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| Education and Financial

08/05/14

Online sloppy: Why buying online can get you into financial trouble

Point, click, shop and checkout.
That simple formula can be your best friend or worst nightmare depending on how comfortable and convenient the process is from the privacy of your own home.
When you think about shopping online, most of what comes to mind is the idea that you can buy what you want, avoid crowds, parking at the mall or spending an entire day doing what an afternoon could handle from your tablet or laptop.
But behind all the positives comes one lingering negative: it's so easy to shop online that you might tend to go a tad overboard with it.
You have to look at a few of the red flags when it comes to shopping online.

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The first and most important ones is the idea that when you're shopping with a credit card or debit card online is that there is no sense of quantity as far as what you're buying. If you're walking through Gap or Old Navy and start filling a tangible shopping bag with jeans, shorts, shirt and accessories, your mind starts to begin processing exactly what is going on: you're probably buying too much.
The bag gets heavy and so does your pending credit card bill, which you can begin to envision the moment you walk closer to the checkout aisle. Simply put, shopping at an actual retail store has steps involved and time for you to really contemplate what is about to happen when you whip that credit card out of your wallet or purse just in time for your better judgment to hit you.
Online shopping is minus the buffers but rather replaces the checkout counter with a virtual checkout that, of course, tallies what you buy but is minus that time gap and walk to the register. Instead, you just have to move your mouse a few inches to the left or right and then hit buy.
You also can't underestimate the deadline mentality of online buying and the speed with which you can cash in on these deals. Any reputable retailer knows how to market last minute specials or 50% off buys that flash before your very eye with a last day to purchase in mind. The difference between online and in store buying is, once again, the speed that you can execute this purchase. If you're online, you can buy quickly and take advantage of the proposed "special." In person, you have a certain day that it ends; even if it is only a one day sale, you might be more inclined to stay home and not venture out no matter how great the deal is.
No one can argue how easy it is to buy online, but it's that simplicity that sometimes gets us into financial trouble when it comes to debt and amassing it much faster than we'd like.

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