If you’re like many Americans, when the pandemic hit, you were staying at home more and scrolling on your phone or aimlessly browsing on the internet. With all that time online – and not being able to go shopping in person – you probably started doing more shopping online.
The quick adrenaline rush of hitting “Buy Now” coupled with the fact that we’re likely to spend more money when paying with a credit card than with cash can create the perfect overspending storm. So while online shopping IS incredibly easy and super convenient, it’s important to take pre- cautions so you don’t spend more than you have.
HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO HELP PREVENT YOU FROM OVERSPENDING WHILE SHOPPING ONLINE:
- Delete any “digital wallets” you have on your phone or computer. If you have to input your card information each time you make a purchase, it will give you an extra few minutes to think about whether or not you really need what’s in your shopping cart or if you have enough money in your account for the item(s).
- Avoid payment plans. Many web stores now offer payment plans so you can break up purchases into multiple payments. Having a smaller payment may look good, but in reality, you’re likely to spend more than you have. If you can’t afford to pay for it all at once, you probably shouldn’t buy it.
- Create a shopping list. Just like when you shop in person, it’s good to write down a list of items you need, and then don’t veer from the list – even if that awesome deal on Facebook beckons you.
Shopping just for the sake of shopping or when you can’t afford to can put you in a financial bind. Avoiding the online overspending trap takes a dash of discipline, self-awareness and creating barriers that make it harder to spend and easier to save.