In today’s day and age, shopping is just a click away for a growing number of people, and growing is certainly the word – presently, eCommerce sales stand at $660 billion in the U.S. alone, and this number is expected to surpass $740 billion by 2023.
While this is fantastic news for online businesses, the same cannot be said for those who struggle with online-shopping addiction. Indeed, many factors contribute to the worsening of this problem; these include attractive product placements on websites, the ease of payment, and convenient search bars.
Having said all of this, here are some effective ways to reduce or altogether eliminate unnecessary spending for the soon-to-be reformed consumer:
1. Write everything down
This practical tip comes from the saying “if you do not measure it, you cannot improve it”; in other words, the numbers have to be made visible and measurable so that they can be properly managed. Keep a notebook and make a note every time purchase is made. At the end of the week or month, total up the numbers – you might be shocked at what you see! To go the extra mile, break down spending into a set of categories and use them to track where your funds are going.
2. Pay yourself first
In other words, invest in your savings before selecting to spend money on that currently trending item you have your eye on.
To get started, decide on a figure to be set aside every month as savings (it is easier to do this in percentage terms based on income).
Then, make sure to put the money away immediately after deducting for essential expenditure such as bills and rental, and before hitting checkout on that pair of shoes.
3. Define financial goals
Often, we part with our money easily due to the belief that we have the funds to spare. While this may be true to an extent, this belief a lot of the time arises from a lack of financial planning. If this is the case for you, it will be in your best interests to carefully define the goals that you have in this area. Are you looking to invest in property or do you want to further your education; if so, how much do you have to save monthly to reach your goal? Asking such questions will get you on the path to a clearer and wealthier future.
4. Organise your space
What’s the connection?
Amid chaos and clutter, it is difficult to see all your possessions; this problem may lead you to purchase an item you don’t realize you already own.
Also, taking good care of your belongings and storing them inaccessible places will make it less tempting for you to buy even more of the same instead of channeling the money into savings or for settling the monthly bills.
5. Save for later
This invaluable tip works exceedingly well if you often find yourself making impulse-purchases. Next time the mood strikes to hit ‘checkout’, resist the pull to do so; instead, save the item on the website or, alternatively, in a folder. Revisit the item at a later time – you will likely find you are no longer interested in it. If you are, however, you may be happy to discover that it is now discounted!
6. Delete shopping apps
It is an obvious and foolproof method to banish the desire to spend your dimes on things you didn’t know you ‘needed’.
Still, if you are an avid shopper, chances are you would not want to be completely bereft of access to your favorite sites.
In that case, remove the corresponding apps on your smartphone and peruse them on your computer instead – this will afford you more control overall.
Note that all of these suggestions should be adapted to your individual needs where necessary. The aim is not to follow a specific method exactly the way it is written here; it is to be strict in adhering to your tailored approach, especially in the beginning until you fall into the habit.