I wrote recently about keeping your cash and avoiding senseless online shopping.
I’ve since come up with a few more strategies to help you keep your cool, your head, and your cash, when your eyes are agog with all that you see in cyber-land to be purchased.
Three more top tips to keep your cash and avoid senseless online shopping:
- Set a time limit for your shopping expedition. Sure, you’re not in a bricks and mortar store where you might be stung with a parking ticket if you go over your time limited stay, but the principle of being in charge of how much time you spend shopping, no matter whether it’s in cyber space or not, applies. Allowing yourself an unlimited amount of time to while away, or possibly waste, in online purchasing pursuits is a recipe for disaster. Take back your power. Set a time limit for how much time you will spend in online shopping pursuits. And stick to it. Log off, click away, and shut down when that time limit is up. No matter what.
- Remember it’s real money you are using and treat it that way. Sure, you are using the magic plastic because that’s how online shopping works, but it’s real money involved here. If you are using a debit facility, then you’re on safer ground because it’s money you already have in your bank account. But if it’s a credit card or facility you are using, then put structures in place to either pay the entire amount of your purchases (plus any credit card charges or fees) in advance, or within 24 hours of your purchase. A recent study found that if you only pay the minimum balance on your credit card, it can take up to 39 years (yep, I wrote years) to pay off your entire balance. That’s absurd, especially when by that time most of the stuff you purchased with have either perished, become obsolete or been disposed of long ago.
- Limit the frequency and regularity of your online shopping expeditions. Set yourself a limit of say, once a fortnight or once a month or once every 3 months, as the frequency that you will allow yourself to shop online (and keep in mind my #2 tip from the previous post – don’t set yourself up to fail by “just looking” online). If you find you have time on your hands when online, find other sites you can visit that don’t offer the opportunity to purchase anything, but that give you something stimulating to read or watch. Bookmark these sites so you’ll always have somewhere to go and something interesting to watch or read, instead of drifting along in the cybermall. Consider sites that offer interesting videos on various topics and at various lengths (TED.com is one of those) or provocative or informative points of view that will make you think.
And here’s another post chock full of helpful strategies to keep your cash and bypass the buy now button. Bypassing Buy Now: More Strategies for Avoiding Senseless Online Shopping.