One income is good but two is even better! Three isn’t so bad either if you’re really ambitious. Seriously, who doesn’t love a little extra money?
Shopping is easily one of my FAVORITE hobbies! As much as I love to shop I’d have to say that my wallet doesn’t always agree with me. I try my best to save money where ever possible to avoid high credit card bills and attempt staying within that lovely thing we call a “budget”.
After I began to actually pay attention to my shopping habits I found that I actually spend more when shopping in-store than online. Here are some tips that I’ve come across to help me save money as I fuel the economy!
1. Online Coupons
More often than not, stores offer “online only” deal or coupons that you can only take advantage of, you guessed it, online. If you sign up for a retailer’s newsletter or register for an account on their site they normally offer some sort of discount for signing up.
Large retailers like Old Navy and Henri Bendel know that not everyone is located close to a physical store so they often offer a discount based on the amount spent. Also, because online stores often have more stock than the actual retail locations, they have more inventory to sell in those seasonal sales!
They have hundreds of stores that you already shop at like Walmart, Sephora, Macy’s, Overstock, even Amazon and the list goes on!
Once you sign up for Ebates, just make sure to search for and shop through your retailer’s link. The website will show a green Ebates banner while you get your shopping on.
After you finish and check out, your cash will be credited to your Ebates account in 1 to 5 business days.
Seriously, check Ebates out, you will thank me later.
3. Shop Around
Don’t always rely on the first website you see, spend some time and browse a little bit.
For buying popular shoes and sneakers, you would probably automatically thinking of shopping at Footlocker or Footaction (both also available for cash back on Ebates) but there are reliable sites like Zappos and Amazon also sell popular brands, sometimes at better prices.
There are a lot of items that are offered by more than one store, so take your time, look around and compare prices and deals. That will save you a lot of money in the long run.
4. Free Shipping
Fifteen dollars may not sound like a lot but in my head, I could have gotten a WHOLE additional item for $15, or worse, how about I can make it to the store and back for less than $15 worth of gas.
I can think of a million things that I would rather pay $15 other than shipping.
To avoid shipping charges, shop with sites that offer free shipping or complimentary shipping after spending a certain amount. You will thank me later.
5. Member Sales
Nobody ever believes me when I tell them I get exclusive discounts on my high-end items, but it’s true!
Popular brands like Alex & Ani, Giuseppe, Christian Louboutin, and even Hermes participate in secret sales on these sites. You can literally shop for EVERYTHING from clothing to home and even vacations.
Sales are usually first come, first serve and only on select items. They do take a while to ship but it’s totally worth it when your snagging fashion deals at sometimes as much as 80% off retail!
6. Groupon/ Living Social
Personally, I like to shop the restaurant deals and getaway packages. You can find deals like $100 to spend on dinner at Maggianos for 40 bucks. Can you say date night?
These are great sites to use for gifting and planning things to do with your family or significant other.
7. Abandon Your Cart
One of the great things about shopping online is the ability to actually see all the items that you have in your cart as well as your total at any given moment. I would MUCH rather prefer this instead of the embarrassing in-store cart evaluation at the checkout counter.
In addition to saving yourself from the impulse buying remorse (and maxing out your credit card), shopping and then abandoning your cart for 24 hours often gets you a discount. Most stores have software that detects your full and idle cart and sends you an email reminding you to complete your purchase with a coupon!
Here’s a tip, make sure you’ve given the website your email prior to abandoning the cart so they can have a way to reach you.
I hope you guys enjoy some of those shopping tips! If you have any tips that I missed, list them below in the comments!
Happy saving 🙂
Happy New Year!
I always love the New Year! Its like the most perfect time to clear out the old and update, organize, and commit to the new. Like most people I enjoy writing my list of “New Years Resolutions” in hopes of kicking bad habits to the curb. This year one of the resolutions that I can actually stick to is to become more finically focused. Transitioning from “college student” to “real live adult” mode was somewhat of a challenge for me. I was so used to having a disposable income that I never really realized the importance of properly managed finances.
In my quest for a tidy checkbook, I decided to first tackle my credit card debt. I don’t have excessive debt but its a little more than I’m comfortable with. I was in tremendous debt when I first discovered credit and I created a method to eliminate it comfortably. I instantly boosted my credit score and the contents of my wallet. Paying off credit card debt is often an ignored task that people tend to put off, but remember the sooner you pay it off, the more money you save in the long run.
Log on to each and every credit account online (you should ALWAYS have your financial balances at your fingertips especially to avoid overdraft charges). Record each balance, minimum payment due, & payment due date. Put your accounts in order, then add up the total. I like to use a spreadsheet, you can make your own or you can download mine from the link below to easily organize and update everything.
You will never pay off your credit cards if you have something that is being charged on it every month. Once you have to spend real live earned dollars on something (instead of credit) you will begin to think twice about whether you really need it or not.
During this step, you might want to remove a few cards out of your wallet, just so your not tempted to use them again. I recommend removing the card(s) with the highest balance and the card(s) with the lowest balance.
Why leave any cards in your wallet? Because the main purpose of a credit card is to use in case of an emergency. You don’t want to be at the register in the grocery store when you just realized that your phone died and you forgot to transfer money to your checking!- and trust me it happens.. However if you know that your card is already nearing its limit and your working hard to pay that off, you will remember to pay off that shopping trip– since you were going to spend that money anyway.
Prioritize your lines of credit.
*For 1-2 Lines of Credit
Set a weekly pay schedule. It may seem hard at first but it will get you to your goal sooner than later. If you get paid bi-weekly, still set the weekly schedule so your putting that “money” aside, just set up a payment for the week that you get paid.
I paid off my first debt with $200/ week. My total balance was about $1,000 between two credit cards. I took the first $200 off the top of each check (back when I got paid every week) and put those dollars towards the two cards. By staying consistent and budgeting I was able to pay down my credit card in a little over a month.
*For 3 or more lines of credit I would recommend using one of the methods below.
This method is the exact opposite of the snowball method. With the Unraveling method your lining up your debts from largest to smallest and unraveling them, one card at a time. Paying off the highest balance first may be the best method for you if;
* You are at or over your credit limit
* You are paying high interest rates
Please remember to have patience and perseverance during this process. Getting out of debt doesn’t happen overnight, it definitely takes some time. Whether it be 1 month or 5 years STAY CONSISTENT and don’t give up! Even if you can only afford to pay $50/ week it will pay off, once your debt free your pockets will thank you 🙂