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“When I looked into shop windows, I saw another world. A dreamy world full of perfect things.” – Rebecca Bloomwood, in the film Confessions of a Shopaholic.

 

Have you ever walked into a shop with an item in mind to purchase which you’ve budgeted for, but somehow end up coming out with multiple items that you weren’t even planning on buying?

Don’t worry, we’ve probably all been there before. If you’ve watched Confessions of a Shopaholic, you would remember how Isla Fisher’s character Rebecca Bloomwood’s favourite pastime resulted in a series of debt troubles when she maxed-out 12 credit cards due to her never-ending shopping spree.

Whether it’s an occasion coming up or we’re rewarding ourselves for a job well done, sometimes we may find ourselves at the nearest shopping centre or online store checking out the latest deals.

If you’ve had this experience before and have struggled to get your finances back in shape because of the way you shop, read further to find out what this movie taught us about our spending habits.

 

1. Try to avoid impulse buying

We’ve all had our fair share of spontaneous buying moments. Therefore “think before you buy” is useful process to go through when you are deciding whether to purchase an item. Ask yourself a series of questions: Is it really worth the cost? Can you live without it? Could you afford it without needing credit?

 

2. Evaluate your spending habits and identify ways to improve

It’s important to evaluate how much you’re currently spending and how you’re spending your money. You might find patterns in the way you spend so you can tackle the issue accordingly. Whether you love luxury goods or you can never resist a sale, you could consider the below tips to help you change your shopping behaviour.

 

# Change where you shop

Consider skipping the major department stores and get thrifty instead by researching and comparing deals online.

 

# Unsubscribe from promotional mailing lists

When there’s a new email in your inbox with a tempting subject line on the next upcoming warehouse sale or seasonal discounts, it can be very hard not to click to find out more. So, why not take a proactive approach and unsubscribe from the mailing list instead?

 

# Stop using credit entirely

Ask yourself what you are using credit for and if you are able to afford the repayments. If the answer is “no”, then could you try saving up money and buying the item outright instead. Carry cash and leave your cards at home – sometimes seeing the money disappear limits buying things you don’t need.

 

3. Prepare a budget plan and stick to it

Do the maths and start creating your own budget plan. This can help you make smarter choices so that you spend money on what you really want.

While having a monthly budget is a good idea, it’s hard to keep track of your spending if you don’t break it down to see what you are spending each day.

Read our article on how these essential finance apps can automatically categorise your transactions and monitor your spends against the allocated budgets on-the-go.

 

4. Don’t let interest snowball your debt

Never knew that you can negotiate for a lower interest rate on your credit card to save on interest charges? Or lower credit card fees to get out of debt faster? Check out our article on how the right negotiation skills can help you save money.

 

5. Freezing your credit card in ice doesn’t help pay back your debt

This was one of the movie’s most memorable scenes. Although this tactic might stop you from using your credit card for a while, it is not a viable long-term debt management solution.

Read our insider tips on how to pay off your plastic debt, so you can get out of the vicious debt cycle sooner.

 

 

Get your Free Credit Score through Credit Savvy

Want a savvy tip? Protect your credit reputation by signing up as a Credit Savvy member to get your free credit score and monthly score updates. Checking your credit score not only helps you find out where you stand, it also helps lenders determine your credit worthiness so they can assess the risk of lending you money.

 

If you have a high credit score, it could help you get a better deal. If you are in the lower credit score band, you can learn how to improve and manage your score and see how you can use it to shop around for a better deal.