Man holding open wallet

Keeping Hold of the Purse Strings

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Buying today without a thought for the future could end in longer term heartache.  The Quids in! staff plus some experienced shoppers and give us their tips on how to keep a lid on the urge to spend, spend, spend.

1 STICK TO THE  PLAN

“Plan everything: your meals, gifts you’re planning to buy, the things you want from the sales. Write a list and the most you’re willing to spend on things and stick to it.”
– S Brickman, Orpington, Kent

2 DO YOUR  RESEARCH

Shop around and remember it doesn’t have to be done on foot. Not everyone has access to the internet at home but you can usually get free computer time at your local library. So check online for who has  the best bargains for what you want. Don’t forget some shops charge for delivery if you buy online.

3 BE CARD  SHARP

Don’t be tempted by store cards. Unless you pay  everything off in less than a month, most cards charge you for using them. This interest  can be very high and mounts up very quickly.

4 FILL UP FIRST

“Never go shopping on an  empty stomach. I thought this was rubbish until I went out one day when I’d missed breakfast – I bought all this crap I didn’t really want”
– L Betteridge, Bristol

5 AS SEEN ON TV

There will be products and brands you have seen on TV but  you pay for that advertising. “Don’t buy named brands, buy own-brand goods instead. Sometimes people think that because they’re cheap they’re no good but, with food for example, the bigger stores have sometimes been found to include ingredients that are just as good as the more expensive ones”
– L Betteridge, Bristol

6 SEDUCED BY THE PRICE TAG

“Don’t buy on impulse. If you’re short of money, decide what you need before you go. And when you see a bargain that seems too good to resist, including those three for two offers, imagine those things full price. Would you still want it? If not, don’t do it”
– S Brickman, Orpington, Kent

7 MORE FOR YOUR MONEY

“In independent shops, try to haggle. Ask if they can match the best deal you’ve found. In chain stores, ask if they have sales or special offers coming up and if they can do those deals for you now. They won’t want you to shop around. If you can’t get a discount, ask if they’ll throw in anything free (a helmet, if you’re buying a bike, for example). Smile and joke with them – if you don’t ask, you don’t get!”
– M Tucker, Bath

8 FAIR EXCHANGE

Get receipts for everything and keep them safe. Know your rights on refunds and exchanges.

9 STAY ON TOP

If you do get into debt, try and pay it off as early in the New Year as you can.

10 GET GREEN AND CREATIVE

Get recycling: a lot of stuff in charity shops looks as good as new or is new. Your money will do some good while you’re busy bagging a bargain too. You can always try your hand at the online auction site Ebay. Or for really new, what about making or growing things?

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