Success in cutting my credit card bill
I am pleased and proud to report that I have dramatically cut my credit card bill. Expenditure on my credit card during October has been less than a quarter of what it was during September.
This is mostly as a result of taking a break from online shopping. I did this because I realised that I was spending way too much money on stuff from Amazon, eBay, Ocado and other online shopping websites and that this had to stop. I’d tried cutting back, but felt it was time to go ‘cold turkey’ and break the habit.
And it’s working. I am finding that if I stick to shopping in real shops, as opposed to virtual ones, that I am much more able to ask the following questions before handing over my credit card or cash:
- do I really want this item?
- will I still want the item by this time next week?
- do I actually need this item?
- is there room for it in my life and home?
- do I already have something that will serve a similar purpose?
- can I justify the purchase to my husband?
- can we actually afford it?
You’re probably thinking that anyone with an ounce of sense should be able to make sensible decisions about what to buy. But I’m just not sensible when I’m shopping online. It only takes a couple of clicks to select and buy something.
And let’s face it, some items look better onscreen than they do when they arrive in a parcel a few days later, and it’s a lot of hassle to send them back so sometimes I don’t get round to it, especially if the item only cost a few quid.
There are so many special offers and discount codes available to use when shopping online that it’s hard to resist the idea that I’m ‘saving’ money when actually I’m spending it. I have actually unsubscribed from lots of e-mails with special offers in order to reduce the temptation to impulse buy in order to make the most of a ‘today only’ special offer. So no 3 for 2s, no free p&p if you spend over £15, no save £10 if you spend £100. I am ignoring you all. I’ve even had one e-mail saying, ‘We miss you! Here’s £10 off if you place an order by the end of the week.’ I ignored that too.
I’m really grateful to everyone who made supportive comments on my original blogpost about taking a break from online shopping – you have helped me to stay strong in the face of serious temptation.
I’ve still had some fun shopping. For example, I’ve found some fab second-hand items.
It was my birthday last week, so I got some lovely presents from friends and family including some books and other items from my Amazon wishlist. I also got a couple of small birthday freebies from the Body Shop and Space NK because I have loyalty cards with them. This meant I felt less need to treat myself to things.
But I am determined that I will continue with my more critical approach to shopping throughout the next month and in the run up to Christmas and beyond.