NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Shopping Mistakes We All Make

Shopping Mistakes We All Make


                We may feel that we have our dollars and how we spend them under control and then “the best laid plans of mice and men” goes awry and we discover that our dollars have been controlling us. To help you avoid a money mishap, following are the top shopping mistakes consumers make and how to overcome them.

                Buying more to save more. Tiered savings or "buy more, save more" promotions purport to offer the most value to the biggest spenders. They often persuade consumers to spend more to receive the larger discount. However, buying more is just that – buying more. Online shoppers can also spend more than they planned to save on shipping fees. A delivery charge of $8 to $12 prompts many consumers to add items to their online carts until they reach the minimum threshold to receive free shipping.

                Giving into impulse buys. Between television, the internet and social media, Americans are exposed to numerous advertisements every day, a reality that helps blur the line between "wants" and "needs." Advertisers do a great job of justifying whatever purchase they're trying to push, but consumers have to stay strong. If an impulse strikes you, it's also helpful to "sleep on it," or require that a certain amount of time passes before you make the purchase.

                Opening credit cards for a one-time discount. The siren song of discounts is hard to ignore, especially when they're offered on items you plan to buy anyway.  Having a store card can compel you to spend more at the retailer, especially when doing so helps you accrue rewards and other discounts. Retail credit cards often have low credit limits and high annual percentage rates, and can negatively impact your credit score if you open several new cards within a short time frame.

                Shopping as therapy. Though "retail therapy" is a popular justification for dealing with boredom, depression, frustration or a host of other emotions, it perpetuates a cycle of spending that will eventually cause you more stress. Identify your triggers for spending mindlessly and come up with alternative, spend-free ways to deal with them.

                Becoming part of a sale frenzy -The lure of a sale can turn any level-headed person into a manic shopper. One of the most common shopping mistakes is to buy something just because it’s on sale. You

Also remember that it’s okay to walk away from a sale without buying anything

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