6 Ways That Shopping Hurts Your Budget

Maybe you’re trying to save money. Maybe you’ve dropped your cable service or don’t dine out as often or at all. There still seems to be a hole in the budget somewhere and US News has found that maybe it’s all in some bad shopping habits.

Making Shopping a Leisure Activity

Going to a store for some window shopping may seems like a great free activity, but do you really keep yourself from buying something?

If shopping has become a hobby and not just a task to pick up specific items, you could be struggling to stay within your monthly budget. Shopping with a friend or a group can actually make you buy more, because you don’t have time to compare prices or even consider whether you’re getting a good deal. If you spend a lot of free time strolling around the mall or browsing online stores, you could be at risk for buying items you don’t really need, or worse – fueling a shopping addiction. Make sure those shopping trips have a purpose and that you have budgeted for the items you end up purchasing.

Shopping Without a List

If you are really trying to stick to a budget then you must shop with a list and make planned purchases such as ingredients needed for meals you plan to make that week.

How often do you find yourself “just browsing” or window shopping, and then come home with a couple bags of goods? If you’re heading to the store – whether it’s a grocery store, retail store, or big box store – without a list in hand, you’re more likely to buy on impulse and pick up a few things you haven’t budgeted for. Make sure every trip to the store is accompanied by a shopping list and stick to it. Taking the step to plan your purchases and make a list will help you save money, because you won’t be buying anything on a whim.

Buying Items Just Because They’re on Sale

It may be a great deal, but if you didn’t intend on buying an item, then that is just money you didn’t need to spend. Buying on an impulse can often keep you from properly researching the quality of big ticket items such as electronics.

Even when you’ve found an unbeatable deal, really consider whether you would have purchased that item at regular price. Has it been on your “want” list for a while, or did it just catch your eye because of the red sticker price? Can you actually wear it or use it right now? When it comes to clothing, it can be tempting to buy something that doesn’t fit quite right in hopes of fitting into it someday. For most people, that day never comes. When it comes to electronics or household items, take a good look at the quality of the item and read consumer reviews so you know what you’re in for. Don’t let a low price tag seduce you into thinking this should be the only item you consider. Shop around so you really are getting a great deal and spending your hard-earned dollars wisely.

Head on over to US News to read 6 Shopping Habits Hurting Your Budget.