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Success in cutting my credit card bill

October 27, 2011

Photo by LipglossJunkie

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:

  1. do I really want this item?
  2. will I still want the item by this time next week?
  3. do I actually need this item?
  4. is there room for it in my life and home?
  5. do I already have something that will serve a similar purpose?
  6. can I justify the purchase to my husband?
  7. 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.

Birthday gift from Space NK

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.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Alice permalink
    October 27, 2011 3:54 pm

    Well done! That’s really impressive. Your ‘taking a break from online shopping’ post made me think about how much online shopping I do, and I’ve started to realise how much of it is generated by offer emails and those Amazon ‘we noticed you were looking at this’ type emails, so I’ve stopped looking at them. Now I wait until I actually want something and then do a quick google to see if there is a code available, rather than seeing a code and then finding something to spend it on! And I will always ALWAYS ignore Amazon emails now, because if I really wanted the thing I was looking at I wouldn’t need them to send me a reminder! x

  2. October 27, 2011 4:20 pm

    Thanks!

    I found it very helpful to write that ‘taking a break from online shopping’ post and it’s good to hear that you seemed to find it helpful to reflect on your online shopping habits as well.

  3. October 27, 2011 4:30 pm

    Hooraay! Well done you! You think you are making a saving but after spending on every offer that comes your way you end up wasting so much money. I’m terrible when it comes to Amazon.

  4. November 7, 2011 2:03 pm

    Hey well done! I’m really trying to do the same but its so hard isn’t it. Useful post though, thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. November 11, 2011 9:41 am

    That’s a BIG step… good for you! Your tips were great. I’m currently in the process of de-cluttering my house (so I have more time to play with my cyber-friends!), so the one about asking if I have room in my house/life really resonated with me. 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. The First Thrifty Families Blog Carnival | Baby Budgeting
  2. Frugal February « minibreak mummy
  3. Am I a Savvy Online Shopper? « minibreak mummy

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