So here we are again in January and Christmas is behind us! This also means we’ve hit the ‘crazy sales’ season. This time last year December 26 – January 15 the ‘Retail Council’ predicted almost $21 billion would be spent nationwide. That’s a lot of shopping, but is it with purpose and a goal in mind? To avoid regret and a blown out credit card…check out my great tips before below!
1. Please take a list with you! Do not go shopping without a list of what you want, need, will wear and use should you purchase anything. Shopping without a list at this time of year is like getting yourself lost in the Amazon jungle without a map or guide. Research tells us that you’ll spend up to 40% less if you shop with a list. And as you purchase each item physically cross them off your list – this will give you a strong scene of control during what can be a very tempting time to buy unnecessarily. Don’t leave home without your list…it’s even more important than your credit card!!
2. Set out your budget ahead of time and know what you have to spend before you even leave the house. Sounds hard to do but it will make a huge difference when you get to the stores. This tip will help keep you accountable and stay within your financial goal for the day. Even write the figure down on paper and take it with you to remember how much you have to spend, and how you will pay for your purchases. Research has also shown that we spend 20 – 50% less if we pay with cash. That would suggest debit cards unfortunately count as ‘plastic’ as well.
3. Don’t just wander aimlessly from store to store. Create another list of the stores you’ll want/need to go to, and keep focused on what you’re there for. It’s easy to get ‘lost’ in all the madness, therefore, having a plan of where you need to go will help you stay on track. You won’t feel as exhausted when you return home if your shopping plan has been deliberate.
4. ‘Do I really need it’, is probably the best question you can ask yourself at the time of potential purchasing. This question will likely save you hundreds, and possibly thousands of dollars. Advertisers know that the longer you spend thinking about a purchase, the less likely it is that you’ll buy it. Therefore, stop and think – much attention is spent on compelling us to make impulse buys. Remember that having your list and plan is number one – this will empower you to shop consciously while avoiding all the sales hype.
5. Try and avoid shopping fatigue, and don’t, whatever happens ‘shop till you drop’. It’s one thing to regret overspending without being ‘wiped out’ and overwhelmed at the end of it all. The more fatigued you are, the poorer your buying decisions will be. Limit your shopping trip to 3 hours and take a break if you feel you need it. And lastly, keep up that all important water intake also.