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Shopping Habits

A lot of money you waste is probably because of your shopping habits. Bad habits can end up wasting a lot of money, but the good news is that it is easy to develop good habits for your shopping.

  • Stick to your budget! Set a budget and only spend what you allow – not a penny more! Take cash rather than credit cards if you have trouble sticking to your limit.
  • Go shopping with a list and only buy what’s on your list. But watch out for – and make the most of – specials on your regular items.
  • Do you need to BUY it – when you go shopping, ask yourself the question “Do I REALLY NEED this?” Expenditure can be classed as “must spend”, “should spend” and “nice to spend”. Cut back on the items that are “nice to spend” so that you can always pay for the “musts”. For example, if you have a choice of paying your power bill or buying the latest mobile phone, the power bill must take priority.
  • Know your shopping weaknesses – are you an emotional shopper? Many people believe in retail therapy as a pick me up or to celebrate good news. That’s fine, but you need to keep your spending in check. Set a budget, shop at thrift stores or try another way to deal with your emotions!
  • Shop around – compare prices at different shops and make the most of sales and bargain bins! And buy in bulk where you can too.
  • Don’t impulse buy, as much as advertising campaigns and sales people encourage you to – adopt the 24 hour cool off period. If you still really want an item after sleeping on it, then think about how to finance the purchase. In most cases though, the initial “I must have that!” feeling disappears.
  • Don’t give in to pester power – thanks to aggressive marketing campaigns aimed at our children, kids are turning into great consumers. Be reasonable with treats for your kids, but don’t spoil them – they’ll learn a valuable lesson too.
  • Don’t give in to the latest fad – mobile ring tones are the classic example here. Do you really need to subscribe? REALLY?
  • Find a cheaper alternative – you may really cherish your weekly restaurant dinner with your partner. You can still do this, but perhaps you can find a more economic restaurant to go to? Same applies to clothes – do you really need a designer brand – and other items you purchase. In fact, you can even get some great second hand stuff that will do the job – even pre-loved clothing!
  • Avoid temptations – don’t by groceries when you’re hungry, keep your credit card at home (in a safe place) unless you have a planned shopping trip or bills to bay and just keep enough cash in your wallet for what you really need.
  • Use credit cards wisely! Have credit card free days – just take enough cash for the basics (fares, etc) and leave the plastic at home!

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We are not certified financial planners or advisors. The information in this website is general information only. Always consult a licensed financial planner before making any finance or investment decision.


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