Big online shopping platforms are aggressive when it comes to advertising their monthly sale. It is consumerism at its peak, utilising 1.1, 2.2, 3.3, and so on until their biggest sale, 12.12. They offer free delivery, massive discounts, and flash sales.
Their advertising will be on Instagram, as they hire influencers and celebrities to advocate for them. It becomes every ad at the beginning of all the YouTube videos you will watch. It is on tarpaulins and more in-app ads. During these times, expect to see a slogan saying “Don’t think. Just buy!”
Then, when that date ends, expect to see advertisements for the next month’s sale on the next day. It is a vicious cycle, but who does not love free shipping and a good discount? Besides, 88 per cent of consumers are more likely to check out their carts because of free shipping.
Despite all the brands and the bombardment of advertisements, this is the big question: Can you afford another checkout?
The basic principle of budgeting is to not spend more than you earn. This includes paying the monthly bills and having a few extra bucks to save for yourself. After you have deducted rent, utility bills, debts, etc., do you still have money left? If you do, saving money should be a priority because emergencies could arise at any given moment, especially with the global crisis in 2020.
If budgeting is a problem, consider having a budget tracker. Whether it is an app on your phone or part of your planner, it helps you keep track of how much you have spent and what you have been spending on. By plotting out every little detail, you could see how much the last month’s sale has cost you.
Debts are probably the bane of everyone’s existence. It’s like living in a haunted house. Every month, something disturbs your peace for something that happened years and years ago. Except in debts, you needed something so badly, like college or home.
However, on the flip side of a coin is The Confessions of a Shopaholic where you thought you needed something, like a green scarf. Owning a credit card is a slippery slope, especially if it is connected to your online shopping account. Credit card interest rates are, oftentimes, through the roof. As a result, you could be paying the minimum amount per month and still don’t see progress in your debt.
A solution to this is a debt consolidation plan. Basically, you take out a loan with a lower interest rate from a trustworthy financial company in order to pay off existing debt. Doing so will lower the interest rate you’re paying for every month, compared to that of your credit card.
Once you have dealt with the present, it is time to look into the future. Perhaps, you are currently preparing your expenses for a huge financial decision in a few years’ time. Setting financial goals is important to foresee any problems that may arise when the time comes. This includes having an emergency fund and mitigating or minimising your debts.
Therefore, when you are contemplating on pressing that check-out button, think about its repercussions in achieving your financial goal. Consider weighing the pros and cons of buying the products in your cart. Ask yourself a simple question: Do you need them?
“Do I Need It?” and Other Questions
Sometimes, you might find yourself resisting the temptations of consumerism. To check-out or not to check-out? Here are a few introspective questions to help you get through the crisis:
- “Do I need it?” Sometimes, you do not. Sometimes, these items are just cute, but you already have stocks of them at home. Sometimes, you are only buying them for the discount but find no use for them at home. Before buying, consider thinking about how useful they can be in your everyday life.
- “How does it improve my life?” In order to budget, prioritising financial decisions is key. For example, monthly bills are a necessity, so paying them is at the top of the list. Shopping, on the other hand, is quite dodgy, so one way to measure this is to decide on how the product will make your life better in the long-term. Perhaps, your back hurts, so you need an office chair.
Participating in these monthly sales is fine but only in moderation. If you had a shopping spree last month, maybe you could skip this month. It takes a lot of self-control not to press “check-out”, but the long-term financial effects would also save you a few more months of headaches.