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5 reasons for shopping online

5 reasons for shopping online

Although buying stuff online hardly surprises anybody today, there are still many people who prefer good old brick-and-mortar stores and believe that nothing beats traditional shopping. Nevertheless, although online shopping certainly has its downsides, we firmly believe these are by far outweighed by its benefits – and are ready to prove it!

1. Online Selection Is Bigger

There is only so much space – even in the biggest brick-and-mortar store. Choice is bound to be limited – retailers that sell hugely varied items often display no more than a fraction of their actual wares, and you sometimes have to inquire about alternative variants – it takes time and is not always effective. Selecting items online may be especially beneficial when you buy something highly customizable, like glasses – if you try to browse a couple thousands of different designs on a show-case, even if one admits that it is physically possible to fit them all in, you are likely to get a headache. While shopping online, you just browse through them at your own pace.

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2. It Is Cheaper

Online retailers don’t have to pay the rent, which is one of the most important contributors to the high prices of their brick-and-mortar counterparts. In addition, it saves the costs of internal shipping, which means that when all is said and done, a large chunk of the item’s added cost is cut away. Moreover, consider other expenses you have to suffer to visit a brick-and-mortar store, namely time and money (e.g., on gas) that can be better used otherwise. And you can never be sure you’ll find what you need on that visit!

3. It Is Easier to Compare Prices

To compare prices in several online stores all you need to do is to spend a few minutes browsing their websites – even if you don’t use one of many price aggregators. If you want to compare several brick-and-mortar stores, you will have to visit them all, and likely spend more money on gas than you are planning to save. Of course, some of them create online price-lists… but isn’t it easier to just skip this step and buy online anyway?

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4. Online Stores Adapt to You

Some people freak out when they notice that online stores remember their previous actions and try to show you the products you are likely to be interested in (and learn from your behavior in a thousand other ways), but in the long run, they do it to make our lives easier in just as great a degree as they do it to sell more. A brick-and-mortar store won’t change its layout to accommodate you; an online one does it every time you visit, although true individualization may be still far away.

5. It Is Easier to Find What You Need

If you want to find something in an online store, you have a flexible search script that will show you everything there is based on any set of variables you need, for you to choose from at your leisure. If you try to find something that isn’t immediately visible in a brick-and-mortar shop, then God help you – because otherwise you will have to rely on a shop assistant who always seems to have been hired yesterday, doesn’t know where anything is and doesn’t seem to be interested in helping you at all.

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All in all, it is no wonder that buying online is getting more and more popular, giving traditional shopping a run for its money – it is certainly a way of the future, and there is no reason to avoid it! Are there any things that you love about online shopping that we’ve missed listing here? Perhaps you’d like to defend traditional, physical shops? Leave a comment below!

Featured photo credit: shopping/ tanka v via flickr.com

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Published on November 20, 2018

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The truth is, there are many “money saving guides” online, but most don’t cover the root issue for not saving.

Once I’d discovered a few key factors that allowed me to save 10k in one year, I realized why most articles couldn’t help me. The problem is that even with the right strategies you can still fail to save money. You need to have the right systems in place and the right mindset.

In this guide, I’ll cover the best ways to save money — practical yet powerful steps you can take to start saving more. It won’t be easy but with hard work, I’m confident you’ll be able to save more money–even if you’re an impulsive spender.

Why Your Past Prevents You from Saving Money

Are you constantly thinking about your financial mistakes?

If so, these thoughts are holding you back from saving.

I get it, you wish you could go back in time to avoid your financial downfalls. But dwelling over your past will only rob you from your future. Instead, reflect on your mistakes and ask yourself what lessons you can learn from them.

It wasn’t easy for me to accept that I had accumulated thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Once I did, I started heading in the right direction. Embrace your past failures and use them as an opportunity to set new financial goals.

For example, after accepting that you’re thousands of dollars in debt create a plan to be debt free in a year or two. This way when you’ll be at peace even when you get negative thoughts about your finances. Now you can focus more time on saving and less on your past financial mistakes.

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How to Effortlessly Track Your Spending

Stop manually tracking your spending.

Leverage powerful analytic tools such as Personal Capital and these money management apps to do the work for you. This tool has worked for me and has kept me motivated to why I’m saving in the first place. Once you login to your Personal Capital dashboard, you’re able to view your net worth.

When I’d first signed up with Personal Capital, I had a negative net worth, but this motivated me to save more. With this tool, you can also view your spending patterns, expenses, and how much money you’re saving.

