Over time I have morphed into a saver rather than a spender. It took time and practice. Many of the reasons I shop less today is I value other things much more than shopping. I purchased a fancy Mercedes Benz, expensive clothes, and had a tendency to spend more than I made. Today I want to share some of the psychological tricks I use to reduce online shopping spending.
Online shopping sometimes can be our worst enemy. Online shopping allows us to simply click a button and have a new present at our doorsteps within hours. It’s incredible but it’s also scary if you tend to shop impulsively or simply spend more than you earn. Guilty and guilty.
But you came here for how to reduce online shopping spending, not tell you what you already know.
[tweetshare tweet=”This is one of my best ways to save money online shopping. Here’s the steps I take to save: 🛒Add to cart ⌛Wait 24-48 hours ❓Ask myself do I still want item in cart If Yes😍, Buy. If No🙅, leave in cart and close website” username=”EvenStevenMoney”]
This will require some patience, but it can be the golden ticket to spending less online shopping.
Let me give you a recent example.
Originally I wanted to buy a Nike shirt with the word “Freak” on the front. I am a lifelong Milwaukee Bucks fan and really enjoy watching Giannis Antetokounmpo aka “The Greek Freak” as an athlete and he might be just as good of a person as a basketball player which makes it that much easier to be a fan. But I digress.
I added two (2) shirts into my cart, one in blue and the other in black. Once they were in the cart I closed out of my browser tab and didn’t return until the next day.
The next day I came back and realized that I didn’t want the shirt as much as I thought. I know I didn’t want two (2) shirts and I couldn’t really decide on the color.
My biggest hang up was the shirt cost $35. Enter the frugal side of Even Steven Money. Warning this video contains explicit language, avert your ears. But that’s $35 for a t-shirt, right Macklemore?
Over time I have purchased brand name clothing for a couple of dollars at thrift stores. I have also purchased new clothing at discount retailers like Ross, Marshall’s, and the Nike Outlet. I have also been given or volunteered to receive free t-shirts at events across the US.
When I see $35 for a t-shirt it’s actually really hard for me to buy today. It’s a curse and a blessing, mostly a blessing though.
What’s important is not why I didn’t purchase the item as everyone will have a different reason. What’s important is creating a barrier to purchase. 24-48 hours of not thinking about purchasing can be instrumental in shopping less and saving more.
What I ask myself to do is don’t make an impulse decision in the 30 seconds of adding to my cart. Instead sleep on the decision. If I still want the item, by all means finish the purchase.
My money is on that more times than naught you will not make the purchase.
One of the best or maybe trickiest ways to get consumers like you and I to purchase is make buying easier.
One of the ways online shopping does this is to save your credit card information for future purchases. Amazon immediately comes to mind.
Amazon actually has a button that allows to “Buy Now” with the click of one (1) button. That’s because they have all of your credit card information saved. Don’t worry about ever leaving your computer or phone to find your bank or credit card.
Dangerous. It’s very easy to click a button. In fact when you make the purchase it doesn’t even feel like you are spending actual money. Amazon and many other online retailers make it more simple than ever to make a purchase.
Make the purchase real. While you can’t hand the online retailer cash you can physically have to get up and get your wallet or purse to find your bank or credit card to enter the information in for purchase.
Add a step before your purchase. If you have your bank or credit card information saved on your computer make sure to clear your browsing history and turn off your autofill for payment method.
Adding an extra step like waiting 24-48 hours and having to physically get up and find your bank or credit card makes it just a little harder to make that purchase. Companies are always looking for ways to make online shopping easier.
Retailers are smart. An interesting way businesses try to get around this is by adding ways to purchase your item. As an example I have seen more and more PayPal payment options during checkout. This allows the consumer to not leave the comforts of our couch and simply add in our login information.
Recently I have been shopping for two (2) things: Google Pixel buds in Oh So Orange and Rogue Fitness barbell and bumper plates. I’m currently on the wait list for my Google Pixel buds as I’m not even sure if they have been released in any other color than white.
Every website that I am on with Google ads provides an ad for Rogue Fitness. So if I didn’t want to buy my barbell and bumper plates before I’m simply reminded every time I visit another website that contains ads, G-R-E-A-T…..
Also they are sold out and on back order, the ads that remind me are basically useless on top of it.
Besides clearing your browser history which will get rid of all those painful ads constantly reminding you to purchase “whatever you clicked on last”. My suggestion is to go incognito and shop in private mode. For me this means using a Google Chrome Incognito tab.
By using this tab you no longer have to see repetitive ads with your information and browsing history constantly influencing your purchasing decisions.
It’s a strategy I use from time to time because the more and more you see something the more likely you are to buy it.
I’ve talked about different ways to delay your purchase decision, make it a little harder to buy than clicking a button, and to avoid constantly being reminded to purchase.
The last item is what I often to refer to as the “Cookie Method”. The “Cookie Method” is simple. I love cookies. If I see cookies in the house I will eat the cookies. Not only will I eat one, but I will eat ALL the cookies.
What I do instead is I don’t buy cookies. Cookies are not in the house. If cookies are not in the house I am unable to eat one cookie or for that matter the whole bag.
The “cookie method” can be applied to many things including online shopping.
Personally I use this method for physical locations and shopping. It’s a lot easier to not buy anything from Nike when I don’t physically go into a store. But I can do the same thing with online shopping.
On the Google Play store and I’m sure whatever browser you use has the same possibilities I can add a website blocker.
For example an app called “Freedom” allows you to block distracting apps and websites. So if I struggled with making purchases at Nike.com I could simply add this to my phone and computer and no longer shop online at Nike.
If Target was your online shopping weakness, block the website from your phone and computer.
Don’t go shopping, reduce online shopping spending. Nice work.
Online shopping can certainly get the best of us sometimes. It’s not that online shopping is bad but instead it can be bad.
These strategies are meant to reduce spending if you are spending more than you earn, looking for ways to save money to pay down debt, or just want to focus your spending on what you value most rather than adding more “stuff” to your storage area of choice.
As a financial coach looking for strategies to reduce online spending is just one of things I have worked with previous clients to save money. Are you interested in saving more money to pay down debt or simply spend more money on what matters most to you?
Schedule a 20-30 minute phone call to see if working together is the right fit for both you and me. I want to help everyone, but I only have time for a select few. You’ll schedule an appointment and select Free Discovery Call.
Once you schedule, you’ll get an email with some questions to fill out about your current money and finances. On the call you can ask questions about coaching and talk about how I might be able to help you with your specific situation.