Throughout much of 2020, most people have spent more time at home than they have in previous years due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. Mandatory lockdown or stay-at-home orders were instituted in many states, including Texas. As people were instructed to stay home, and non-essential businesses were closed, online retailers experienced an unprecedented boom. In fact, market experts say that American shoppers have already spent more online this year than they did in all of 2019, and we still have the entire winter holiday season ahead of us. In addition, Black Friday is now more than a day; it is a essentially a season of its own.
As you look ahead to the upcoming holidays, you probably plan to buy gifts for your family members and friends. In keeping with the trends of 2020, there is a very good chance you plan to do much of your holiday shopping online. There is no question that online shopping is usually hassle-free and convenient, and you can certainly find some amazing deals. However, there are some factors that make overspending online a common problem for many people. Fortunately, you can control your online spending this coming holiday season by doing a few simple things ahead of time.
At The Page Law Firm, we work with clients every day who are considering bankruptcy. In many instances, it's because of a job loss or decrease in income. Right from the start, we ask our clients to come up with a manageable budget. Many people never bother to keep track of their holiday spending, but this is a dangerous approach. Before you start buying gifts online, have a plan in place. Know whom you are buying gifts for and how much you will spend. Then, put your holiday shopping money aside so that you are not tempted to “borrow” money that was meant for something else.
Research and Patience
It has never been easier to find exactly what you want and have it delivered to your door in a matter of days. This makes it very important to be disciplined while you are shopping for holiday gifts. Once you have made your budget and you know whom you plan to buy for, start thinking about what you would like to buy each person. Then, take the time to research each gift and find a good deal. Many online retailers allow you to “follow” an item and to receive notifications when the price of the item changes. By doing so—and by starting early—you are likely to get the gifts you are looking for at lower prices than you might expect.
Use Debit Not Credit and Enter Your Card Info Each Time
As we tell our bankruptcy clients, one of the most common ways to control in-person spending is to always use cash. If you do not have the cash to make a purchase, you simply do not make the purchase. Obviously, using cash is impossible when you shop online. By using your debit card instead of a credit card, you can be sure you are only spending money that you actually have. This can help you stick to your budget as well.
It is also a good idea to delete any card information that may be stored on online retailer sites. One-click ordering is fast and easy, but impulse buying can quickly spiral out of control. Keep the extra step of entering your debit card information each time so that you have the chance to fully consider your purchases before you make them. You will also be certain that you are using the right card each time as well.
Work With a Frisco Bankruptcy Attorney
Discipline is the key to protecting yourself from overspending online this holiday season. This means budgeting and avoiding impulse buying, among other considerations. At The Page Law Firm, we understand the importance of maintaining control of your finances, but we also know that the unexpected can and does happen. If you are having trouble managing your debt, our experienced Denton County bankruptcy lawyer can help you explore your options for taking action. Call 214-618-2101 to schedule a free consultation today.
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