7 tips to avoid blasting your credit card online

Published on November 19th, 2020
  Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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Retail therapy can make you feel good, but it can put your finances into disarray. This can get harder to do when you are shopping online using your credit card as it is convenient to click away and add to your shopping cart. Our seven tips can help you curb your online spending habits this festive so you can reach a state of peace when it is over.

1. Set up a splurge budget

You know yourself well enough to be aware that cutting off shopping altogether is a huge ask. It’s all about baby steps. Setting up a splurge budget will not only make you feel better about spending money, but it can also help you track just how much money you are spending. Create a budget that is set around dates where major sales are happening for items that you would like to get. You can also consider getting a foreign transaction credit card to avoid attracting a foreign transaction fee which can be up to 3% on all purchases made for overseas items.

2. Give yourself a cool off period

You have seen it and somehow convinced yourself that you need it. According to research by Roy Morgan, a total of 9.46 million Australians shop online, because it is convenient and they might be able to snatch an affordable deal than going to a store. Before you type out your credit card details, cool off. This means to step away from your PC for a few hours or a day and consider if you really need the item you have spotted. This can prevent you from making a purchase you will want to hide from your partner or regret.

3. Use your own cash

Let’s face it, using your credit card is borrowed money. It can lead to expensive money when you consider the interest rate that you have to pay back. You can consider using a debit card or cash to help you keep to your splurge budget. This can also help you steer clear from using your credit card to make impulse purchases online once you see your own money decreasing bit by bit.

4. Avoid shopping when you are hungry

Purchasing your favourite meal online is becoming increasingly popular, but its these small purchases for takeaways that eventually build up. You may think spending a couple of dollars here and there won’t hurt your budget, but without tracking your spending you could end up losing a couple of hundreds of dollars that could have been usefully elsewhere. Make a home cooked meal to avoid splurging on takeouts.

5. Going out?

Australians enjoy treating themselves, especially when it means going out with friends. According to Roy Morgan, Australians spent 77.1 billion when it came to going out with friends or family. Not having a budget for such outings can heavily impact your budget as you will be tempted to spend more than you initially meant to spend. You may have to turn down a couple of nights out with your friends to avoid overextending yourself.

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