Revisit: Shopaholic no more

Maybe it is innate that many shopaholics cannot resist anything that looks pretty on the shelves or has a discount tag on it. Besides earning money and making money work hard for us (our income stream), controlling our expenses and saving up are just as important (limit cash outflow).

Here are eight quick tips when you shop and some to help you overcome your buying impulses -

  1. Wait... Be patient
    Signing up for 'membership' has its perks, even if you don't frequent the stores much. Cos retailers would send you SMS / email notifications on their promotions every so often (if you opt for it) that the Great Singapore Sales seems almost obsolete.
    If it's not something desperately and urgently needed, it doesn't hurt to test some patience and see if we can get our trophy at a fraction of the usual price during sale. It is also a kind of delayed gratification technique because that urge to buy would have perhaps gone away or you would have forgotten what you fancy the item for in the first place.

  2. Need vs Want
    Ask yourself if you really need that item before you buy - 3x.
    Think about what you already owned and if those items are functioning the same as the one you are about to buy or just as good. From there you could really save some money.


  3. Usage
    Can you foresee yourself using this item that you intend to buy frequently? If it is just another collection to your wardrobe of white elephants, then forget it. For items that you are intending to use only once or twice, perhaps borrowing from a friend or neighbour would be a better option and 100% cost-saving.

    Teamwork and brainstorming concept with businessmen that share an idea with a lamp. Concept of startup royalty-free stock photo
    We share ok?

  4. Maximize credit card rebates / discounts
    Credit cards are hot on promotion these days (signing up rewards) and if you happened to have the right card for a discount on something that you really want, go ahead and swipe the right card!
    Oh no, this is not encouraging you to keep swiping ya.
    Large pile of old credit cards royalty-free stock photo

  5. Quality vs Price
    Many times I find myself buying an item just because it looks nice or it's on special offer, but not lasting very long on use.
    Sometimes good brands, high prices do not equate to good quality. (My Casio outlasted my Solvil Titus). However, if a branded good really delivers the quality its price deserves, then part with that extra cash and save yourself the hassle of repair or replacement of another inferior product.
    For skincare products and cosmetics, I would read online reviews and "research" their ingredients first before buying. Some are less than $10 but still rock!

    Beautiful thinking business woman in glasses looking on illustration house in bubble above and asking the question. Insurance protection concept, investment to safety money. Vintage color style royalty-free stock photo

  6. Compare prices
    Chinese has a saying "hua bi san jia" - meaning to compare the goods across three stores. A little more effort can save you substantially and they add up! Especially so for big ticket buys like airfare, hotel stay, furniture and gadgets.
    Trying out certain products at their brick-and-mortar stores then purchasing them online may also save you some money.

    CHECK PRICES internet shopping computer monitor royalty-free stock photo

  7. Keep records of large purchases
    Keep records of all your large purchases or even every single purchase if you are diligent enough. If you have a budget to keep, and you track the actual amount going out of your wallet, your mind will tune automatically towards how you could better manage your expenses.

    When you see something, your awareness will increase because there is no more "aga-ration"

    Man checking an invoice on a calculator royalty-free stock photo

  8. Make a note
    Make a note on the list of things that you think you have wasted money on and now have absolutely no use for.
    Then don't repeat such purchases again. There are always things that we regret buying 3 days later, no?

    It is a perfect time to do so when you are de-cluttering your home. Perhaps for those reusable items, you could consider selling them on Carousell to recoup back some losses.
Junk in a drawer royalty-free stock photo

First published 2010
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