The convenience of shopping from anywhere using a computer or cellphone has made it too easy for some. Making impulse purchases this way can be incredibly enjoyable since you can shop from almost anywhere, and know that your purchase will soon be on the way. In fact, it can become almost addicting for those who just love to shop. The brakes have to be put on sooner or later, and here are some tips to help you avoid making impulse purchases on the Internet.
Internet sites like Groupon, Living Social, Gilt, Amazon, and many more, are designed to make shopping easy. In fact, they will make suggestions as to other purchases you might make – which can be so very tempting. Most of us, though, do not have unlimited finances, which means this has got to be controlled and you must learn to say no somewhere along the line.
Know Your Financial Limits
One thing that is important is to have a limit (a budget) on how much you can spend in purchases above your regular needs – your extra cash. Keep this figure handy in Notepad or some other file, and then make subtractions as you make your purchases. This will let you see how much you have spent and how much is left for the week, or month. This will only work, though, if you keep it current and record each purchase.
Taking time to shop around for the best price will also help you think about whether you really want the item or not. Money can be saved if you only buy an item when it is on sale. If it’s not, then you have a few days to determine whether you really need it. CNET suggests that you might use software called StayFocused, which will restrict the amount of time you spend on any particular Website. Once that time limit is reached, you won’t be able to access it again until the next day.
Another step in the process might include checking out reviews of the product. Obviously, if you find that reviewers are highly unsatisfied with a product that should quickly change your mind and further help you avoid making impulse purchases. Of course, the opposite may also be true.
Do Not Believe All the Promised “Deals”
Many companies are in the habit of jacking up their prices just before a sale. Some have even run a so-called sale while other parts of the website had that same item for sale cheaper than what their special sale promised. SmartMoney.com warns that deals are not always what they seem. If you are buying in order to get special vouchers, such as from Groupon, realize that you may not be able to actually get the deal – because too many other people are buying it, too, making it near impossible for the seller to fulfill all the buyer’s purchases.
Do Not Store Credit Card Data
If you have your credit card data stored on your computer or phone, this makes it very easy to merely click a button and make your purchase. Lifehacker suggests that if you take it off so that you have to actually pull out your credit card, which can give you a little more time to think if it’s worth it or not.
The bottom line of many of these methods of helping you to avoid making impulse purchases is to make it harder to do so. Learning to be satisfied with less will also go a long way toward better fiscal management.