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How to Spend Less Online

I hate how much I spend online but also I refuse to stop. Yes, we exist.

The introduction of the “Buy now” button on Amazon was basically a death knell for my wallet and my morality. I am constantly enabled by big e-commerce brands to spend all my money on things I don’t need.

Ah, fellow online shoppers, we are trapped in an infinite irony: we hate spending so much online, but we also refuse to stop. Yes, we exist!

Alright. Maybe making one or two changes to these online shopping habits would be smart. Are you also keen to spend less online? Here are a few tips.

How To Spend Less Online

Saving money online—on the surface—is a frustratingly simple proposition. Simply stop buying these silly little things. Easy!

Just kidding.

In lieu of a total moratorium on buying stuff online, the idea is to cut back on purchases that aren’t necessary, and when you do need to spend, be sure to make the most of your money.

Make A List Before You Shop

Today we’re calling on our strategies for affordable grocery shopping: making a list. It’s a fact—you make the most of your money when you plan ahead.

Try making a list of the things you’ll need to buy this month. If the season is changing, take inventory of clothes you may need. Double check your pantry for staple items that need replenishment. Think of any events or birthdays coming up that might require a special purchase.

Write all of these upcoming expenses out and budget for them. Assigning dollar figures and planning for these expenditures could help keep you from overspending.

Having these items listed together will also help you contextualize how much you’re actually spending month to month—like, if you’re regularly going over budget, or buying things you don’t need.

When we approach spending with a level head and no sense of urgency, we’re more likely to make more responsible decisions.

Unsubscribe From Email Alerts and Shopping Apps

Temptation is the enemy of keeping your finances on track!

An anecdotal insider tip: many brands, unless you specifically opt out, will send you two emails every single day. Those two emails are designed to do one thing: to entice you to spend your money on their products. That’s 14 emails per week trying to convince you to buy.

The same goes for shopping apps. More and more brands are coming out with catalogue apps that allow you to make purchases or register for membership. Innocent enough, you think… But then, before you know it—ping! A notification. A flash sale! The next two hours! 20% off purchases of $100 or more!

No. No no no no no.

We are completely inundated by ads. By decreasing the level of access we give these brands, we’re able to get the space we need to make better choices.

So unsubscribe from all of that noise. Streamline your inbox, your notifications, and clear the digital clutter building up inside your brain. Your wallet will thank you.

In the midst of a buying frenzy, time is of the essence. If you think too hard about what you’re about to buy, you’ll probably talk yourself out of it. This is why that blasted “buy now” button is the bane of our proverbial existence.

A simple life hack, then: make it annoying to buy things.

Spending less online could be as simple as removing your credit card details from Amazon and your browser’s autofill feature. This way, every time you go to make a purchase, you have to:

  • Get up (ugh)
  • Find your wallet (which is, inexplicably, almost always somewhere stupid)
  • Copy every digit of your credit card over into your browser
  • Screw it up at least twice and have to start over
  • And then finally review, again, this dumb purchase you’re about to make.

And literally no one wants to do that.

This is a strategy built on buying yourself (pun intended!) time to calm down and think. Overspending online is all about impulsive moments; forcing yourself to take a moment and reconsider could help discourage those frivolous purchases.

Use Promotional Extensions

But what about saving money on necessary purchases? We’ve got tips for that too.

We’re big fans of browser extensions and apps like Honey, which gather promotional codes for thousands of different online shops. Add the extension to your browser, and at checkout, run it to try out available codes that may be applicable to your purchase. It doesn’t work every time, but Honey is often liable to help you save dollars, plural, on many purchases. Pretty cool.

The MogoCard

Ready to curb your online spending? We also recommend the MogoCard (duh). It’s a totally free to use prepaid spending card meant to help you lock down your finances. Because it’s prepaid, you can’t go into debt while using it.

Every time you use the card to make a purchase, we instantly send a little notification that reminds you how much you just spent and how much you’ve got left on your card. Seeing that little number, your balance, slowly dropping with every purchase is often the wake up call we need to more carefully evaluate our expenses.

Behave yourself!! Don’t buy anything dumb today. You got this. 💪


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