Let’s face it…. shopping can be a lot of fun. Whether you like to hop from store to store all day long or shop online in your pajamas, there’s a certain satisfaction you get from buying stuff.
But when you notice that indulging in shopping therapy is taking a toll on your budget and your purchasing habits are spiraling out of control, it’s time to make a change. It doesn’t mean you have to give up going on shopping sprees altogether, you just have to establish some rules that will stop you from throwing your hard-earned money out the window and keep your budget in balance.
It might seem difficult at first, but it only takes a little practice to go from an impulse buyer to a savvy shopper. Here we’re going to share a few tips and tricks so you can transition faster and start saving money.
The golden rule of savvy shopping is to always have a plan before you step or click into a store. Obviously, the important part is to actually stick to the plan. Making a shopping list and taking it with you will stop you from going astray and spending more than you intended. You might think that a mental list is enough, and you’ll remember all the items you want to purchase, but you can easily change your mind if you do that. It’s different when it’s written down on paper because you won’t be as tempted to make alterations, and you’ll be more likely to follow your initial plan.
Look for discounts
This one might seem obvious, but discounts and special offers are a guaranteed way to save money when shopping. However, a lot of people simply don’t have the patience to look for offers and discounts, even if they don’t have to put a lot of effort to find them. There are so many online stores that offer discount coupons for their products regularly, it would be a shame not to take advantage of it.
You can find amazing deals on Nike products and great discounts for all footwear and clothing items, if you just take the time to do a bit of research, so you can easily update your wardrobe on a budget.
Don’t shop when you’re sad
Psychologists warn us that shopping when you’re feeling low is not a good idea for your wallet, and it makes sense if you think about it. When you’re sad, you’re more likely to purchase things you don’t actually need or want, in an attempt to cheer yourself up. But that can lead to adding item after item without thinking of the final bill and the financial repercussions. Maybe shopping therapy works and it will lift your mood for a short while, but it will also lower your budget, so it can do more harm than good in the long run.
Don’t shop when you’re bored
The same advice applies when you’re feeling bored and you don’t know what to do with your time. Shopping as a form of entertainment is quite a popular activity, but if you’re serious about changing your purchasing habits, you’ll have to give it up.
The best thing you could do in this case is to avoid stores entirely and find another way to keep yourself entertained. There are countless other ways to have fun and chase boredom away that don’t involve leaving a dent in your budget.
When going on a shopping spree, most people like to take a friend along with them (or an entire army), just to make things a little more entertaining. But as fun as this might be, it’s not a great idea if you want to stick to a budget. Other people can influence your purchase decisions and make you spend more money than you had planned.
Similarly, shopping with your kids is not the smartest thing to do either. It’ll be hard to refuse them when they’ll ask you to buy stuff that isn’t on your shopping list and once again, you’ll go over your budget.
If you see an item and you really want it, don’t rush to buy it straight away, especially if it’s something expensive. Chances are you can find the same item at a much better price in a different store, so you should play the detective and compare prices from various retailers. There are many online tools that can help you compare prices and find the best deal for the items you want to purchase. It takes just a few clicks to do your research and save yourself some bucks.
Leave your credit cards at home
Studies have shown that people are willing to spend more when they pay with their credit cards rather than cash. When you don’t have an actual image of your money leaving your wallet, you’ll be inclined to be more generous with your spending. Visuals help, and that’s why it’s recommended to bring cash only with you when you go shopping, and leave all your credit cards at home. You can’t spend money that you don’t have, so if you run out of cash, you’ll simply have to stop shopping.
Distinguish between wants and needs
Before adding an item to your cart, pause for a second and think if you really need it or it’s just something you’re buying because it looked pretty on the shelf. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between wants and needs. You can’t limit yourself to essentials only and never buy anything that doesn’t fall in this category.
The trick here is to decide if the item you’re considering purchasing will bring you any real value. For example, if you already have three black T-shirts in your closet, it doesn’t make much sense buying one more, so you should keep your money for things that are actually worth it.