With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s easy to get caught up in all the sales and good deals. This can be a problem if you are trying to avoid overspending. Many people find they start accumulating too much consumer debt this time of year. However, you can avoid all that with these tips for shopping smart!
It was a beautiful fall Saturday here in Boston when I decided to go clothes shopping. Next to one store, I noticed some signs that said: “everything must go, store closing.” So, I decided to look inside. My intention was to buy clothes. Unfortunately, I bought things I am never going to use just because I thought I was getting a good deal.
Almost everyone has been in a situation like that before, where you go shopping for one thing, but come back with multiple shopping bags full of discounted items you really didn’t need. The holidays are close and so is the temptation to swipe your credit card on every “amazing deal.” Here are some tips for shopping smart and avoiding those impulse buys.
1. Make a list.
If you plan to shop online, you can start making a wish-list, or if you choose to walk in stores, simply write down your list. Writing the list before you go helps you to think twice if you really need or like those items you find while you’re out shopping. If you stick to the list, it’s not only going to be easier to shop, but you might be less likely to buy unnecessary items just because they’re on sale. Of course, it’s always a good feeling to save money when you buy sale items, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy everything that’s on sale.
2. Set a budget.
Budgets are important for your overall spending, but creating a budget specifically for a shopping trip can be helpful too. You know your finances better than anyone. Before you go out on a major shopping trip, set up a budget to determine a reasonable amount of money you can allow yourself to spend at this time of the year. Compare your budget to the items you have on your list, and see if you need to adjust anything. Cutting items from the list is not easy. However, you don’t want to increase your debt just because of a sale; you are actually spending money that you do not have.
3. Choose the right store.
Finally, the last of our tips for shopping smart is choosing the right store. Choosing the right store takes a little bit of research. Some retailers may offer better discounts than others. If you plan to buy an electronic device, don’t immediately go to the nearest wholesale store. Instead, do a quick Google search about the best prices available from different retailers.
It can be difficult at times to avoid impulse buys. Hopefully, with these tips, you can stick to your budget and avoid debt!
If you struggle with credit card debt, please call one of ACCC’s certified credit counselors at 800-769-3571.