Finance experts have issued consumers with a list of their top five tips for managing spending money online so that they may avoid blowing their budget with a single click of the mouse.
In what is very much a digital age, it is easier than ever before to order goods and services online and we are increasingly being encouraged to do so with advertising campaigns and money saving offers flooding our email accounts and popping up as advertisements on every site we visit on the internet.
It can be so easy to inadvertently accumulate huge balances on your credit cards. However, by following these tips, put together by personal finance experts, you can keep a tight grip on your online spending.
1. Remember That You Are Spending Real Money
Consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow explains,
A lot of people have gotten into trouble because it’s harder to conceptualize money going out when you use your credit card and just clicking a button is even easier than whipping out your new credit card in the store.
Consumers should avoid saving credit card details on shopping sites. That way they must go in search of their wallet giving them time to think about the cost.
2. Include Online Spending In Your Budget
It is important to count and categorize everything you are spending online. Eric Tyson, author of Personal Finance for Dummies says going through 3 to 6 months of credit card statements to highlight online spending habits is “a good way to identify where to begin to make changes.”
3. Know When You Are Being Targeted
When you share information about yourself online, you make it easier for marketers to zero in on your weak spots and convince you to spend more money. One particularly aggressive marketing strategy is Facebook. Eric Tyson said,
Facebook is basically a way for marketers to stay in touch with and push products to their customers. That’s how Facebook makes money. You might innocently click on a little item – I Like Starbucks – and before you know it, you are inundated with ads for Starbucks.
Think twice before declaring your love for a product or service online – or at least be aware that you are being targeted.
4. Watch Out For Items You Didn’t Know You Wanted
With the increasing popularity of offers from providers such as Groupon, consumers are increasingly tempted into great deals but often you would never normally think of buying the goods or services on offer. When taking up such offers, only buy things you would have purchased anyway.
5. Use Tricks To Limit Online Spending
If you put measures in place to make it harder for you to overspend you will be less likely to do it. For example, if you budget for $300 of online spending, get a credit card with a $300 credit limit and make it the only one you use online. That way you cannot exceed the maximum limit.