With online sites like Amazon, it’s easier than ever to browse through hundreds of items and make a purchase with just the push of a button. Given the ability to shop online, from the comfort of your couch, and then receive a package right at your front door, it’s hard not to get hooked.
This can lead to gratuitous spending, which is why it’s important to rein in unnecessary online shopping. These seven tips will help you learn how to control spending online.
1. Unsubscribe from marketing emails
One of the biggest temptations for online shopping is special promotions, timely discounts, and other “scarcity” promotions companies use in their daily marketing emails. It’s hard to open an email with an awesome deal or limited-time-only sale and not be tempted to buy something.
Do yourself a favor: Take a few minutes to go through your email inbox and hit the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of retailer promo emails. Better yet, use a free service like Unroll.me to unsubscribe from multiple emails at once.
2. Don’t save your checkout information
Convenience is a big factor when it comes to online shopping, but one way you can help curb this is by not saving credit card and shipping information on websites. Instead of saving your personal info at checkout, opt to input everything manually each time.
With this method, purchasing items takes longer — and that’s the point. A faster checkout is more appealing than having to input your payment and shipping information in over and over. Those few extra minutes can help you think twice about whether or not you really need to purchase these items.
3. Delete mobile shopping apps
Nearly all retailers have a mobile shopping app that allows you to surf their site, add items to your cart, and quickly check out. It’s all too easy to pull up the Amazon or Etsy apps and surf through the daily deals while you’re waiting in the line at the grocery store or before you’ve even gotten out of bed in the morning.
Prevent overspending by deleting these apps from your mobile phone. Take away the temptation by making it more difficult to surf products and add items to your cart simply because you’re bored.
4. Use preventative measures
If you have a hard time limiting the amount of time spent online shopping, put preventative measures in place to help you learn how to control spending.
Download a free tool like StayFocusd, a browser extension that limits the amount of time you spend on time-wasting websites. Make a list of the retail sites you visit most often and set a time limit of 10 to 15 minutes.
Putting a preventative measure like this in place will give you just enough time to purchase what you need without being tempted to overspend by added browsing time.
5. Keep a wish list instead of checking out
Utilize a site’s wish list feature whenever possible. Part of the allure of online shopping is being able to browse items that you hope to own soon. Instead of adding these items directly into your cart, opt to save them for later by creating a wish list.
You may also want to add a universal wish list that you and your family can add items to and then prioritize which ones get purchased, based on seasonal promotions or timely discounts.
Give yourself the challenge of waiting at least 24 hours to see if you still need or want the item before hitting the buy button. Is it still as good of a deal as you thought it was yesterday? Enforcing a mandatory waiting period will help ensure you actually need to make the purchase.
6. Use preloaded gift cards to budget
If you take action on all the above steps and still find your online shopping habit uncontrollable, consider using preloaded gift cards as payment when checking out online.
Use a reloadable MasterCard or Visa gift card as a way of limiting your online shopping by forcing yourself to stick to a budget. Whatever amount is preloaded onto the card is all you have to spend that month. Once the money’s used up, you’ll have to put off unnecessary purchases until next month.
7. Commit to researching first
Sometimes, online shopping really is a necessity. Next time you need to make an online purchase for an essential item, commit to doing a bit of research before hitting the buy button.
Take time to read through customer reviews or search for comparable products at a better price. Use comparison sites like Google Shopping to verify a product’s rating and find out if there’s a better price available.
Alternatively, a browser extension like Honey can automatically search for and apply coupon codes to the site you’re shopping on. This can save you money for items you need to buy, but be careful how you use these types of services.
You could be tempted to buy more than you need if you think you’re getting a great deal, so use with caution and make sure your purchases are needs (and not simply wants).
How to control spending online
When learning how to stop overspending on online shopping, try implementing any or all of these tips.
Remember to be patient with yourself, as it may take some time to form a new habit. In the end, it will be worth it — you’ll enjoy saving more money as you work towards other important financial goals.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.23% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.
Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.47% – 6.23%1||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.47% – 8.03%4||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.95% – 6.37%2||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.72% – 8.32%6||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|