Who doesn't love to shop? I know I do! As a Stay at Home Mum though having an unlimited shopping budget is somewhat of a dream. Fortunately, there is a way to spend without having to pay for it straight away. There are products known as spread the cost or buy now pay later offered by numerous online stores, most particularly, shopping catalogues. This is useful for birthdays, Christmas, special occasions or a new season's wardrobe - as a Mum, this is normally for the child rather than ourselves.
As with all forms of credit there will be a credit check and you’re never guaranteed to get accepted. There are also catalogues for people with bad credit which tend to have more lenient credit checks.
But be careful! If you are not cautious using such a tool, it can bring more harm than good. To help you with that, below are a few top tips for shopping on finance responsibly.
Set A Budget
When it comes to financial matters, one of the first things that you need to address is setting a budget. Budgeting is a very important skill to learn, not only in shopping, but almost in all aspects of your finances.
The basic idea of budgeting is to plan your expenses or plan how much you are going to spend on shopping. It’s a simple formula, and yet you will need discipline when it comes to execution.
Set Aside that longing
When going out for shopping, it's best that you already have a good idea on what you are buying. However, your primary enemy when going out for shopping is impulse buying. How many items have you bought immediately in the past, but is now sitting in a closet or garage somewhere? Impulse buying is a waste of money, plain and simple.
To cure yourself from impulse buying, do not immediately purchase anything that appeals to you when you go out for shopping. If you really like a certain item, then put it on your wish list. Give it a few days or weeks. If you still like the item, then incorporate the item into your budget plans.
Sometimes shopping online can help with this as you don’t necessarily feel the pressure of having to buy there and then. Online catalogues are possibly the number one place to do online finance shopping.
Since you are shopping on finance, you are most likely going to carry a card of some sort that will represent your line of credit. If you have multiple cards, then only carry the ones you need. Avoid bringing along all your cards as this will only invite disaster. It’s like a man going on a diet and hanging out at the buffet table.
Manage your thoughts
Do you know what you need versus what you want? Have you thought about how long it will take to earn what you are spending? If a coffee and pastry costs 7 pounds and you're paid 7 pounds an hour it kind of puts things into perspective. 10 minutes to eat it, 1 hour to earn it! Shop when you need to rather than as retail therapy.
Shopping on finance is a great responsibility. Otherwise, you can put yourself in a debt spiral. So in summary, as a start, set a budget before going to shop, avoid impulse buying and do not bring-along needless finance or credit cards. Finally, control your thoughts; every purchase starts with a thought.
This post is a collaboration.