| July 3, 2013

Online spending traps to avoid

As online shopping has become more prevalent in the past decade, it has been much easier for consumers to spend money as they no longer have to get in their car and drive to the store. 

If you are one of the people who finds it difficult to stay away from online retailers, you might see that you have a lot of credit card debt, which can create financial issues down the road. 

Part of the reason you might spend more money online is the fact that there are many traps that lead you to do so, including:

1. Daily deal sites: Websites such as Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com can provide you with some great deals at restaurants and on hotel rooms, but you should avoid frequenting these sites, according to U.S. News & World Report. While you may not feel as though purchasing something at such a steep discount will do much damage to your finances, when you are budgeting for the next month these expenditures can add up and cause unnecessary financial headaches. 

2. Payment information storing: Many online retailers give you the option of storing your bank or credit card information on their secured sites, but you should probably avoid doing this for security reasons as well as the fact that it makes the checkout process move much faster. If your information is stored on a site such as Amazon.com, you might find it easier to make impulse purchases, which can really throw off your budget. Having to enter your credit card number gives you time to rethink your decision, which can be helpful in certain instances. 

3. Morning email offers: Whether you are at work or having a cup of coffee on your couch during the weekend, marketers are aware that one of the first things you do every morning is check your email. As a result, they often target you with limited-time offers at this time of day, which require you to purchase an item or miss out on a great deal. 

Nancy Puccinelli, retail expert at the University of Oxford, told Self.com that you are more likely to make a poor decision in the morning and purchase products through these offers, which is why you might want to avoid your personal email at this time of day. 

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