Online Shopping And How To Stay Away From Debt

Online Shopping And How To Stay Away From DebtOnline shopping is now one of the premiere forms of retail activity in the country. Digital commerce shares that 2016 saw an almost 16% increase in retail sales year on year. This means that convenience and ease of purchasing items online have led to people opting for online shops more than brick and mortar stores.

Even with that, shopping for items online does not change the fact that you need to be careful with expenses. Debt can ruin your life regardless if it comes from accruing it in an actual store or an online shop. Financial management remains to be an integral part of your purchasing decision, especially when shopping online.

If you are the type who loves to shop online, here are a few things you can check out to help you manage your finances as you shop.

Manage the online shopping sites you visit

If you already know for a fact that you love online shopping, control starts from within. One way to do that is to restrict, or at the very least manage the online sites that you visit. Block the ones that make you buy on impulse to help you stay away from carting items and checking them out. Out of sight, out of mind.

If you spend most of your time in the office then this should not be a problem. Focus on the work and if you feel the urge to check out online stores, walk away from your computer and come back when you are all composed. This can also be a great tip when you find that red sale sign in front of your favorite store. Walk away which should give you enough time to think about the purchase.

Manage your online newsletter subscription

As you regulate the sites that you visit, another way of getting your online shopping impulses under control is to opt-out of newsletter subscriptions. You might not be visiting the sites anymore but getting frequent alerts on their latest items on sale might make you visit them anyways.

As you try to navigate away from online shopping sites, it is a good idea to make sure that you are not receiving tempting marketing materials as well. The most common entry points for these would be your email. You could be getting frequent notices on new arrivals or discounted prices on their product line-up.

It is also possible that they have your mobile number and that they send you regular text messages about their sale promos. There are also times when you liked and subscribed to their online pages, they can reach you using social networking sites you often visit. Be sure to check these potential sources of temptation when you are turning over a new leaf and managing your time doing online shopping.

Take out saved credit card payments

Another safeguard you can consider as you try and get a hold of your online shopping problem is deleting saved credit card information. This way, it becomes a lot harder for you to cart and check out online purchases. In addition, doing so can also help you stay away from financial problems.

This is because the more sensitive information you have on your computers, the more exposed you are from hackers. They feast on information like these which in turn, they use to purchase items themselves. That or they sell the information online for other crooks to do the buying. It is extremely important to leave out sensitive financial information from being saved online.

Pay your credit card in full every month

One of the things that cause financial problems when you start online shopping is repayment on your card. Pew research indicated that about 80% of Americans are shopping online in 2016. This goes to show the progression in the marketplace and how technology and convenience have drastically influenced buying behavior.

That being said, you need to be on top of your credit card payments. The rule of thumb when credit card statements come in at the end of the month is to pay the full amount. This way, you do not have to bear the burden of interest payments, fees, and charges being added on to the next bill. If you are really in a tight situation and you cannot pay in full, you need to pay the minimum amount at the very least. It would be better if you can send out more than just the minimum to take care of interest payments.

Use a debit card with a set budget every month

If you really need to shop online, it might be a better idea to have a dedicated debit card for it. What you do is put in the amount that you need into the card. You just reload it whenever you need to buy something online. This way, if anything happens and that card is compromised, there is nothing there that hackers can steal.

That being said, never use your main bank account’s debit card. It could compromise your money and wake up one day with an empty bank account. This further underscores the benefits of using prepaid cards or debit cards for online transactions. You are only exposed to online theft with the amount you have on the card.

Here is a video to explain more how a prepaid virtual card can be used for online shopping.

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Find something else to do

There are people who believe that the only way to fight temptation is to either give in or look for another temptation. If that is the case, you might be better off looking for something else to do. If you have a bike that is just collecting dust in the garage then start with that. Get it off its rack, clean it, repair parts that need to be repaired or replaced. Then take up biking again.

If you love photography and is actually the reason why you shop online trying to get the latest photography gadgets, stop and use what you have. Go out and just take photos of things that interests you. Go back to why you started photography in the first place. It might even be a start of an income-positive hobby. Also, it is better to have amateur gear in the hands of professionals than professional gear in the hands of amateurs.

Try to understand why you shop

In all these, it is a good idea to look at the root cause. It is the reason why you are easily swayed by online shopping. This way, you get to address the real problem and not just the after-effects of it. You might think that you simply like to buy things just because you can. However, underneath all those material purchases, you were simply trying to cover a certain lack of social acceptance.

There can be physical, emotional, and even mental issues that you need to address. You need to pinpoint them before you get to the real problem. You can just take some time off and try to reflect or talk to family and friends. There could be times when you need to seek professional help and guidance so you can uncover these issues.

Online shopping is the result of advancement in technology as it offers convenience to consumers. The marketplace has evolved from an offline to an online version where speed and efficiency trump heavy foot traffic. It is a good idea to be aware of the situations where shopping online can put you in debt. This way, you can identify them early on and be able to stay away from them as well.