A few taps on your mobile and that handbag, those kids’ clothes or this kitchen gadget is on its way to you. This can be very convenient with busy lives and little time to go to the shops.
But when money is tight or you want to save for something important, is it just too easy to overspend?
If it’s difficult to resist temptation and you want to cut back a bit – or a lot – to stop wasting money, here are five ideas that may help you to spend less online.
1. Uninstall those shopping apps
This one just takes a couple of minutes. Get rid of all the shopping apps from your mobile and tablet, including Amazon and eBay.
You can still shop at any store without these apps, just go in through Chrome or whatever browser you are using. But every time you look at your phone the apps won’t be trying to attract your attention!
Also leave any Facebook selling groups you are a member of. You only want to shop when you need something, not read an endless series of “bargains”.
2. Delete your credit and debit card details from each shop
This includes PayPal if you often select that for your payment method.
Of course, you can just type in your card details. But the aim is to stop you buying something with just a couple of taps. Make it just that bit harder and you may find yourself saying No, or Not today more often.
3. Unsubscribe from marketing emails
Go into your inbox and unsubscribe from everyone that sends you emails about offers and sales, including eBay and Groupon. Then after you have done that, mark each one that arrives as spam. They really will stop coming after a while!
If you want an easy way to do this, sign up to Unroll Me – that looks through your inbox and gives you a list so you can choose what to delete. It also lets you roll up the ones you want to keep into a single daily email if you would like.
Unsubscribing only gets rid of the advertising stuff they send out. If you do buy something from a store, you will still get the email confirmation about this and one when it is being delivered.
Will you miss out on a good offer by doing this? Well possibly. But for every one good offer on something you actually need, there are hundreds of not so great bargains on stuff you may fancy but which aren’t essential. It’s easier to resist temptation if you don’t see it!
4. Postpone buying things
If you see something you really want, write it on a list with the date. Then look at the list a week later and decide if you still want it. It’s surprising how often you don’t!
5. Stop buying stuff intending to return some of it
This is fatal. All too often you will like three out of four purchases when you only wanted to buy one. And if you dither about trying to decide which to return, you may go past the date where you can get a refund. (Don’t ask me how I know…)
If you feel you need the choice, then enlist the help of your partner or your daughter or a friend when the parcel arrives. Say you only want one and let them choose if you can’t!
Just making buying a bit harder
None of these ideas will mean you can’t ever shop online – they just make it a bit more of a hassle, giving your will power a bit of extra muscle.