Aimless shopping is brutal on your wallet. You know what it’s like: “Oh, I’ll just stop off at the mall to poke around; I’ll see if anything catches my eye.” This is a terrible idea if you’re trying to stick to a smart financial plan.
Trips to stores like that usually result in impulse purchases that will bloat up your credit card bill and take cash away from purchases that you need. How does this happen? More often than not, sales.
We’ve seen it before with coupons. Crazy ½ off sales and 3-for-2 discounts are great marketing for stores and businesses. Deals like this get you in the door with your pocket book open.
This is the difference between real savings and perceived savings. If you’re out shopping for shirts and they’re on sale, great. But if you’re looking for a pair of work shoes and earrings are on sale… you’re not exactly saving any money at all.
How to Avoid the Sales-Trap
Go shopping with a plan. If you’re on a tighter spending plan, shopping should be an errand, not a fun activity.
Know what you’re shopping for before you start the trip. If it’s back to school time or you just got a new job that requires a wardrobe, make a list before you hit the malls or outlets and stick to it.
Shopping can become a fun activity if you set aside the cash to do it. After a savvy month of budgeting, or following some of our great savings tips you might just have a few bucks left over for the fun stuff.
If you’re a shopper, that’s the time to aimlessly hit the mall and watch for the discounts on the stuff you like. After all, it’s still gotta be fun.