With the current pandemic making stay-at-home orders commonplace, everyone has turned to online shopping for purchases. This has also led to more people shopping on sites like Lazada, Shopee, and Amazon to give themselves a sense of comfort in these difficult times.
However, what happens when a coping mechanism goes too far and you go way out of budget when shopping online? You end up in more discomfort than comfort, of course!
I’m no stranger to exorbitant spending habits online. I only learned my lesson after an actual emergency popped up where I found myself penniless due to online purchases. Like my ceiling fan finally kicking the bucket.
But that really scared me. What if something else happened, like a health emergency? So that started my journey on how to resist temptation or at the very least, curb my spending habits online.
That’s why I put this list together on how to curb online shopping habits little by little. I’ll share it with you so that you can do the same if you’re also shopping a little more than you should be online!
- Learn your triggers
Shopping is often a coping mechanism, as noted earlier. So, you need to identify the specific trigger that makes you open the app in the first place.
Emotional control is often the first step to curbing issues like these. Little by little, you can overcome your bad habits.
There are small steps to identifying it, and one of the steps, according to the National Jewish Health is to observe patterns then track them down. This can help you find the triggers of your shopping binges.
- Leave it in your cart for a week
This is a good way of knowing whether you’re suffering from impulse buying or you genuinely need or want the product you’re buying. Essentially, this is a litmus test on whether you really want the product.
If you see a product that you want to purchase, add it to your cart, and let it sit there for a week. After it sits there for a week, look at it again, and see if you still want it.
If you feel less excited about it after a week, then it means it was just a passing mood. Some people are more lenient, giving items a 24-hour holding time.
However, I say, give it 3 days to a week to be safe!
- Put your purchase in perspective
Try putting in perspective whatever you’re going to buy. Calculate the cost based on how many times you’re going to use the product. This way, you alter your purchasing mindset by reframing it in a way that’s rational.
What’s more effective is to calculate how much you earn per hour, and compare it to the price of a product. Think how much time you spent working, and if that product is worth the time you spent earning the money it takes to buy it.
- Unsubscribe from emails and updates
Advertising can have a big pull on people, so it’s best to remove temptation. Unsuscribe to their email updates and turn off notifications, just to mention a few ways to do it.
If a big sale comes, go offline immediately or temporarily uninstall the app. Sales can tempt you into spending a lot, especially with the temptation of massive markdowns.
- Sleuth around for stuff that you haven’t used
This may sound quite odd, but I advise digging through stuff you haven’t used before. It usually helps, seeing how many of your purchases collect dust around your home.
Being aware of unused things helps you realize that you shouldn’t be wasteful.
Anyway, those are the steps to cutting back your online habits. Have they worked for me? Of course, but I did these step by step, so I didn’t overwhelm myself.
I’ve also begun to be mindful of finances. In turn, it drove me to learning some skills such as appliance tinkering so I can save cash further in the long run. It came in handy with ceiling fan maintenance (and yes, my busted fan was eventually fixed, courtesy of Ceiling Fan Repair).
Anyhow, if I were you, I’d get started on curbing bad spending habits now. The sooner you get started, the better!