Shopping is an activity that a lot of people love. It brings a feeling of satisfaction, relaxation, and comfort. For some, shopping is a form of therapy, a way to overcome stress and get away from the reality of life. Everybody’s got a reason or two to shop but unfortunately not everybody is aware of the financial hazards that it brings.
Once done unchecked, shopping could develop some bad money habits. The key in enjoying shopping yet at the same time avoid ruining your finances is to shop with discipline and awareness. Most people lack discipline when it comes to money. It is the reason why they struggle and wonder what hit them. Poor knowledge and lack of focus normally leads to this lack of discipline. Pay attention to your finances and develop a plan to follow in order to either correct or avoid bad shopping habits. Here are some tips to consider for you to become more efficient in handling your finances and control your shopping habits.
1.) Assess what you need and what you really want. In most cases, shopping is all about your wants. Statistics show that people spend more on their wants over their needs, a very alarming truth. There is nothing wrong in spending for your wants as long as it is controlled. Before shopping, reflect on what you need and what you want. Prioritize your need over your wants. Spending too much on your wants and overlooking your needs leads to financial trouble. Avoid committing such mistake by prioritizing things properly. Once your needs are already fulfilled, think over the things that you want. Are such things practical? Or are they just for emotional fulfillment? Before deciding to buy something, let a few days go by first and really assess if you really need it. In most cases, if your emotions subside, that means that such thing isn’t really of great value. By assessing what you need and want, you can overcome being impulsive in spending and in the long run save you a lot of cash.
2.) Create a budget and follow it. What you do in managing groceries also works very well when shopping. After assessing the things that you need and want, make a list according to priority and follow it. A budget is a visualization of your priorities and plans thus it will put your finances in order. Several people fail to do this and later on wonder where did their money go. Having a budget will let you know where your money is going thus you can always track in what aspects do you need to work on the most when it comes to finances and at the same time help you avoid the things that you really don’t need the most. It doesn’t matter how much you’re earning, having a budget and following it religiously will help you succeed financially and overcome the drought that expenses might bring.
3.) Do some research. Most people have the mindset that what is expensive is always better. Wrong. In most cases, there are items that are of the same quality, in fact some even better, but are way cheaper. People love to shop for branded items without realizing that it’s prices are being jacked up significantly. A branded item worth $100 when it came out from the manufacturing plant would cost $300 or $400 when it reach retail stores. Such item passes different hands who create a profit out from it thus pushing the price higher. In general, people love to shop on malls or big stores. However, such $300 item on malls could be priced $120 to $150 on some stores who got such items directly from the plant. Do some research on where to find bargain prices and high quality items. In the long run it is going to be ore worth it than buying merely just because of the brand.
4.) Create a financial plan and stick to it. If you have a plan, you know where you’re going to put your money thus minimizing unnecessary or unimportant expenses. Most people who spend a lot on shopping don’t have financial plans hence they spend their money on things that they really don’t need because they don’t know or see anything important to spend or put their money on. Rather than spending so much on shopping, invest it on health care and insurance plans, paper assets and tangible assets, and saving it for your emergency fund, It will make you more efficient in your finances and place your money where it will matter the most.
5.) Think of shopping as a way to reward yourself. Shopping must not be a habit but rather your way of rewarding yourself for a job well done. Set goals and strive to achieve them. Once you have successfully achieved your goals, then you can shop and enjoy the fruits of your labor. However, set realistic and appropriate goals. Don’t set a goal such as buying a Hermes bag after earning $500 on your internet business. The greater the goal, the greater the reward but always keep in mind that you should not spend more than you earn when you reward yourself. Be reasonable.
Shopping is going to be more fulfilling if it is done through proper money management. Money and shopping habits are either good or bad and which one wins is the one that you focus more on. It is harder to develop the good one but it is much more worth it in the end. Always keep in mind that you want to develop good money management habits and skills. It will pay off in no time.