Online shopping might offer convenience of a level that was once unthinkable but, on the other hand, it’s also easy to overspend on things you really don’t need or, for that matter, can really afford. If you are the type to develop some bad spending habits over time, it’s always a good idea to try to remedy the problem sooner rather than later. If you’re spending beyond your means when shopping online, you need to take action now, even if some of the following hacks might seem a little drastic:
#1. Never Use a Credit Card
Among a select few, who are disciplined enough to spend responsibly and know when and how much money to borrow, credit cards can be a great thing. For everyone else, they can present a downward spiral towards financial disaster. If you want to have financial security in life, you should never use a credit card for items that you don’t specifically and urgently need. After all, you’ll always have to pay the money back and, unless you religiously pay your credit card off in full every month, you’ll pay interest too.
#2. Don’t Save Payment Details
One-click checkout processes make shopping online quicker and easier than ever before but, for those who have difficulties being financially responsible, this heightened convenience can become troublesome. After all, convenience is not worth the trouble if it’s draining your wallet. As such, you should never store your payment details on any online shopping sites and, even more importantly, you should avoid linking any payment information to mobile app stores. After all, mobile app stores and in-app payments are notorious for emptying wallets very quickly.
#3. Use Wish Lists
Many people love to shop, and browsing through online stores is a common pastime for many but, if you’re the type to buy compulsively, it can rapidly become a problem. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need to give up your love for online shopping, provided you make some minor changes and think before you actually press the checkout button. Many online stores allow you to add items you’re interested in to a wish list for referring back to later. This will allow you some time to think about whether or not you really want the product in question.
#4. Do Some Comparison Shopping
Another great thing about wish lists is that they give you ample opportunity to do a bit of comparison shopping. When you see something you might want to buy, there’s no better way to save money than by saving the shopping basket for the time being and looking elsewhere to see if you can get a better deal on the same item. In such a competitive marketplace, it’s often not hard to find a cheaper option, especially when you use websites like Google Shopping, Shopping.com or Nextag.
#5. Sell Your Old Stuff
The Internet might be a great place to spend lots of money, but it can also be a great place to make some money. Instead of always spending money on new items, you should consider selling your old items or trading them for others. Depending on what you want to buy, you may find groups on Reddit and other public forums where people trade and swap everything from books to video games to clothes. Alternatively, you can sell just about anything on Amazon or eBay.
All of the above money-saving hacks are really just stopgaps towards getting into a more financially responsible mindset. To really change your spending behaviour for the longer term, you’ll need to make some deeper changes to your habits and start looking at money and consumer goods in a very different way.