The biggest benefit to online shopping is also its biggest pitfall: it’s just too easy. Even if you and your partner have worked out a spending plan, the lure of one-click shopping can easily derail your hard work.
Online shopping has the power of convenience, but you have the power of your relationship – be each other’s support system as you break away from the pull of the screen. Do what you can for each other to make it harder to shop and easier to save for your big goals.
Give Your Relationship a Daily Dose of Spiritual Strength
Center your love and money with the 7-Day Devotional email series
Once you stop spending, you can use your screens to help you start saving: there are also amazing ways to save money online.
Read on to learn how to stop online shopping from hurting, and how you can get it to start helping you put your money where you both really want it to go.
When online shopping hurts:
Unsubscribe from Temptation
- Unsubscribe from all shopping emails—every single one of them. If you absolutely need to buy something, do a quick search on Retailmenot® or Couponcabin® for a coupon code.
Do This Instead: Get a daily in-box boost from the 7-Day Devotional instead.
No More One-Click Shopping
- Remove your credit card information from shopping sites. Yes, even Amazon. If you have to walk across the room to get your wallet, you usually won’t get off the couch. (You’re not lazy, just human.)
Do This Instead: Read on for more tips to plug your spending leaks.
One Shopping Day at a Time
- Designate one day a week as your non-essential shopping day. If you both know you have to wait until Tuesday to buy that shirt or electronic or whatever either of you have been eyeing, chances are, you’ll decide you don’t need it anyway.
Do This Instead: Keep the savings going! This challenge can help you save up to $500 quickly.
A Library of Riches
- If either of you are big e-readers, stop buying from your reader’s marketplace and look no further than your local library. By downloading the Libby® or Hoopla® app, you can get e-books from the library anytime. If you put the Library Extension app on your Chrome browser, it will pop up automatically whenever you’ve navigated to Amazon or GoodReads and let you know if the book you want to buy is available in your library system.
While we’re talking about the library, take a look at all the amazing things your system might offer. Tools, sewing machines, cooking pans, museum passes, video games and even 3D printers may be available to be checked out for free.
More library amazingness: Kanopy® lets your stream classic cinema, documentaries and foreign films (Forbes magazine called it “One of the most unique and compelling film collections in the world.”) for free with your library card.
Do This Instead: Take the money you save from not buying e-books and movies and put it toward your savings with the Tap to Save app.
When online shopping helps:
Curb Impulse Buys
- Choose curbside pick-up for your grocery shopping or Target runs to save you not only time, but money. Yes, you might have to pay a convenience charge, but you are not paying for any impulse items. Staying out of the store means you stay away from temptation, ultimately saving you money.
Do This Instead: Cook one more meal a week at home and watch your savings grow.
Casting Off Retail Prices
- Look into consignment. You can either sell your items online (clothing and accessory sites like Poshmark® and TheRealReal® make this easy), or you can buy gently used items when you’re looking for something new to add to your wardrobe. Want to see how low (price) you can go? Combine the fun of the thrift store hunt with the power of the internet – ThredUp® is an enormous online thrift store.
Do This Instead: Take the money you make selling your old stuff and put it into an emergency fund. Read why emergency savings accounts are a great idea here.
Harvesting Savings on Groceries
- Get “ugly” produce delivered to your door. Only the best-looking produce is displayed at grocery stores, which means almost 40% of food goes to waste in the U.S. every year. Hungry Harvest® has rescued over 10 million pounds of food from going to waste and will ship it to your doorstep. For about $17 a week, you can get ten pounds of produce delivered.
Do This Instead: Find other ways to lower your monthly expenses with the Hack Your Debt challenge.