10 Tips to Avoid Overspending on Online Shopping

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Easy browsing, a large selection, one-tap payments, and a slew of deals make online shopping more appealing than ever. All you have to do now is launch the app or browse to the website and you’re ready to go. Following e-Commerce, m-Commerce, and now q-Commerce (rapid or instant delivery), the current wave of q-Commerce is modernising and changing customer behaviour.

The ease of purchasing on your phone, the ability to pay a few days later, and the allure of colourful sales commercials have all contributed to this trend. Let’s look at ten methods for avoiding online shopping expenditures.

1. Follow the 24-Hour Rule 

The 24 hr rule says that you should wait for at least 24hrs before making a purchase that you just thought of. It would help if you used this time to rethink whether you need the product that you are going to buy or not. This will save you from making a lot of impulse purchases.

2. Don’t shop when you’re in a Bad Mood

Research indicates that being in a bad mood can reduce cognitive ability or increase impulsiveness and make it hard to control spending. If you’re exhausted, bored, depressed, anxious, or struggling with mental health, get off your phone or computer and avoid browsing your favorite online stores or scrolling through retailer Instagram accounts. Instead, consider engaging in the world around you by going for a walk, reading a book, or playing with your pets. These things could boost your mood and prevent you from spending unnecessarily. 

3. Buying more is Not Saving More

  • “Buy More to Save More”
  • “Buy 2, get 1 Free”
  • “Buy 4 Now, pay 50% Less on Your Next Purchase”

These are various strategies to elicit the same emotional response as “A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned.” It isn’t, in fact. A product costs Rs. 150 per unit, with the option of purchasing three units for Rs. 100 each. Obviously, purchasing more units will save you Rs. 50 each item.

This is a fantastic value if you’re purchasing often used and consumed items like food and stationery. However, for things such as clothing and accessories, purchasing three units to take advantage of the promotion means spending an additional Rs. 150!

4. Make Goals and Save Separately 

 You should set some financial goals for yourself and save for them individually. Whenever you feel the urge to shop online, you should think about whether you want to make this purchase right now or do you want to save for that financial goal or yours. Keeping that saved amount separate will also make it difficult for you to spend it and give you enough chances to rethink if you get too tempted.

5. Create a Shopping List

Like shopping in person, have a “want to buy” list in tow when perusing online to avoid overspending, says Baxter. This can help you stay on course. Before you make your purchase, check what the final amount will be. 

This is the beauty and advantage of online shopping over shopping in a store: it’s easier to see how much you’ll be spending before you make a purchase. Otherwise, you’ll need to whip out the calculator on your phone or do mental calculations while waiting at the checkout line.  

6. Set Limits

You might be prone to spend too much online if you can’t sleep and are on your phone. And just like how you shouldn’t be doom-scrolling at all hours of the night, it’s probably best not to shop online when you’re not very cogent. Instead, limit yourself to shop online during a specific time of the day. For instance, after you’ve had dinner and taken your dogs out for their evening walk, or maybe during the day on the weekend.

Along those same lines, set spending limits. You can do this by way of card controls on your credit or debit card. Only allow yourself to spend X amount from certain retailers and get alerts should you spend over a designated amount. 

7. Use Comparison Tools 

Many websites will help you compare the same product prices across different websites and sources. Earlier, these tools existed only for things like insurance and hotel bookings, but now these tools are available for various other products. Please use these tools since they will let you save money without even compromising at all on the product you want to purchase.

8. Unsubscribe to Email Ads

Websites have a habit of recording your emails as soon as they get a chance. Make sure you unsubscribe to any mailing list that regularly sends you emails about sales and offers that you cannot miss. These are mostly marketing gimmicks luring you into buying things you probably don’t need.

9. Don’t Buy More to Save Shipping

Most online retailers offer free shipping for orders above a minimum limit. Some people who do not aggregate their buys tend to overspend with each transaction, as they try to get the benefit of free shipping. In doing so, they may add items they do not even need.

10. Detox SM

Facebook and Instagram, for example, are increasingly becoming online malls. Taking a break from social media might help you see things in a new light. There’s nothing like it if you can cleanse for more than a few days.