Avoid Impulse and Still Get the Best Daily Deals

by Jodi Jae 21. June 2012 13:00

Daily deal vouchers help us to stretch our dollars, making our money go further, and that’s a good thing. In the Internet shopping age, though, where spending money is as simple as clicking a button, it’s easy to cross the line from smart shopper to thrill seeking, out of control consumer. Exercising self-control is necessary, of course, but it doesn’t always work. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s just too hard to pass up a good buy.

We spoke this week to financial experts, professional shoppers and daily deal regulars to learn how they police themselves. Here’s what they had to say.

Budget first, shop second

Gary Morris owned a realtor business in Chicago and retired at the age of 35. How’d he do it? “I always knew how much money I had, how much I wanted to save that month and where to get the most for my money,” claimed Morris. “If you don’t know what’s in your wallet, it’s easy to spend more than you really have.”

Does Morris recommend daily deal shopping? “Absolutely,” he says. “Part of being able to save money is knowing where and how to get the most out of it. “

Treat daily deal websites like actual stores

You go to the grocery store for food, the pharmacy for medication and to your mechanic to get your car oil changed. Likewise, says Minneapolis-based professional shopper Ken Howard, you should turn to daily deal websites for specific bargains too.

“Daily deal websites are the only places I shop these days for cheap vacation packages, gym memberships and local restaurant deals for my clients,” boasted Howard. “Target gives me a good deal on toiletries and daily deals give me the most for my money on trips to Cancun. It’s just common sense.”

Limit your shopping time with daily deal aggregators

Clara Hargrove has been a daily deal shopper for three years. The Miami resident thinks that maximizing your time also means maximizing your dollar.

“I started using daily deal aggregators this year because they show me all the best deals in one place,” says Hargrove. “I used to spend hours shopping online and I can see now that was a waste of time. I do all my bargain hunting in about five minutes a day now.”

Keep a running list of needs

Chicago financial advisor Keven Smith says that watching your bottom line is all about filling your needs and putting your wants on hold. “You go to the grocery store armed with a list, don’t you?” asked Smith. “When you don’t, you spend extravagantly. To keep yourself in check when online shopping you also should keep a current list of needs and put every other good buy you see on a wants list. You address the wants only after you’ve met your savings goals.”

Occasional spending splurges happen and most of the time such goofs don’t really have a long term impact on your budget. Making a habit of overspending, though, can turn even daily deal shopping into problematic behavior.


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