Do you buy more, while out shopping, than what you actually budgeted for? Then you are not alone. One of the reasons why we overspend, according to Forbes magazine, is because credit is too easily available.
Shopping, for some of us, is a stress reliever and for others it's simply a 'must'. We know that it's not feasible to stop shopping altogether but it is possible to cut back on how much you spend.
If you are keen on cutting back, follow these eight tips on how to be a smart shopper:
1. Eating out? Try and save before you book
Don’t dine out without trying to see if there is a deal online first. Deals can always be bought on group buying websites such as Groupon and Wicount. Specials can also be viewed on websites such as Eat Out.
2. Save on clothes
Shop online for clothes first. It will save you time and money. Check out Zando and 36Boutiques for bargain deals on clothes. Zando currently offers customers R50 discount when you sign up and both sites offer free deliveries to your door.
3. Don’t chase the latest trends
Handbags and shoes can be very expensive. Instead of buying items to keep up with the latest trends (which can sometimes change as fast as you change your underwear), buy handbags and shoes which are classic and will look trendy in every season.
Be sure to fill your car with petrol before the first Wednesday of every month as that is when petrol price adjustments are made. Fill your tank before that date, especially if you know the price is due to go up, which it has been doing recently. Don’t leave it to the last minute where there are likely to be queues or a low supply of fuel.
Sometimes we intend to only buy milk and bread but when we leave the shops we often come out with more than what was on our shopping list. The key here is to set yourself a time limit or to go shopping when you only have a limited time to do so. If you don’t have time you are more likely to hit the shops and just buy what you’re supposed to rather than be tempted by other items. Alternatively, buy your groceries online.
Looking for a cheap holiday deal? Group buying websites can again provide you with great discounts. But remember to read the fine print. Often these deals are only available for short period of time and if a lot of people have booked a deal remember to call early and book the holiday so that you aren’t disappointed when you find that all the best days have already been snapped up.
If you are flying locally or abroad make sure you compare flights and packages online or with several travel agents. Don’t settle on the first quote you get. Fly midweek if you can as flights during this time are usually cheaper than flights that depart on a Friday.
7. Cell phone contracts
When last have you evaluated your cell phone contract and shopped around for a better deal? Look at your cell phone statement and tally up your calls, messages and internet usage. See if you can save by moving onto another contract or pay as you go.
Have your premiums gone up again this year? Don’t settle for that. Phone around and find out if another provider can provide you with a cheaper quote for your home, car and household contents. But remember to read the terms and conditions carefully. Cheaper quotes don’t necessarily mean that you are getting a better deal.