Retailers pay a lot of people good money (and lots of it!) to target consumers, draw them into a trap so that the only way out is to spend spend spend. Included in this group of consumer hunters are psychologist and marketing experts. They do not have your best interests in mind. Their job is to make money for their employer.
Make a Plan
Every store is chock-full of shiny objects strategically placed to distract and confuse you. Whether you are shopping for groceries, clothing, furniture – whether you are going to the mall, a warehouse store or shopping online – you need a plan before you start. Consult your budget. Know how much you have to spend. Every plan must include a shopping list. Gather any coupons that you have for items on the list. If you don’t have coupons stashed away for all your items, do an internet search for printable coupons or codes that can be used for online purchases. Also, be sure to search for store coupons that offer a discount off your total purchase. Make a list and stick to it. If it’s not on the list, don’t buy it. Impulse buys cost money and bust budgets!
Do Your Research
When making larger purchases such as furniture, electronics or items for home improvement projects, do your research. You can drive all over town going to a number of different stores wasting time and money (very anti-penny pinching) or you can put your mouse to work. Even if you don’t plan to make your purchase online, the internet is a great way to comparison shop. In a matter of minutes you can find local store prices for the items you are looking for.
Practice Self Control
As you are working your way through any store, no matter how good your plan is or how focused you are on the task at hand, you will be distracted by a couple of those shiny objects. Here is where self-discipline comes in to play. First of all, don’t get sucked into the “But it’s on sale and this is a really great deal” rationalization. Just because it’s on sale, doesn’t mean that it’s the best deal. Taking the time to go back to the research step is well worth it. Make note of the item and its price, go home and comparison shop. You’ll not only know if it is the best price, but you will have come down from the great deal high that you were riding in the store – and put yourself in a position to make a reasonable purchase decision. Reason rules!!
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