Online shopping is increasing in the pandemic.
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The other day I was feeling a little more tired and burned out than usual. I smelled the candle on my desk to see if I could smell its smell. What if I come down with Covid-19? I got a whiff of pumpkin, but my fear of being unwell persisted; I went to amazon and ordered some vitamins.
In anticipation of a dreary and monotonous winter, I bought enough books to probably get me through the next decade. And what does it matter if the only person I’ve seen these days is myself in the mirror? This expensive dress will make me feel better, I recently thought.
I am not the only one who turned to online shopping as a vice during these troubled times. Almost 40% of people say they shop online on a weekly basis, up from 30% before the pandemic survey of 5,000 consumers from Selligent, a marketing company.
More than half of Americans expect to spend more online on vacation than in storesand retailers are already reporting Record online sales.
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With so much more time at home and the targeted ads that follow us from one website to the next, it’s easy to overdo it.
“Overall, I think people are just bored,” he said Sylvie Tongo, Vice President for Communications at Selligent.
“Shopping could also be a way to cope with being alone,” he said Lars Perner, Assistant Professor or Clinical Marketing in the School of Business at the University of Southern California.
Ideally, you want to go to a place where your shopping won’t make you feel guilty, he said Sarah Asebedo, President of the Financial Therapy Association and a Certified Financial Planner.
To do this, she recommends that you “create an spending and savings plan that reflects your values and goals, and then track your spending to ensure that you are spending and saving within those parameters.” (A number of budgeting apps including simplifi and You need a budgetcan help you keep track of your expenses.)
If you frequently buy items that don’t meet your financial goals, and those benchmarks may be even harder to achieve, consider scaling them down.
Keeping your focus on your bigger financial goals can reduce the disappointment or frustration of not getting the product or service you crave right now, experts say.
Even so, resistance is easier said than done, said Kimberly Palmer, personal finance expert at NerdWallet.
“Businesses are keen to stay afloat during these challenging times, so they’re offering discounts, free shipping, and new products to get us to spend money,” said Palmer.
In addition to budgeting, you may need to take some other security measures. “Avoid shopping late at night when you’re tired and just looking for a quick boost,” she said. “It’s easy to forget to compare prices and buy things that you don’t really need or want.”
If you’ve really been on a click and buy tear, try going 48 hours or more without ordering online. In the meantime, it will be helpful for some people to set aside a block of time a week to do their shopping in order to avoid spontaneous pollution.
You may also want to remove your credit card from online stores so that a purchase takes a little more effort, such as buying a product B. Finding your wallet and re-entering your number, Palmer said.
Another strategy that could reduce your impulse buying is to set a “cooling off” period after discovering something you need or want, Perner said.
“One could introduce the practice of withholding a purchase that is not necessary at least overnight,” he said.
In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out how to get that overpriced dress back in my closet. I haven’t worn it a single time.