Whether you’ve made your New Year’s resolutions already or not — or have already broken them! — it’s not too late to make a few shopping resolutions for 2011. Most of us have probably made a purchase we regretted in 2010, and a few new resolutions could be the way to avoid such mistakes this year! So we’ve compiled this list of shopping resolutions to help you get started.
1) Make a List First
More importantly, make a list and stick to it. Impulse buying — at the grocery store, at the electronics store, online — is the quickest way to blow through your shopping money and keep you from buying the stuff you really want. When heading out to go shopping anywhere — even on a website — try to know what you’re getting ahead of time, and avoid tantalizing browsing.
2) Remember Your Wish List
Still having problems with impulse shopping? If you keep a list of all the stuff you want but can’t afford at the moment, it can be easier to resist the urge to buy something you suddenly see. Think about it — would you rather have that DVD you just saw a second ago, or would you rather buy that book you’ve wanted for the last month? If you’re determined to spend $20 no matter what, wouldn’t it make more sense to buy the book?
3) Always Get a Second Opinion
Whether you’re buying a DVD or a new TV, never just buy it outright. Chances are there’s going to be some place — another store, another site — that sells the same item cheaper. In today’s frugal times, every dollar counts, and spending a few extra minutes double-checking that you’re getting the best price doesn’t cost anything.
4) Don’t Be Swayed by the Sale
This is the toughest resolution to keep, because there’s no trick or tip to it — it’s just a matter of willpower. It’s a principle we all realize; if you buy a $500 item for $50, that’s a great sale, but you’ve still spent $50. Try to ignore the discount, and pretend the sale price is the actual price. Do you still need it? Do you want it? Would you be spending this money if the “sale” weren’t part of it? Sometimes, the answer is yes, but many, many times it’s no.
What are some of your shopping resolutions for the New Year? List them in the Comments section below!