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Thursday, February 27, 2020

This shopping season use these smart hacks to save money

While there’s no need to stop celebrating, here are some shopping hacks that can help control overspending.

Written by Adhil Shetty | New Delhi | Updated: October 10, 2018 3:26:55 pm
People shopping in malls Representative image. (Express photo by Vignesh Krishnamoorthy)

It’s that time of the year when festivals dominate your social calendar and it’s time to exchange gifts and shop. E-tailers and physical stores have announced attractive offers and you are spoilt for choice. However, more often than not we indulge in impulsive shopping, burning a hole in our pockets and regretting purchases later.

So, while there’s no need to stop celebrating, here are some shopping hacks that can help control overspending.

Make a shopping list and stick to it

First things first, have a shopping list in place keeping your budget in mind. You could also make a list of people for whom you want to buy gifts and allocate an amount for it. Overspending often occurs due to splurging on things that you never intended to buy in the first place. Festive offers and discounts can easily distract and make you overspend. A list would help avoid compulsive shopping.

Consider shopping online

Shop online to enjoy the convenience of shopping remotely and get products at competitive prices. In order to beat increased competition, online stores often offer sizeable discounts, especially during festivals. Make use of coupons, discount vouchers and promo codes to save further. And not just clothes and gifts, if you are planning to travel during this time, you can look for offers and deals from travel sites and airlines online. Use your credit cards and e-wallets to enjoy cashback and exclusive offers thrown in by retailers in tie-ups with credit card/e-wallets companies.

Compare prices for big ticket items

If you are planning on buying consumer durables or any other big ticket items, compare the prices available in the market either through price comparison sites, or aggregators. This will help you get the best possible price. Price comparison sites show the lowest price for a particular product, both offline and online. The highly competitive pricing environment online has influenced many brick-and-mortar stores to upgrade their pricing strategy, so you may get a better deal in one of them compared to online stores on certain occasions.

Borrow carefully

While some plan in advance and save up for shopping, some use credit instruments. Sometimes even early planning may need credit assistance if a sudden expense comes your way, like the arrival of a surprise guest. If you intend to borrow a small amount, you can purchase through credit cards. Credit cards allow you an interest-free period of up to 55 days. You can earn reward points and get cash back if you make purchases using credit cards. You can opt for the EMI option for repayment. For buying bigger items such as vehicles or consumer durables, you can opt for festival loans. Certain banks offer zero-processing fees and discounts on interest rates. Moreover, make sure you have a repayment plan in place before you take a loan.

Go for personalised gifts

You can’t do without exchanging gifts with relatives and friends during festivals. However, there are ways to cut costs. Instead of buying expensive gifts, opt for personalized items such as a hand-made paintings, baked cookies and craftwork. Remember bigger is not necessarily better. These gifts are not just cost-effective but are also a way to tell your near and dear ones that you have put your thoughts in gifting.

The writer is CEO, BankBazaar. The article has been published in collaboration with BankBazaar. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

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