Lets face it consumer debt is growing and out of control. Purchase of goods and services is an on-going affair. It’s easy to lose track of the amount of expenditure we have actually made. And when it comes time to pay for this debt are we always prepared?
With the advent of credit cards, it has now become easier to make purchases. If you don’t have the money to pay for an item now, you can just swipe your card and your payments will be deferred to a later date. When this happens, the chances of you falling into debt are quite high.
The debt which you incur as a result of purchasing consumables is called consumer debt. When we say consumables, we refer to all those products that we use on a regular basis and that need frequent replenishment, for example, groceries, toiletries, stationery, cleaning supplies and more.
One of the easiest ways to save yourself from consumer debt is by being a smart shopper. By taking informed shopping decisions, you can ensure that you get more by spending less.
- Set a budget for your shopping:
Allocating a budget for your weekly or monthly shopping is the first way to ensure you don’t rake up debt. Once you know how much you are allowed to spend, you will be careful not to exceed the budget.
- Limit the use of your credit card:
Try and transact in cash wherever possible. A debit card is also an acceptable solution. If you are travelling abroad, try using traveler’s cheques instead of credit cards. This way you can keep track of how much you spend and avoid paying the currency conversion charges.
- Look for products on deals:
You are sure to find some products on deals and at discounted prices. Make sure to purchase those. Additionally, look for products that are closer to their expiry dates, as they may be on sale.
- Buy in bulk:
Buying large quantities of products will ensure major savings. You can buy in bulk when you are buying products such as toiletries, cleaning supplies, stationery and other non-food consumables.
- Purchase private label brands:
Stick to brands that are produced or marketed by the store you are shopping at. Stores always give discounts on their own labels. You can save a lot by foregoing other fancier brands.
- Purchase frozen or canned food:
Canned and frozen food is always less expensive compared to fresh produce. If you can do without fresh produce, choose the canned and frozen ones.
- Collect coupons:
Many stores give sale coupons in the newspaper. You can even find coupons online. Use these. They will give you the savings you want by offering various deals and discounted prices.
- Pay attention to how products are placed:
Higher priced products are usually placed near the entrance or at the cash counter. Avoid purchasing products from here.
- Sign up for customer loyalty programs:
These programs will help you collect points, which can be redeemed at a later date.
Following these few steps will help you stay within your budget and get the best value out of your shopping. But most importantly, they will help you avoid incurring consumer debt.