A few online shopping trips here and there can really add up. Americans collectively spent $870.78 billion shopping online in 2021. That’s projected to be even higher in 2022. The ease of clicking “buy” and being able to receive your item within a matter of days — or even sometimes hours — is addicting, but it can really dig into your budget.
Online shopping has become so commonplace that you might not even know how much you’re spending, let alone how to curb the habit. Luckily, it’s something almost everyone now has had to grapple with, and there’s a few surefire tips and tricks to decrease your dependence on ecommerce.
Assess How Much You’re Spending
It’s good to take stock of just how much you’re spending when you checkout online. Three of the most popular sites consumers are dropping cash at are Amazon, eBay and Etsy. Amazon Prime members are privy to the best prices, quick shipping and other perks from the retail giant. About 31% of Amazon Prime members spend between $51-$100 a month, and 23% of Prime members spend more than $100 a month on the site. That’s in addition to the yearly $139 it costs to be a Prime member. The average eBay user spends about $40 per month on the site, and the average Etsy user spends roughly $45 a month.
Of course, many factors can affect this, like the time of year, what you’re looking for and the urgency with which you need the item. To calculate for yourself, review all your online shopping purchases for the past month. If the number isn’t where you’d like it, set a specific amount that’s OK for you to spend on online shopping each month, and stick to it.
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Leave It in the Cart
Sometimes we resort to online shopping to cure boredom. We end up buying things that seemed cool at the time, but once they arrive at our door we have that tinge of guilt like, “Oh, I didn’t really need or like this that much.” It’s amazing what giving items a little time to breathe can do for our budget.
Next time you’re shopping online, fill up your cart with the items you like, but resist the urge to buy them. Come back 48 hours later and, if you still really want the items, go ahead and buy them. Most likely, there will be a few things you no longer feel super compelled to buy, saving you from spending money on something you’re lukewarm on.
Block Shopping Sites
If you find it hard to stop visiting shops online, it might be time to try something different. If you primarily use Firefox to browse the web, try LeechBlock. LeechBlock is a free browser extension that works by having time constraints on sites you visit frequently so you can’t visit them during the workday, for example. If you use Chrome, you can try out the free browser extension StayFocusd. Not only can you block specific sites, but you can block types of sites as well, so you won’t be tempted to visit any online stores during a set period of time.
Delete Saved Payment Info
It’s so easy to save your credit card information on your browser so you never have to get up and get your wallet again. However, this is also what’s making it so easy to impulse buy when you see an ad pop up on your screen. To prevent spur of the moment purchases, delete your saved payment information on your computer so it’s not so effortless to make purchases.
Unsubscribe From Retailer Emails
Maybe you like to see what your favorite stores are up to so you can catch any good sales. Trying to get items for less is smart, but taking advantage of any and every sale that comes through your inbox is where it gets messy. Unsubscribe from emails that come from the stores you’re always buying from so you’re not seeing a daily reason to browse their site.
Do Some Cleaning
One way to stop the urge to add to what you have is to go through what you already own. If there’s a storage closet or maybe your own closet that you haven’t inspected thoroughly in awhile, dedicate an afternoon to going through it. You’ll cut down on the clutter in your home that you don’t have a use for, and probably discover some gems in the process.
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