Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Spending less online

Online spending

If you’re saving up for a nice holiday next summer, or perhaps a new car or your dream wedding day, it can be tough to keep on the straight and narrow. Online shopping has made this particularly difficult – these days you can buy just about anything online and have it shipped to your door without getting out of bed.

Unsubscribe

If you receive daily alerts from sites like Groupon or LivingSocial, unsubscribe. You might make savings on whatever is currently on offer, but it won’t help to curb your spending impulses. Out of sight, out of mind.

Wait it out

Before you make any purchase, think on it for 24 hours. You might really want that hairy purple tea cosy right now, but the following day you’ll take another look and wonder why you ever considered it!

Details

When buying online, never opt to have sites store your card details – that’ll make your next impulse buy that much easier. When shopping on eBay or Amazon I always remove my details after each purchase – though I have to go to the trouble of filling them in the next time, it allows me some time to consider whether I really want to purchase the item.

Set aside

If you can’t or don’t want to go completely cold turkey when it comes to online shopping, set aside a small allowance every month. Drop your funds into a separate savings account – you should be able to set up one easily from your online banking dashboard – and when it’s gone, it’s gone.

Do your homework

When you do make a purchase online, search high and low for the best price to make the most of your hard-earned money, particularly for larger items like computers or phones. Price Spy for example allows you to compare prices for items ranging from phones and cameras to sporting and beauty items. Don’t forget to research your chosen item on consumer forums – advice from other buyers could save you from buying a lemon.

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When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.
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