Online shopping may be the worst or the best thing ever invented, depending on who you speak with. For some, the easy and instant access to anything they could ever want and the unbelievable deals make it an addictive draw. Unfortunately, that “addictively” awesome aspect of online shopping have become a real problem for some.
Because of this, many people are wanting to curb their online spending, but it’s as difficult to curb as you might imagine. Limiting your spending, however, is not, however, a lost cause, and you don’t have to throw out your computer and never go online again to make it stick. Our guide will outline the best methods you can use to stop over-spending online.
Give Yourself a Spending Allowance
For many people, putting in place a shopping allowance can actually work for them. This means allocating a certain amount of money to yourself each month for online spending only, $50 – $100 for example; just make sure it’s a reasonable amount that works with your budget. Also, telling someone about your spending cap, like a significant other or someone else who’s close you, is a good idea so they can make sure you’re staying within the limits of your allowance.
Some banks allow its customers to create a virtual credit card which is a good way to keep your real credit card information safe. You can also allocate only a specific amount to the virtual card. This way you can be aware of the amount money left to spend and help you with managing and spending the money in a better way.
Delete Stored Credit Card Info
Having your credit card information stored at all the sites you’ve previously shopped may seem handy, but for people addicted to online shopping, this makes it incredibly hard to limit oneself from impulse shopping.
Your best bet is to delete all of your stored credit card information from any site you’ve shopped at, including your instant PayPal login information that will often to be linked to on merchant’s sites.
It’s also a good idea to disable “One-click buy” on sites like Amazon.com, which makes impulse shopping ridiculously easy to fall prey to.
Unsubscribe from Store Mailing Lists
Some of the biggest reasons we are drawn to an online merchant are because of a sale, and how do we find out about these sales? Why through newsletters, of course, direct from these merchants, which arrive in our email inbox daily.
By unsubscribing from these newsletters, you will be less enticed to shop online and won’t even know about any supposed “fabulous shopping opportunities.”
Make a Wish List Using Checkout Basket Items
For many people when they’re shopping online, when they’ve added too many items to their shopping cart, they know they should go into their basket and delete a few things. People addicted to online shopping do this to a certain degree, but obviously not as well.
If you want to curb your online spending, a great method is to start teaching yourself to look at your checkout basket as a “Wish List” instead; things you plan to buy eventually.
Make sure to take this list seriously too. The reason you make this list is also so you don’t buy all the items in your basket at once. And another good tip before checking out – take a 5-minute walk to ponder your checkout list and consider if you really need everything in your basket.
Save Link, Return to It In a Week (or Month)
An even more strict way of not overdoing it in the checkout lane is by not buying anything all, and instead, just bookmarking the site and returning to in a week or a month, whenever limit you impose on yourself, to see if you still feel like buying the item.
Chances are, you will be no longer interested.
Block Sites When You Shop the Most
If you know the time of day when you shop the most, you can use the StayFocusd app for Chrome which will block sites that distract you – shopping sites in this case – based on the time of day you know you are more likely to hit the “Buy” button.
Check out the Chrome app: StayFocusd
Clear Browsing History and Cookies
If you’re the type of person who is easily turned on by an item you’ve seen in an ad on Facebook or another site you’re visiting, deleting all of your browsing history and cookies is an excellent way to make sure Google doesn’t show you ads for anything you may want to buy.
As you shop online or browse, Google tracks you and shows you ads based on what they think you like. Creepy? Yes. It also enables people addicted to online shopping.
Check out our post on how to delete your browsing history in Chrome – Make Chrome Fast Again in 5 Minutes or Less
Research Before Purchasing
Our last tip is all about research. Many people will research an item online to look at reviews, to product compare or to get a better deal, but researching an item online before purchasing is also a great way to stop impulse purchases. By researching, you’re giving your brain a timeout from wanting to “buy-buy-buy,” helping you make a more sound decision.
Self-control is by far one of the hardest things about being an adult, but racking up ridiculous debt because of online shopping is so not worth the long-term damage it can do to your banking account, let alone your credit score. Remember, if it’s too late, you can always return whatever you bought. Returning items purchased online is now easier than ever.
For information on how to save when shopping online, check out our post – 5 Browser Extensions That Help You Save Money While Shopping Online