Shop Smart to Avoid Debt

Miss Money Bee by April Lewis-Parks

Overspending can happen no matter what capacity you’re shopping in. Spending too much on groceries can be just as damaging to your finances as splurging on a pricey pair of boots. When it comes to shopping wisely, the rules are universal and it doesn’t matter what types of purchases you’re making.

The urge to overspend can strike at any time, and learning how to shop responsibly can help you stick to your budget, save money and avoid making unnecessary purchases that you’ll regret down the road. So whether you’re out buying produce for the week or shopping for a friend’s birthday, keep these tips in mind to help discipline your purse.

1. Don’t buy more than you need. It’s easy to think you need more than you actually do when additional items are staring you in the face. This most often pertains to grocery shopping. For example, in the back of your mind you know that you don’t really need two packages of cookies, but they’re on sale and chocolate so you buy them. However, the same can apply to clothing and accessories. You may have found the perfect party dress, but then get pulled in to buying new shoes even though you already own a pair that will match. To avoid this type of spending, make a list of what you need and make a beeline to the register once you’ve found it to avoid being tempted.

2. Avoid brand names. Spending an extra dollar to buy brand name items may not seem like a significant expense, but when you’re buying $100 worth of groceries or merchandise, these costs can add up. Generic items provide about the same level of quality as brand name items, but can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.

3. Take advantage of sales. Seasonal sales can save you money on holiday items, gifts and personal purchases if you take advantage of them. For example, if you find a great Memorial or Labor Day sale, consider purchasing some of your holiday gifts then to save money. You may also benefit from purchasing seasonal items at a cheaper rate for future use. For example, purchasing bathing suits, sweaters or coats at the end of the season can save you big and provide you with a jump-start on next year’s wardrobe.