Whether you are buying clothes, groceries, or products just for fun, shopping is something you do all the time. You may shop online or visit stores in person, but in the end, you will exchange your money for the items you want and need.
Making mistakes as you shop is common, and the cost of those errors is often quite literal. Whether it’s spending too much on things you don’t need or paying too much for essentials, the numbers can add up. Here are six costly errors shoppers make and how you can avoid them.
Buying Just Because It Is On Sale
Stores love those flash 70% and 80% off signs, and so do shoppers. And while those deep discounts can be compelling, buying just because an item is on sale is a big mistake. If you need it and it’s on sale, so much the better; if not, leave it where it is. One way of combating this is to leave the store and come back later that day or next day if you still really want/need the item.
Overspending To Rack Up Credit Card Rewards
Buying everyday purchases with credit cards is a great way to rack up rewards, but spending too much to grab more points won’t do your budget any good. In fact, spending excessively can impact your credit utilization rate (existing balance across all cards as a percent of your combined available credit) and adversely impact your credit score. The card companies want you to spend more, and it’s up to you to disappoint them. If you are tempted by rewards, your Credit Union has a range of great-value (including national award winning!) rewards cards with great cash back and lower rates.
Failing To Track Our Spending
From everyday groceries to dinners out to the occasional splurges on fancy clothes, knowing how much you are spending is essential. This only works well if you have a budget to manage and prioritize spending. Your Credit Union has a best-in-class interactive online budget tool that makes the process simple.
Falling For The Checkout Line Trap
Whether you are shopping for groceries, clothes, or something else, you will spend some time in the checkout line. Stores know that, and they try to entice you to throw additional items in your cart. Falling for the checkout-line trap could be very costly, so keep your wallet in your pocket and your eyes on your cart.
Not Checking Prices Online
One of the great things about shopping online is that price checks are just a tap away. Spending a little time checking prices online before buying in-store is a great way to spend less.
Not Keeping Your Receipts
Hopefully, every item you purchase will work flawlessly, and you will never have to initiate a return. But if you need to return a defective item, having your receipts handy will make the process easier. Not keeping your receipts is a big mistake, so keep them somewhere safe in case you need them.
Shopping is no doubt necessary, but it can also be fun (and sometimes therapeutic). Whether it’s the grocery store, the Internet, the shopping mall, or somewhere else, avoiding the mistakes listed above can help to make your shopping a more enjoyable and productive experience.