Online shopping has quickly become a part of our everyday lives. From groceries to clothes to furniture, you can buy almost anything on the internet in just a few clicks! But everything that makes online shopping so convenient can also make it habit-forming. If you're not careful, it's easy to slip into a cycle of overspending on impulse buys.
If you want to save more money in your budget and cut back on online spending, try some of these strategies to help break the habit.
#1: Make a wish list
It's okay to browse online, but instead of clicking “add to cart" right away, try making a wish list instead. Then, give yourself some time to make a decision. You might decide to narrow down your list or even save some items for later. When you make a list, impulse buys turn into planned purchases that you can fit into your monthly budget.
#2: Unsubscribe from email lists
Online sales can be hard to resist, especially when retailers are constantly sending you emails about their latest deals. To declutter your inbox and avoid impulse buys, consider unsubscribing from those lists. Likewise, unfollowing the social media accounts of your favorite brands can help you resist temptation. If you don't know about a sale, you won't feel like you're missing out!
#3: Remove saved credit cards
Saving your payment information on your favorite websites makes it fast and easy to check out with the click of a button. It also makes it easy to spend money without really thinking about your purchases! When you remove your saved information, you add more steps to the process. In the extra minutes it takes to grab your wallet and type in your information, you might realize you don't want that new item after all.
Protecting against identity theft is another good reason to delete your saved credit cards from retail websites. If someone gets hold of your login information or a data breach occurs, you're less likely to become a victim.
#4: Find an accountability partner
When you're trying to break a habit, it's helpful to have the support of friends and family. Tell someone about your decision to cut back on online spending. Then, ask if they will help to hold you accountable.
If you feel the itch to shop, reach out to your accountability partner. They can provide some much-needed distraction and help you avoid unnecessary purchases.
#5: Think long-term
Everyone has dreams and goals — what are yours? Maybe you want to get ahead of debt, upgrade your car, buy a home, take a special vacation or save for your child's college fund. When you're tempted to shop online, think of the exciting goals you're working toward. Keeping a note or picture by your desk or on your phone can be a helpful reminder. Remember, splurging now might fulfill a short-term desire, but it's not worth derailing your big life goals. Your future self will thank you!
There's nothing wrong with saving room in your budget for fun spending — money you can use to buy what you want, when you want. The key to spending wisely is to make a plan and stay within your limits. You can do it! Try using Wright-Patt Credit Union's free Money Management tool to help you track your spending and avoid going over budget.
Wright-Patt Credit Union is here to help you manage your money with confidence, no matter where you are in your financial journey. Use our helpful resources, like our free monthly budget and spending plan worksheets, to start spending wisely today!