When we were feeling good about spending this year, man, we were feeling good. But those spend-happy habits when the economy was on the uptick or when a sweet deal landed in your inbox should be shed when the ball drops on 2012.
DailyFinance.com talked to expert Jean Chatzky of SavvyMoney.com weighed in on some traps consumers can find themselves in when it comes spending their hard-earned bucks.
Daily Deals and Flash Sales: This year was ruled by daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, or fashion-oriented emailers like Gilt Groupe, with countdown clocks in place on awesome deals to make consumers get hyped up for a sale. “Psychologically, they really have consumers where they want them,” says Chatzky.
Avoid these in 2012, as the likelihood that you’ll overspend for fear of missing a deal. That might mean unsubscribing from emails or having them arrive less frequently. Assess what you really need beforehand, whether it’s a skydiving trip or a new coat.
Focusing on financial news: When the news about the economy was good, consumers went out and splurged. And when it was gloomy, everyone tightened their belts and stopped buying.
Chatzky says we shouldn’t be so swayed by the mood of the moment when it comes to our spending habits, even if it’s hard with financial news constantly being updated in mainstream media.
For 2012, “Keep an eye on your long-term financial goals and don’t be swayed too much by negative or positive news,” she says.
We aren’t saving enough: Americans are saving more in the recession, but not enough. Chatzky suggests not shopping until after you’ve saved. “You want to save at least 10% of whatever you’re earning for your long and short-term goals.”
For more tips and how to avoid spending traps in 2012, check out DailyFinance.com.