How to Stop a Bad Online Shopping Habit

Authored By: USMFCU on 7/29/2020

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More people are working from home now than any time in recent memory. With all that extra time in the house it might be even more tempting to shop online. Online shopping can be a great way of finding essentials and keeping social distancing guidelines, but for many it can get out of hand and lead to higher stress, unnecessary spending, and credit card debt. With your financial health in mind, we’ve put together these quick tips to stop you or a loved one from going too far with online shopping.

Check your Account Balances Often

One thing that makes it extremely easy to over-shop, is not paying attention to how much you’re spending in the first place. Make sure that you regularly check your accounts so that you will be the first to know if your online shopping has gone too far. It’s also a good idea to do this for security purposes as well. USMFCU offers a mobile app that allows you to get your account balances instantly, right from the app! 

Block, Block, Block

If your online shopping is already out of control, one effective way of curbing it might just be blocking. Blocking a website that you’re known to frequent could help you avoid seeing the sales and items that trigger your spending habit. It also may be a good idea to block/unsubscribe from emails. Retail shops are known to send multiple emails whenever they are having sales or even when you haven’t bought anything in a while. Blocking or unsubscribing from an email address might be just the thing you need to get back on the road to financial health.

Try New Things

One of the main reasons people excessively shop online is boredom. And because of the pandemic, boredom is at an all-time high for many people. Try finding a new hobby to take up the time and attention that you’d usually devote to online shopping. Things don’t have to be a huge group activity to be fun and engaging. Take up hiking, baking, biking, jogging, knitting, reading, or even have Zoom parties with your friends. Get creative! Not only can you reduce your shopping, you might get a life-long hobby out of it!

Don’t Save your Info

Many internet browsers now offer the ability to save your debit/credit card info so that you can check out with the click of a button. Many retail websites offer it as well. Don’t do it. If you want to lessen the amount you spend, you shouldn’t make it easier to do so. Forcing yourself to do something as simple as get up and find your credit card might be just the deterrent you need to stop breaking the bank (or credit union) at your favorite retail sites.

Hold On

Finally, one of the easiest things you can do to stop yourself from spending too much money online is practicing a little bit of patience. The next time you’re about to check out, just wait an extra 30 minutes or so before clicking the confirm button. That 30 minutes can be just the amount of time you need to realize that you don’t actually need that new coffee mug, or jacket, or 70-inch HDTV. Believe me, your wallet will thank you.

 

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