After a night of $1 beers at a New Orleans-themed restaurant, Jim Jacobs went home and got on his laptop.
“I booked airfare that night for a guys’ trip to New Orleans,” said the Philadelphia resident. What Jacobs didn’t think about was the fact that he’d just gotten laid off from his job. “It was a phenomenal idea,” he said jokingly.
Jacobs isn’t the only one who has splurged impulsively after a night out. According to a February 2018 survey of 2,001 U.S. adults by comparison website Finder, 46% of adults who drink alcohol admit to shopping under the influence.
If you’ve gotten loose with your credit card after a few cocktails, these tips might help you save your budget.
1. Don’t save your credit card information online
It’s never been easier to buy stuff online, whether by phone or computer. If you save your credit card information on a website, you can make a purchase with a few easy clicks. Because you’re physically removed from the transaction, you might not feel like you’re spending money. But your credit statement will tell a different story.
If you’re prone to one-click shopping, try deleting your credit card information from your favorite sites. That way, you’ll have to enter all your details before hitting the “buy” button. By the time you find your credit card and type in the information, you might realize you’d be better off saving your hard-earned cash.
2. Use an app to block shopping sites
Although most drunken shoppers surveyed were ordering late-night delivery — 60.83% were buying food, according to the Finder survey — 25.09% were buying clothes and shoes. And some go even farther afield, like Shaun Dickson after a night of partying in college.
“I ended up ordering 200 rolls of toilet paper,” said Dickson. “It seemed like a good idea at the time. What made it even better is that I didn’t get it delivered to my own address, but ordered it to my parents’! I found out about my drunken purchase when my mom texted me asking, ‘Why has all this toilet roll turned up at my house? I look ridiculous!'”
Dickson might have been able to avoid his toilet-paper spending spree if he had used a website-blocking app on his computer. SelfControl (for Macs) and Freedom (for PCs) can stop your spending by blocking shopping sites for a set period of time.
Finder’s own Icebox plug-in for the Chrome browser will replace the “buy” button on a website with one that says “put it on ice.” By putting your purchase on ice, you’ll have to wait a preset period of time before buying.
When you wake up the next morning, you might no longer feel compelled to buy a lifetime’s supply of bathroom products or a plane ticket to the Big Easy. In fact, you might have forgotten all about it.
3. Set a budget and stick to it
Besides blocking your favorite sites, you also could take preemptive measures by setting a budget before you head out for the night. Keep a limit in your mind by figuring out how much you want to spend. That way, you won’t feel overly restricted financially and fall off the budgeting wagon.
If you’re still concerned you’ll overspend, try leaving your credit cards at home and carry cash.
You’ll have to be careful, though, when you return home and have access to your card and the internet. But if you’ve deleted your credit card information from your favorite shopping sites and downloaded an app or extension to curb your shopping habits, you’ll be less likely to go over the limit.
Don’t let a night out derail your spending plan
Although random intoxicated purchases make for a funny morning-after story, you probably won’t laugh at their impact on your finances.
If you’re on a tight budget, splurging under the influence could leave you scrambling to cover rent or pay your student loans.
And if you’re saving to buy a house or travel the world, impulse shopping could mean your dreams keep getting postponed.
Whatever your financial goals, you set them for a reason. So if you find yourself on Amazon at 2 a.m. after a night out, close your computer, drink a glass of water, and go to bed.
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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 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% 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 email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
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2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
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.
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