There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself on a shopping outing or doing some online retail therapy. After all, it’s the little things in life… However, if your self-care shopping sprees are burning a hole in your bank account or have become impulsive and out of control, it may be time to step back and take a look at your shopping habits.
Here are 4 serious shopping habits worth changing.
1. Put it on Credit
As the Arrogant Worms song goes, if you “put it on credit and then forget” and continue shopping more, and more, well, you won’t feel like singing for very long. You likely know that late payments will lower your credit score, but over usage can affect it as well.
Having too many credit cards and spending beyond 30% of your credit line limit can have a negative impact on your credit score. It makes you look unreliable to lenders and could disqualify you for loans in the future.
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2. Buying on Impulse
How many times have you made a purchase to realize you didn’t need it or simply forgot about it a day later. If you have trouble with buying on impulse, whether it’s in person or online, you need to establish rules for yourself.
It’s a good idea to give yourself a day or so to think about significant purchases before you make them. If you see an item online, put in on an online wishlist, or bookmark the page. Don’t keep the tab open.
When you give yourself time and distance from the potential impulse purchase, you may forget about the item altogether and realize you don’t actually want it. If after 24 hours you think you can justify the cost, go ahead and buy it.
3. Ignoring Your Budget
One of the most important parts of building good shopping habits is creating a budget for yourself. Without a budget or financial plan, you don’t know how much you can realistically spend on non-essential items while maintaining a safety net. Your budget should include a safety net in the form of a savings account that receives at least 20% of your income.
50% of your income should go to necessities like food, bills, and transportation costs. The remaining 30% is able to be spent on discretionary items, which is spent on luxury items.
4. Mindlessly Shopping
When you’re bored, it’s easy to pull out your phone and scroll through Amazon or take a trip to a store. This is when you’re most likely to overspend and make regretful purchases. Once you make a budget, you can plan your shopping trips. You can go weekly and make smaller buys or save up for longer and plan a larger-scale haul.
This is similar to the idea of grocery shopping when hungry. If you go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, you’re more likely to buy snacks or excess food.
You Can Create Responsible Shopping Habits
You can create responsible and healthy shopping habits while still treating yourself. Remember to limit your credit card usage, avoid impulse purchases, stick to a budget, and don’t shop mindlessly. Self-care shouldn’t leave you in debt.
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