prices for the products you’re looking for. From designer clothing to electronics and home goods, you should always check prices online before going to a physical store – but be careful not to fall into one of the traps mentioned above.
Opt for Used Products That Are Still High Quality
Looking for online re-sellers who offer high-quality used products is another great way to save money when shopping online. Use your favorite search engines to find used products, use social media to see what your friends are selling (I sell online all the time), or visit second-hand online stores. Whether you’re looking for a bike, a vehicle, or a wedding dress, it’s easy to find quality items for reasonable prices online. Many stores also offer discounts on returned items, which can be an excellent way to find quality products at lower prices. In such cases, the package may come resealed, but the product you purchase should be in good shape.
Set Daily Credit Card Limits
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. One of the best ways to ensure that you’re not going to go overboard when shopping online is to only allow yourself to spend a certain amount of money each day or each time you shop. You can either set daily limits on your own or use a credit card with a built-in limit. No matter which way you choose to do it, it’s essential to find a balance between the number of things you genuinely need and your financial capacity. This is the number-one rule for avoiding financial problems.
Only Buy Necessary Items
Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between the things you want and the things you need, especially when you’re shopping online. However, in order to save money, you must learn to limit your purchases to the items you need.
For example, if you really want to buy a new dress, stop and consider whether or not you really need one. Or, if you need a new dress and are considering spending thousands of dollars on a designer dress, stop and consider whether you can find one that’s just as good for a lower price. Keep all your current expenses in mind and consider whether the purchase is something worth spending extra money on.
It’s perfectly normal to want new things – you deserve them. Don’t be afraid to shop for new products but learn how to control your spending and shop wisely, so you don’t break the bank every time you want something new. By following the tips above, you can enjoy shopping online without worrying about ending up in debt. If you do want to curb your spending more, you can always shop your own wardrobe and wear pieces you never get around to wearing! What are some of your tips?