Money

Spending Shakedown – Shopping

Published on December 1, 2018 2:12 pm, by

We have many people tell us that they spend too much on shopping for things they don’t really need. The subcategories under shopping are generally lifestyle related –

  • Clothes & Shoes
  • Electronics & Software
  • Books
  • Online Shopping
  • Homeware
  • Jewelry
  • Newsagents

Homewares, clothes, shoes, and accessories feature high on the list, as does beauty products & other personal care items & activities.

If you spend too much it’s worth taking the time to think about what triggers you to shop, and what strategies you can put in place to offset those –

  • Emails telling you about discounts at stores you like / Unsubscribe from the emails – let’s be honest, sales are frequent these days if you actually need something you can go online and find the best price or wait for well-known sale days, e.g. Black Friday, Boxing Day, end of the financial year
  • Buying something on the way to grocery shop/shop for groceries online or outside of a shopping mall – there are lots of ways you can trick yourself into not buying things. The 24-hour rule is one – where you don’t buy something as soon as you see it, rather you wait 24 hours and if you still want it, then you go and purchase. Make a commitment, don’t buy online – it’s too easy and also you may be tempted to buy more to avoid the shipping costs. If you look before doing groceries or going to an appointment, and you still want it after, you’ll have the inconvenience lugging your groceries back into the store
  • Using shopping to alleviate boredom / find a hobby to keep you offline or out of the shops  it’s too easy now not only to head to the local mall for a coffee and some retail therapy but also to do it from the comfort of your own home from your computer or phone. All you may need is a small distraction to get the thought from your head – I can recommend things like yoga (some great yoga classes online), gardening, cooking a meal, doing some baking, cleaning or a mindfulness colouring-in book. The options are endless.

A few more techniques that may help –

  • Don’t use AfterPay or Credit Card, only shop with cash – the pain point is higher
  • Take a spending break, whether it be 1 month, 6 or 12. Place some caveats on it – maybe you can replace underwear, or you can purchase at Ops shops or for everything you buy you need to donate something from the same category
  • Check out natural beauty products – consider making your own

If you want some more reading about why you shop the way you do, check out this article: https://www.moneybrilliant.com.au/blogs/cognitive-biases-and-how-they-affect-our-financial-decisions/

If you need to purchase things, be aware of the pre-paid discounted gift cards you may be able to purchase as part of your rewards programs. For example, AGL Rewards, NIB Rewards, and a whole lot of other health, motoring, and energy companies offer their customers cheap rewards at a whole lot of retailer, including well-known stores like

  • Myer
  • David Jones
  • JB Hi-Fi
  • Priceline

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Peter is the CEO of MoneyBrilliant. He has over 20 years experience in banking, insurance and accounting. Peter has three sons, ranging in age from 16 to 3, is a sport and fitness fanatic and a volunteer firefighter. He is passionate about improving people's lives through making financial services more accessible.

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