When you need a new pair of shoes, there are many reasons why you might open up Chrome instead of the door to your local Foot Locker. Online shopping makes everything easier, faster, and more convenient. Rather than having to find time in your day to get to the store (and survive the commute!), you can stay home and peruse the shelves in your PJs from your butt groove on the couch. If one store doesn’t have what you need, you don’t have to drive across town to get to the next one. Another store’s inventory is just a click away. There are no lines or pushy salespeople breathing down your neck. It’s just you and the screen. But that doesn’t mean online shopping is totally risk-free. Another thing made easier by shopping online is overspending.
You’re constantly exposed to online shopping
In the past, you avoided the mall when you didn’t want to buy something. You didn’t bring your wallet with you on a walk around the block. Now it’s not so simple. Despite Congress’ most recent attempts to repeal net neutrality, Americans use the Internet a lot. One in five of them is on it almost constantly according to a recent study.
Most websites generate revenue with ads. On sites like Facebook, they’re generated to match your interests. Scrolling through to see what your friends are posting now includes clickable links to your favorite stores. It follows you to your inbox, where there’s an email from H&M reminding you that you only have 19 more hours to use their promotional code.
Despite your best intentions, it’s hard to ignore these temptations. And once you’re scrolling through the sale section, it’s even harder to resist adding a few items to your cart. You don’t necessarily need them, but — hey — they’re 40 percent off and that’s a steal.
Bad habits can lead to financial challenges
Remember that means you’re still paying 60 percent for something you didn’t purposefully budget for in your finances.If you make a habit of overspending online, these discounted items add up, and their tally can put your finances in jeopardy. You may have to dip into your savings to cover these accidental shopping sprees. Do it enough times and you won’t be able to cover those emergencies it’s supposed to cover.
At this point, it may feel like an appropriate time to panic, but don’t do it. You can cover these bills with a personal loan. It bridges the gap between a necessary expense and your next payday. When you need to pay for a bill or repair right away, check out online payday loan companies that promise quick approval. When you apply for their online payday loans, you’re side-stepping most of the red tape that can slow down analogue loans from traditional, brick-and-mortar sources. In some cases, you can be approved and receive assistance within a single business day, giving you a chance to avoid late fees by paying off your responsibilities before the bill’s due date.
Protect yourself from temptations
These loans are only a momentary fix for individual cash flow problems. They aren’t a solution to your chronic problem: overspending. Try limiting your screen time on websites you know provide the most temptation for you. If you can’t separate yourself from the screen, download an ad blocking app. An app like Ad Block Ultimate eliminates ads at the side of most websites and ads that play before a video. You can also download apps that lock distracting websites for a specific amount of time. Though you can disable these apps at any time, they provide a good reminder of your goals to keep your spending in check.
Complement these apps with a budget. This financial tool can help you determine how much you can realistically spend online before you put your finances at risk. If you aren’t sure how to make one, you can find guides online that walk you through each step. Even direct lenders of cash loans offer practical advice when it comes to different budgeting techniques.
According to the latest Omni-Channel Retail Report, 96 percent of Americans shop online. If you’re a part of the overwhelming majority that takes advantage of the convenience online shopping affords, make sure you’re shopping smart. Enjoy comparison shopping in your PJs, but don’t forget about the potential risks involved. The lure of online shopping can be hard to ignore. Protect yourself from it keeping this list in your mind.