For many people, getting ahead means spending less.
But when you have as much going out each week as coming in, it's not always obvious where you can trim your budget. A quick way to make a difference is to consider how you're spending your money.
Here are a few types of shopping to try to avoid if you want to save money.
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Lots of people go out and spend money when they're not feeling great. It can be a short-term lift if you pick up something you've wanted for a while or that really catches your eye. But if you can't afford it, or you get into debt to make the purchase, it can end up leaving you feel even worse than you did before. Related to this is bored shopping – when you or the kids are at a loose end so you go and traipse around Kmart. You emerge an hour later $100 poorer and aren't always quite sure what you gained.
The retail environment, online and in-store, is designed to maximise impulse spending. In shops, things are positioned so you see them as you make your way to what you actually came in for – online it's things like pop-up notifications telling you what other items customers have bought, or notifications that stock is low. Take time to consider whether you really need something. Stick to your original plan, and if you're still thinking about the other items a few days later, you might choose to go back to get them.
Some people are better at standing up to pushy salespeople than others. If you're going into a retail environment where you think the pressure may be put on you, leave your wallet in the car. This gives you an easy out if you need time to think, and stops you from rushing into a decision you might regret.
Sometimes it's not money that we're short of, but time. When you're in a hurry, you may just take the first option you see and not worry about the price. Shopping around almost always results in a better price, and you can often get your preferred retailer to match a better deal you find elsewhere, Comparison apps such as PriceSpy make it easier to check prices.