Though I’m hoping for spring to come sooner, I don’t have too much trust in the shadow or lack thereof. For me, I prefer to celebrate Groundhog Day with the movie instead, watching Bill Murray live the same day over and over again. In honor of the popular 1993 comedy, I thought I’d help you overcome the most common spending mistakes you keep repeating so you can beat the cycle before going broke.
Here are seven common spending mistakes consumers make over and over again.
Spending more to save more, often called “spaving,” is an easy sales trap to fall for. Retailers who promote these buy two, get one free or buy more, save more offers know most people can’t resist such sales. $10 off $50 and $20 off $100 are the same percent savings, so don’t allow those seemingly bigger savings influence you to buy more than you need.
Paying full price.
Bargains abound in today’s retail landscape and shoppers who fail to compare prices, search for coupons or research sales are missing out on big savings. Consumers who pay full price because finding discounts takes too much time are being foolish. Many top deals can be accessed instantly using apps like Coupon Sherpa and Target’s Cartwheel. You can also earn cash back while shopping online through a portal like Ebates, or dodge delivery fees by searching for free shipping codes on FreeShipping.org.
Making emotional purchases.
Some people shop when they’re feeling sad while others spend as a reward when they’re feeling really good. Regardless of which emotions triggers spending, allowing your feelings to fuel buying decisions will result in endless impulse purchases and wasted money. Learn how to cope with your feelings in other ways. For instance, go for a run to let off steam or bake a favorite dessert to celebrate when you feel like rewarding yourself.
Signing up for retail newsletters.
Giving your email address to retailers and restaurants typically results in a new member coupon, so what’s wrong with that? It’s all the emails you receive after that initial deal that gets you into spending trouble. These messages create an urgency to spend even if the store is not providing a coupon or special offer. If you’re planning to spend money somewhere and sign up to receive the new member deal, unsubscribe immediately to enjoy the savings without the recurring spending burden.
Paying ATM fees.
The average consumer spends upwards of $4.50 in ATM fees to access funds. These fees add up and are completely unnecessary when you can receive cash for free in other ways. Simply planning your spending more thoughtfully and withdrawing a certain amount directly from your bank solves the problem. You can also ask for cash back when you swipe your debit card at grocery stores, drugstores and other retail outlets.
Overbuying daily deals.
Coupons are great but only if you use them on items you plan to purchase. Otherwise, they’re just another saboteur of your finances! Daily deals are double trouble since they offer significant savings on tempting experiences like dinner at the newest restaurant, a spa treatment at your favorite salon, or a fun adventure in the hills. The fleeting nature of these offers make them all the more appealing, yet many of these vouchers go unused. To avoid the temptation to overbuy, unsubscribe from daily deal alerts and take their apps off your phone. If you have a daily deal you know you won’t use, try selling it on CoupRecoup.com to receive some of your money back.
Opening store cards for extra savings.
Would you like to save an extra 10% on your purchase today? All you have to do is open a store card that includes, among other things, an incredibly high interest rate and very low credit limit. That extra 10% savings isn’t worth the potentially negative impact on your credit score, not to mention yet another opportunity to accrue debt. Instead, use your trusty bank credit card to earn points and redeem rewards in the form of gift cards or airline miles.
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Andrea Woroch is a money-saving expert who transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers by sharing smart spending tips and personal finance advice. As a sought-after media source, she has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Dr. OZ, New York Times, MONEY Magazine, Consumer Reports, Forbes and many more. In addition, Andrea’s stories have been published among leading publications and sites such as Yahoo!, AOL Daily Finance, CNN Money, Huffington Post, LearnVest and New York Daily News. Check out Andrea’s demo reel or visit her website at AndreaWoroch.com for more information about booking an interview or requesting an original written article. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook for daily money tips.
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