Use your net worth as your north star to saving more. Whenever you experience financial setbacks, view how far you’ve come along. Saving money is only half the battle, being consistent is the other half.

The Truth on Why You Keep Failing

Saving money isn’t sexy. If it was, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

Some people are natural savers, but most are impulsive spenders. Instead of denying that you’re an impulsive spender, embrace it.

Don’t try to save 60 to 70% of your income if this means you’ll live a miserable life. Saving money isn’t a race but a marathon. You’re saving for retirement and for large purchases.

If you’re currently having a hard time saving, start spending more money on nice things. This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out. Wouldn’t it be better to save $200 each month for 12 months instead of $500 for 3 months?

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Most people run into trouble because they create budgets that set them up for failure. This system won’t work for those who are frugal, but chances are they don’t need help saving. This system is for those who can’t save money and need to be rewarded for their hard work.

Only because you’re buying nice things doesn’t mean that you’ll save less. Here are some rules you should have in place:

  1. Save more than 50% of your available money (after expenses)
  2. Only buy nice things after saving
  3. Automate your savings with automatic bank transfers

These are the same rules that helped me save thousands each year while buying the latest iPhone. Focus only on items that are important to you. Remember, you can afford anything but not everything.

How to Foolproof Yourself out of Debt

Personal finance is a game. On one end, you’re earning money; and on the to other, you’re saving. But what ends up counting in the end isn’t how much you earn but how much you save. Research shows that about 60% of Americans spend more than they save.[1]

So how can you separate yourself from the 60%?

By not accumulating more debt. This way you’ll have more money to save and avoid having more financial obligations. A great way to stop accumulating debt is using cash to pay for all your transactions.

This will be challenging, depending on how reliant you are with your credit card, but it’s worth the effort. Not only will you stop accruing debt, but you’ll also be more conscious with what you buy.

For example, you’ll think twice about purchasing a new $200 headphone despite having the cash to buy them. According to a poll conducted by The CreditCards.com, 5 out of 6 Americans are impulsive spenders.[2]

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Telling yourself that you’ll have the discipline to not buy things won’t cut it. This is equal to having junk food in your fridge while trying to eat healthy–it’s only a matter of time before you slip. By using cash to make your purchases, you’ll spend less and save more.

A Proven Formula to Skyrocket Your Savings

Having proven systems in place to help you save more is important, but they’re not the best way to save money.

You can search for dozens of ways to save money, but there’ll always be a limit. Instead of spending the majority of your effort saving, look for ways to increase your income. The truth is that once you have the right systems in place, saving is easy.

What’s challenging is earning more money. There are many routes you can take to achieve this. For example, you can work long and hard at your current job to earn a raise. But there’s one problem–you’re depending on someone else to give you a raise.

Your company will have to have the budget, and you’ll have to know how to toot your own horn to get this raise. This isn’t to say that earning a raise is impossible, but things are better when you’re in control right? That’s why building a side-hustle is the best way to increase your income.

Think of your side-hustle as a part-time job doing something you enjoy. You can sell items on eBay for a profit, or design websites for small businesses. Building a side-hustle will be on the hardest things you’ll do, be too stubborn to quit.

During the early stages, you won’t be making money and that’s okay. Since you already have a source of income, you won’t be dependent on your side-hustle to pay for your expenses. Depending on how much time you invest in your side-hustle, it can one day replace your current income.

Whatever route you take, focus more on earning and save as much as possible. You have more control than you give yourself credit for.

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Transform Yourself into a Saving Money Machine

Saving money isn’t complicated but it’s one of the hardest things you’ll do.

By learning from your mistakes and rewarding yourself after saving you’ll save more. What would you do with an extra $200 or $500 each month? To some, this is life-changing money that can improve the quality of their lives.

The truth is saving money is an art. Save too much and you’ll quit, but save too little and you’ll pay for the consequences in the future. Saving money takes effort and having the right systems in place.

Imagine if you’d started saving an extra $100 this next month? Or, saved $20K in one year? Although it’s hard to imagine, this can be your reality if you follow the principles covered in this guide.

Take a moment to brainstorm which goals you’d be able to reach if you had extra money each month. Use these goals as motivation to help you stay on track on your journey to saving more. If I was able to save thousands of dollars with little guidance, imagine what you’ll be able to do.

What are you waiting for? Go and start saving money, the sky is your limit.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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