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Did you know that more than half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, with many unable to cover an expected expense? Recent surveys show that two thirds of adults are concerned about their personal financial situation. The rising cost of living along with the added pressures of the recent pandemic mean many of us are struggling to live within our means.
Becoming a savvy shopper is one simple way to help save money and stretch the budget further. Here are some quick and easy tips to stop overspending and shop smart.
Budget, budget, budget
Having a budget and being able to stick to it is the key to keeping your finances in check, and is essential to becoming a savvy shopper.
Once you have your budget, you know how much you have available to spend in each category and can then make sure to try and keep your spending in line with your budget.
If you haven’t already set up a budget, although it might seem like a boring task, it’s actually not too taxing and worth the effort! There are lots of different budgeting styles to choose from, such as zero-based budgeting or the 50/30/20 budget rule. Find the style that works best for you.
Avoid getting sucked into ‘sales’
Don’t get fooled by sales tactics. ‘Lowest Ever Price!’ ‘Huge Reductions!’ Hurry, only 3 days left!’ Marketing tactics are designed to give you a sense of urgency and convince you that you’re missing out if you don’t make a purchase.
Yes, it may be a great deal, but if you didn’t need or want it in the first place, you’re actually not making a saving at all!
Always weigh things up before jumping in to buy.
Stick to a list
Impulse buying is not the move of a savvy shopper, and an easy way to spend money you hadn’t budgeted for, so make sure to take a list with you when you go shopping!
This doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself or make the occasional impulse grab when out shopping, but does mean you’re much more likely to come home with everything you needed, and less likely to end up buying things you don’t that end up wasted.
Take advantage of great deals and discounts
If you love shopping and trying out new products, and simply can’t pass up a bargain, make sure you always get a great deal or discount. For example, rebate website Rebaid has plenty of great promotions on new products to try from popular retailers such as Amazon and ebay – you can even get 100% rebates on some products making them completely free. Rebates can also be paid into your account within 3 days – much faster than most cashback sites!
This is a great way to try new products and get good deals without spending outside your budget.
Sleep on it
The ‘sleep on it’ rule is a great way to avoid making spontaneous purchases you might later regret. When you see something you want to buy, especially for larger purchases, choose to wait for 24 hours before purchasing. This gives you time to really consider whether you need or want the item. This doesn’t mean you wont go back and buy it later, but it does mean you’ll have really thought the purchase through, and made sure you can afford it before spending out.
Look for a coupon code
Savvy shoppers make it a rule to always check for a coupon or promo code when shopping. It’s easy to have a quick google for a promo code before you hit the checkout and there are loads of coupon sites out there collecting all the latest codes.
Finally, always compare prices. The first price you see isn’t necessarily going to be the cheapest, so it’s always worth shopping around before you get your wallet out. The same product might be on sale for a lower price at another store – you can check yourself or try using comparison websites such as Idealo to check prices across stores. Never spend more than you need to!
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