How to Avoid Overspending During the Winter Sales Season
Winter Sales season is in full swing and this could be a great time to stock up on gifts for the year ahead at heavily discounted prices, the perfect opportunity to replace your faulty household items or to complete your wardrobe with necessary essentials - all the while saving you money in the long run.
However, for most, it becomes a spending trap that leaves you flustered and burning a deep hole through your wallet.
To make sure you don’t miss out on bargains while keeping your budget intact, we’ve come up with three savvy tips to help you take advantage of this year’s Winter Sales.
1. Make a list
Before you brave the crowds or hop online to do your shopping, make sure to write a list of the things you need on your smartphone and, most importantly, stick to it. Think of your Winter Sale season shopping like a mission and employ the strict mentality you may use to do your weekly grocery shopping.
Many shoppers will go out with a vague idea of what they’d like to find, but this can leave you picking up way more than you planned. So, stay focused with a list of essentials and keep your shopping spree contained!
2. Online shopping
When it comes to indulging in retail therapy, taking your Winter Sale shopping online could be the key to keeping you on target this year. Online shopping means you won’t get distracted by the crowds or swept up in the hustle and bustle of sales season, which creates an environment that can encourage panic or impulse buying.
Being able to review your shopping cart before committing to buying also allows you to be more conscious of your purchases. Additionally, seeing the total cost of your haul before you finalise the transaction will trigger you to think twice about whether you truly need what’s in your virtual basket.
As an added bonus, you can take advantage of browser extensions like Honey, which helps guarantee you’re getting the best bang for your buck by automatically providing you with discount codes while you browse – and can even reward you for shopping!
3. Be mindful
Don’t get sucked into the sales traps and the big bright signs that lure you into brick-and-mortar stores by repeating the following mantra:
“If I wouldn’t buy it at full price, then I won’t buy it at all.”
Another easy way to be more conscious of your spending is to go cardless. Using mobile payment options, contactless payments or your credit or debit card will get you into an ‘abstract money’ headspace where you’re less likely to feel the ‘pain of paying’, because you’re not exchanging physical currency. This enables you to temporarily ignore the repercussions of your indulgent spending habits, leaving you at risk of overspending.
Withdrawing an allotted amount of cash, before you head off into the retail sales frenzy will help you remain in control of your finances.
Finally, and most importantly, stick to your monthly budget. Winter Sales season doesn’t mean you need to spend more. Using credit to finance your purchases can leave you with debt that may take much longer to pay off than you had initially intended. If you’re planning for a big blowout for a sale period, you should be saving in advanced to ensure you’re dipping into your own money, as you would a holiday or any other big-ticket purchase.