You can’t just stop spending money, that’s not an option. However, if you want to make your shopping less harming for your wallet, you can always adopt a few smart shopping techniques. Do you want to learn how to spend your money wisely? Here are a few tips every shopper should keep in mind when online or in-store shopping.
Take reviews with a grain of salt
Online shopping is great because it’s convenient, but it doesn’t allow you to see, touch and test a product. However, smart internet people came up with online product reviews that can be very helpful when you need to know more things about the material, use or sizing. However, be aware of fake reviews written by paid shoppers and consumers who receive the product for free as a marketing strategy. Usually, if you only see positive reviews, you can be sure you’re not getting a full story, so be a financially-savvy person and watch out what you buy.
Use browser extensions
Usually, every retailer has its own prices, so it’s best to dig through various sites to find the best offer. And you don’t even have to do this by hand. Use a browser extension on Google Chrome that compares prices. For instance, Invisible Hand gives you notifications whenever something you’re interested in pops up for less at another retailer. This trick allows you to save money and energy while online shopping and you’ll still end up with products you want and need.
Use cashback perks
Online shopping allows you to earn cash back. There are browser extensions that earn cash back when you shop online and in a few months, you get a check in the mail! Want to double your cashback perks? Shop with a cashback credit card that allows you to get money from both your card and the companies that offer cash back. Also, some countries and websites provide customers with good financing terms like Humm buy now pay later in Australia so you can better spread out your money and make things easier for your wallet. This alternative to credit gives you the flexibility to shop what you want, when you want, in a cost-effective way.
Get into couponing
Most internet retailers accept coupons so it’s high time you hopped on the trend of couponing. You can use a coupon site or a browser extension to find coupons before your next purchase. Here’s how you can find discount codes online: conduct a general web search for “coupon”+ e-retailer’s name and you will get all available coupon codes. There are also websites like CouponSherpa and CouponCause so you can find codes from hundreds of retailers in one spot (and some even give back to charities).
Time your purchases
When you buy is almost as important as where you buy, so make sure to be strategic with your investments and time your purchases well. Pay special attention to big appliance purchases and make sure to do these on Black Friday. Not only will you get sale prices, but you can also receive financing perks. For instance, you can get a stove on Black Friday at 40% off, receive two years of interest-free financing, get cash back from your cashback card and company AND rebate from your retailer—that’s a bunch of savings! Another way to time your shopping is to shop at the end of the season. For instance, March is the perfect time to shop for winter clothing and ski equipment since you’ll be able to get these at a discount. You might not use your purchases right now, but next winter is coming up sooner than you think!
Rethink every purchase
Before every purchase, ask yourself a few questions: Do you really need that item? Why do you need it? Where will you put it? When will you use it? If a purchase is bigger, make a list of pros and cons and you will be sure the purchase is necessary—there’s a difference between wanting something and needing something. This will prevent impulse purchases and allow you to use your money better.
Shopping offers a lot of happiness to many people, but if you want to be a savvy shopper, you need to acquire a few skills that will help you save money and time. No matter if shopping online or in-store, keep these tips in mind and you’ll be the smartest and savviest consumer you can be.