Online shopping is a popular British pass-time that has been increasing in popularity for several years. With the introduction of Buy Now Pay Later, next day delivery options, and free returns, it has arguably become more convenient to shop online than in a store. However, despite the ease of it, and the instant gratification it could provide to you, if it is starting to take a toll on your finances it may be time for an intervention.
If the postman is becoming an over-familiar face and your inbox is rammed with “order confirmation” emails, you may be an impulsive shopper. That being where you make purchases without carefully considering how much you need the purchase, and if you can afford the purchase, before typing in your payment details.
So, if you have recognized that your online shopping is getting out of hand, we have some great strategies that may help you revert bad online spending habits:
Try not to save your card details on retailer websites. They often offer this for “faster checkouts”, which is true. However, this is not necessarily always a good thing as it also speeds up the process of making the decision to complete a purchase.
We suggest you delete your saved payment options from websites and chose to manually enter your card details and billing information for each purchase you make. By doing this you are granting yourself extra time to reflect on your purchase. Use this time wisely to ask yourself:
Do I need this?
Can I afford this?
Will this purchase be useful to me?
If you answer no to any of these questions you should reconsider the purchase before you checkout. An added bonus to following this tip is that deleting your saved details from websites may reduce the risk of identity theft.
“FLASH SALE – HURRY ENDS AT MIDNIGHT – 50% OFF!”
Retailers love to make you feel like you will only get good deals in the current moment to try and persuade you to make an impulsive purchase. The sad part is many of us fall for these types of marketing campaigns too.
This is because the email strategically creates a desire for an item you may have never previously wanted. Retailers can make you feel like if you do not bag a bargain, you have missed out on a great opportunity.
Try not to fall for it. Better yet, avoid it as much as possible in order to resist temptation. To do this you could unsubscribe to all mailing lists, from retailers to daily deal sites like Wowcher and Groupon.
According to A Wunderman Thompson Company, who work closely with the large retailer Selfridges, 96% of the Internet Retailing top 25 retailers have transactional mobile apps. This is due to the rising amount of time people spend on their mobile phones. Having an app makes purchasing online more convenient for the consumer. However, if you are trying to cut down on online shopping having retail apps on your mobile is not at all convenient.
In order to remove temptation from under your nose, we advise that you delete any shopping apps you have downloaded. This adds the extra step of having to load a website before you can make any purchases.
We understand that breaking bad habits is hard and takes real determination. But if your habits are hurting your finances you need to make changes sooner rather than later. Thankfully, you do not have to rely on willpower alone, as there are some great apps available to help with your online spending situation.
There are two free apps that may help you in your efforts to change. These are StayFocused and LeechBlock. Both of these apps allow you to specify websites that you would like to be blocked by your browser. StayFocused works in chrome browsers, and LeechBlock works in both Firefox and Chrome browsers.
StayFocused also goes one step further in helping you avoid online shopping by allowing you to block entire genres of websites, as well as any specific ones you enter. This allows you to block yourself from watching any type of video, playing any type of game, or visiting any online retailer – perfect for those of you that are often influenced to purchase things you see on YouTube “clothing hauls”.
If your debts are building up and you need a hand to get back on top of your finances, we may be able to help you. If multiple creditors are chasing you, a consolidation loan could close accounts with these lenders and leave you to just make an affordable payment each month.