First Person: My 3 Worst Shopping Habits

Yahoo Contributor Network

I love to shop, and I love to get a bargain, but there are times when those two things land me in financial hot water. There's nothing like going to the store to spend a few dollars and walking out after spending four times more than you intended. Talk about buyer's remorse. To combat this problem, I've identified several problem areas, and I have formed a plan to control my spending.

Here are three shopping habits that I'm planning to break, and a look at the money I can save.

Browsing on quick shopping trips

One thing that really gets me into trouble is browsing around the store when I run inside to pick up one thing. For example, the other day I went to the store to get new air filters for our furnace, which cost around $4 for a pack of three. I would have been just fine if I had grabbed the filters and checked out, but I decided to browse around. I walk over to the craft section of the store, and ended up buying around $12 worth of yarn I hadn't planned on buying. If I didn't browse around I would have saved myself $12.

Buying extras just in case

I have to admit this is one of my worst shopping habits, and the one that costs me the most money. No matter how I try I always fall into this trap. A perfect example of this happened to me two weeks ago. I went to a craft store to buy some polymer clay, and found that it was on sale. I intended to buy two bricks of clay, which would have cost me $4 at their regular price, but they were on sale for $1 a brick, so I could have saved $2. However, I i didn't buy just two. In fact, I bought 20 bricks, which means I spent $20, $16 more than I wanted to. To justify the extra cost I told myself I was buying extra just in case I needed it, but the truth is, I bought it because it was cheap.

Checkout impulse buys

Our local big-box store always has a ton of items surrounding the cash registers, and it never fails that I find something that I convince myself I can't live without. My most recent purchase was a product I seen for sale on TV, but didn't order. So, when I saw it in the store I had to have it. That last minute purchase cost me $20, and it is sitting in the kitchen cabinet unused.

All told, I wasted $48 on these three purchases alone, and if I repeated that once a month for a year I would have overspent by $576. Identifying these bad spending habits, and avoiding them in the future promises to save my family and I a great deal of money.

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