Over recent years, I have noticed a worrying increase in just how quickly I jump into making a purchase online.
It is just SO easy to do. With things like one-click purchasing and paypal – I can have something ordered in next to no time, without even having to reach for my purse to remember my long card number.
And here’s where the problem lies for me. I do it without needing to think. Without working out if I REALLY need to make this purchase, if it’s even good value for money. I just click and (sometimes) regret later.
I used to take more time over my purchasing – but these days I just don’t have the time. Instead of browsing ALL the retailers to find out who currently has the best deal on boys swimming shorts, or whatever other random item I’m panic buying for next day delivery, I have a very small window in which to get the task done. So, more often than not, it’s a hurried purchase that might not be the best deal.
Or, I tend to over-order, with the idea that I’ll return the bits I don’t need, but quite often just don’t get round to it. It’s not a good system.
What with saving for our wedding, and just generally wanting to gain back more control over my spending, I’ve decided to be a lot more mindful about how I spend online. Here are the ways in which I’m doing it:
Before making an impulse purchase. STOP AND THINK.
Am I sure the boys need another cute bobble hat? If I wait a little bit before hitting buy, I will give myself time to go upstairs and remember that we already have five very similar items. Same thing applies for the swim accessories that I thought were lost for good but will no doubt turn up if I take the time to look for them, instead of using that time to buy replacements because I don’t think I have enough time to find the elusive item plus pack for a holiday, etc, etc (It’s a vicious cycle if ever I did see one).
Wait for the shop / online seller to have a sale or a discount code.
A lot of the clothes retailers that I follow on instagram frequently offer flash sales. I can pick up a real bargain on something you love if you wait for the right moment rather than wading in straight away with my impulse tendencies.
Don’t forget to check for a voucher code.
Now, I will confess to often leaving out this money-saving stage of the purchase process. Usually because by the time I’m ready to hit the ‘checkout’ button, I have expended all my time and energy. One of the children needs help with something. I needed to move onto the next task 10 minutes ago.
But I know I’m missing a trick (and quite a few pennies here) and am vowing to check for voucher codes more often when I’m using a high street retailer. Voucher Badger also has a phone app, which means there’s no excuse, even when I’m on the go.
Just don’t buy it
Instead, add it to my wishlist pinterest board, save it for the next time someone asks me for Christmas / birthday gift suggestions instead of always resorting to the standard “Oh, I can’t think of anything / I don’t think there’s anything I need really”.
The one in one out rule
Lastly, I’m trying really hard to stick to a one in one out rule when it comes to buying new items. Yes, I can buy it… But only if I’ve made up the cost by selling something else.
I have a growing pile of small value items that would do very well on local Facebook selling groups, if only I’d get round to listing them. Mainly, I think “What’s the point, it’s only going to fetch a fiver and I’ve got better things to do with my time than spend unnecessary time arranging collections and filtering through the no-shows”.
The one in one out rule is now my incentive to finally get that stuff sold and declutter the house at the same time.
Curbing impulse purchasing goes hand in hand with adopting a more minimalist lifestyle. My Beautiful Mess has a detailed post on How To Be A Minimalist
How about you? Do you sometimes find it hard to curb your online spending? Do you have any tips for saving money online or just reducing your online purchasing in general?
Thank you to Voucher Badger for partnering with Sorry About The Mess