“I’ll pay it off later. The deal is too good to pass up. It’s been a crazy week and I deserve it.”
If you get the urge to splurge, here are five tips to help prevent overspending:
1. Use a shopping app
Some people don’t go anywhere without their phone, including the mall and grocery store. If you prefer a keypad to a pen and paper, check out the shopping apps at Google Play and the Apple App Store. Many of them are free and can help you keep your lists organized and up-to-date. Most importantly, they’ll be in your pocket when you need them.
2. Look for a better deal
Impulse buying and overspending often go hand-in-hand. No matter what you’re buying, online or in-store, a little patience and effort could save you some money. Try these tips to find the lowest price possible:
- Check comparison sites - Websites like Bizrate allow you to instantly compare prices from several retailers.
- Set price alerts - Although practical for many things, price alerts can be especially useful when booking flights and hotels.
- Wait for upcoming sales - Products like clothing, appliances and cars are typically priced on seasonal cycles. If you don’t need it today, wait for the next holiday.
3. Give yourself a cash allowance
At the beginning of each month, place cash into envelopes and label them with categories like “gifts” and “going out.” Whenever you need money, pull out the envelope and decide how much cash you want to spend. Knowing that the cash will eventually run out could help you think harder about each purchase.
4. Bulk up
Buying in bulk can help you save money and prevent overspending. If you stock up on certain items, your overall need to shop could decrease. This could also result in smaller shopping lists and a more focused approach to buying only what you need.
For example, if you tend to overspend at home goods stores, try buying household items like trash bags and light bulbs in bulk. If you spend too much on holiday gifts each year, see if you can find gift cards in bulk. The more you buy, the more you can potentially save.
5. Don’t forget the dollar store
Dollar stores can offer incredible bargains for certain purchases. The quality of some items could vary, but you might find items of retail quality for non-retail prices. Here are some items that could be smart buys at dollar stores:
- Cleaning supplies
- Pet supplies
- Party supplies
- Seasonal decor
- Storage containers
Put a lid on it
Whether it’s a lifestyle or a habit, overspending can be conquered. Identify your triggers, put safeguards in place and you’ll be a savvy shopper in no time.