How To Beat Your Online Shopping Addiction And Save Money
We’ve all been there. A lazy night on the couch, feeling bored, and you start checking a few sites. Potentially hundreds of dollars later, you might be filled with regret. Acumen’s Financial Adviser Lisa Dudson offers tips to beat the online shopping spend.
29 October 2021
Before you start shopping online:
Have a list. Just the same as trawling through a shopping mall aimlessly, online shopping can lead you astray if you aren’t trying to buy something specific. Dudson says you should be prepared with a list of items you’re specifically looking for, and stick to it.
Think about whether you really need it. There are two questions you should ask yourself before you click that BUY button, Dudson says: “Do I really need it, and do I really want it?” she says.
Many of us will have been in the situation where we have time on our hands, and head online to look what’s out there.
“Before you know it, you’ve bought a bunch of things and when they show up you think, ‘I’m not sure I really needed that’.”
If you ask yourself those two questions, chances are the answers might be no. Then put the credit card away and save yourself some money.
Think about how you felt when you overspent last time. Dudson says you should think about the kind of feelings that were generated the last time you spent a lot of money online.
“The challenge with spending is that it makes you feel good, but often temporarily,” she says.
Later, when the goods arrive, or you see your bill, you might feel annoyed or disappointed. Think about this the next time you head online.
“Think about whether you’re going to feel it was a good decision, or be annoyed for wasting your hard-earned money.”
Find other ways to make yourself feel good. Spending money can often bring a thrill, but you might be filled with regret later.
Dudson says you should make a list of other things you can do to make yourself feel good. “Ring up a friend, go for a walk, watch a movie, have a long, hot bath.”
Look to the future. A small amount saved now can really pay off in the long run, Dudson says.
Think about whether you’d prefer to spend that money now, or have more to spend on something more worthwhile later on.
Dudson recalls a couple who were planning to have a baby, and who radically changed their financial habits and became much tighter on spending.
“When people sit down and ask, do we really need all this stuff, and the answer has been no, they’ve made massive strides financially,” she says.
“People spend a lot more than they need to. And in a lot of cases they spend a lot more than what they want to as well.”
How often are Kiwis shopping online?
New research from Mastercard shows 59 per cent of New Zealanders are shopping online at least once a month.
Security and the quality of products they buy are the top concerns, at 62 per cent and 61 per cent respectively, the research shows.
Other important factors Kiwis are considering when shopping online include ensuring the business is legitimate (55 per cent); that goods can be returned easily (37 per cent); and products are delivered in a timely manner (29 per cent).
“Kiwis – and consumers the world over – want to know that their data is secure when they are making a transaction. As cyber-criminals become more sophisticated, retailers and financial providers need to work together to ensure we stay one step ahead,” says Ruth Riviere, of Mastercard.
More than 1000 people were surveyed about their online shopping and digital payment habits.
First published 6 July, 2018
Story by Claire Connell
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