Shopping online is quick and easy. However, the ease of making purchases with the click of a mouse can be trouble for your wallet.
If you love to shop on Amazon.com, you most likely have an Amazon Prime account. The point of Amazon Prime was to get shoppers to spend more, and if you’re like most Amazon shoppers, it worked. Amazon shoppers hungry for sweet deals and free two-day shipping spent an average of $1,500 per year, according to a report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.
If you think your Amazon spending might be out of control, here are three tell-tale signs as well as tips for spending less when shopping online.
1. Your credit card statements are full of Amazon purchases
When you read your credit card statements each month (at least we hope you’re reading your statements), do you see multiple Amazon purchases for a short time period? It may be time to slow down with your online shopping. Take a look at each purchase and think about whether it was a need or a want. Better yet, make a list. On one side write down “need,” and on the other side write down “want.” If your “want” list is significantly longer (and more expensive) than your “need” list, this is a sign you’re shelling out way too much cash.
2. Your living room is cluttered with unopened Amazon boxes
Does your living room look like an Amazon warehouse? If there are piles of unopened brown boxes strewn about your living space, you have an Amazon addiction. Your first step should be to open these boxes before you even think about buying one more thing from Amazon. If you find that you purchased items you no longer need or will never use (and you still have time), return those items and get your money back. Impulse purchases will just drain your bank account and collect dust.
3. You spend a lot of time perfecting your Amazon wish list
If you’re spending blocks of time deciding what to add to your wish list so that you can make a purchase later, you may want to consider the possibility your shopping is getting out of hand. If all you can think of each day is what you’re going to buy next from Amazon, it’s time to re-evaluate your spending habits. The point of having a wish list is so that other people can see your list and hopefully purchase an item for you at a later date. (Not all shoppers use the wish list this way, but that is generally the way it was intended.) It’s a red flag if your shopping has gotten so impulsive that you can’t even wait for someone to purchase something for you.
Don’t worry, here’s how to spend less …
How to spend less when shopping online:
Only buy what you need. This is an obvious first step, but it’s easy to make ridiculous purchases when sitting in front of a computer or iPad. It’s just too simple to click a couple of buttons and make a purchase. Resist the urge to go on an impulsive shopping spree. Think about what you want to buy. If you decide you still need an item after three days, then proceed with your purchase. There are exceptions, however. You don’t really need a pair of designer jeans or shoes. Use your best judgment.
Ask for gift cards. When friends and family ask what you want for the holidays or for your birthday, request a gift card. Resolve to stop spending cash once you’ve met your gift card limit.
Be patient. If someone has agreed to purchase an item from your wish list, do your best to wait until they buy the item for you. You don’t need to have everything immediately. Try to be patient and wait for your gift to arrive. You’ll save money!
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