When stores moved from downtown to the suburbs it became easier to make purchases, as the retailers were just around the corner. Now, with the internet, they're next door...literally...in the next room. In a previous post we talked about saving money online. Now we'll give you some tips to keep from spending online altogether.
You're Still Spending Money
Research shows you'll spend 20% less if you use cash to make purchases; however, you can't use cash on the internet. As a matter of fact, when you buy something online you don't have the time to have second thoughts as you whip out your credit card; you simply hit the "buy" button and the item is automatically charged to the credit card you have on file at that site.
Solution: don't save your credit card information on the site. It could cause your identity to be stolen and it's just too easy to spend.
Create A Budget For Online Spending
Some financial experts say look at your online spending for the last six months and create a budget from that. That's totally backward. You should start with income and parse out all your expenses; after you've allotted enough for your expenses, paid down your debt, and created an adequate emergency fund, THEN you might want to think about some money to put into an online spending budget. Don't forget that 15% of your gross income needs to go to retirement after your debt is paid off and your emergency fund is established.
You May Have A Target On Your Back
If you're sharing a lot of personal information online, that's a magnet for marketers; they now know what you're inclined to spend your money on. Facebook makes money when someone hits the "like" button for Lee Press On Nails.
Don't Fall For Online Pressure
Some favorites include "for a limited time only" or "you only have x minutes for that item to be in your cart before it goes back to regular price." They only increase your sense of urgency.
Think Seriously About The Things You Weren't Looking For
Again, we've talked about this many times before: conscious spending. Just make sure you would have purchased the item anyway. Otherwise, you'll be taking that trip to the Matterhorn; it may be fun, but you just spent a lot more money than you set out to do.
Trick Yourself To Limit Your Spending
One easy way to do this is to limit your online spending to a prepaid credit card. That way, you only spend the amount loaded on the card, which you've already paid for (unless you paid the prepaid card with another credit card.)
Check Your Credit Accounts Frequently
It's best to track all your spending on your card; that is the first step to being LIQUID. That way you know where you stand each and every time you spend.
Do you have a hankering for spending too much money online?