How do you banish online impulse spending from your life? Here are some tips to get you started from the ever-wise biscuits over at WiseBread.
- Make a budget and stick to it. If you have Excel or a free equivalent, it should be easy to make your (Here’s a template for newer versions of Office.) Allocate a certain amount every month for frivolous spending, and spend only that amount.
- Don’t store your credit card info. It is so easy to revisit a site you’ve shopped at before and put through a purchase without even having to get up from the couch because your credit card information is all stored there. Delete that stored information, and you not only protect yourself a little bit from data breaches, but you also add a barrier to additional spending, forcing you to reconsider.
Obviously, this doesn’t work for every purchase: monthly subscriptions require a card on file; account for these when making your budget.
- Use a dedicated account. Set up and fund a PayPal, Google Wallet, or other e-wallet account only for online shopping. This works best if you only shop at places that accept these forms of payment, of course, but maybe that’s even better: it limits the amount you can spend and where you can shop.
- Use gift cards. Once you spend down your card balance, that’s it. no impulse purchases above the amount you’ve planned.
- Don’t join e-mail lists. Cashier at the mall asks for your address? Don’t give it out: avoid the trap. If your favorite retailers send you coupons, unsubscribe. Banish the temptation.
- Don’t subscribe to Amazon Prime. A Wise Bread reader suggested this in the comments, and it’s a useful suggestion if you tend to make a lot of little Amazon purchases.