10 Dollar-Guzzling Internet Habits

The internet is our daily bread! It’s become a central element in everything we do every day. Most of us don’t think twice about being online. Social networking, web shopping, blogging, online money management – our lifestyles wouldn’t be complete without them.

The habits that people have developed in the way they use the internet, however, may be costing them money. Because many of us turn on our autopilot when we go online, we may not even be aware of these habits or the dent they’re potentially putting in our pocketbook.

  1. “Browsing” Etsy and Other Stores

When you go online intending just to browse, you may soon find yourself shopping instead. The long dark rabbit hole you fall into may lead you to look at all the great products offered, then adding things to the cart, and finally purchasing without really thinking about it.

To avoid this situation, look at things on Pinterest instead of directly on retail sites. This may provide a bit of a psychological barrier to actual shopping.

  1. Spending Too Much Time on Pinterest

But Pinterest can also be detrimental to your wallet. While it is a great resource to keep you from actually buying from Etsy, you can also fall too deep in here when you find items you would never have dreamed of that cannot be found on Etsy or in stores. It is a slippery slope.

So instead of looking for new items on Pinterest, look instead at how you can revamp your wardrobe with what you already have, using style icons from the website to help you out.

  1. Using Amazon Imprudently

There is no denying that Amazon is a great resource for locating many products online. But one bad habit to break (if you have it) is buying your household goods on the retail giant’s website. You should stop buying household items on Amazon because while your intentions may seem harmless enough at first, once you get onto the website and start browsing, you will find that your cart is filling up fast. You are suddenly spending more than you intended. Instead, buy your household goods in a brick-and-mortar store when you do the rest of your shopping.

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  1. Visiting Twitter During the Sale Season

If you spend a lot of time on Twitter, especially around those times of year when big stores are running sales, you can find yourself very quickly sucked in. Particularly when  the holiday season is coming up, many stores tweet promotional coupons and discounts that can get you hooked into buying more. When you visit Twitter, scroll through these and ignore them with all your might.

  1. Reading Promotional Emails

If you are someone who doesn’t just click through your inbox and trash the promotional emails immediately, this could be your one big downfall. If you open them up and start reading them, you’ll find that you will likely be tempted to go to the site and use that promotional discount straight away, costing you money right then and there.

  1. Liking Too Many Facebook Pages

The habit of liking and following too many businesses on Facebook can come back and bite you. If you have a large number of businesses popping up daily in your news feed, catching your eye with all of the discounts they offer, you’re more likely to want to stop and shop after work or go online and buy something. Escape from this trap by weeding through them all and getting rid of some of them to tame the temptation.

  1. Spending More for Free Shipping

While it is always great to get free shipping on purchases, the way you get there can sometimes not be the smartest. Many online retailers will push you to spend a certain amount of money before they give you free shipping. In many cases, you could spend less, including the shipping, without buying the extra needed for that free shipping option.

  1. Giving to Charities

It is always good to give money to charities and people who need it, but sometimes, new websites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter can incite you to donate more money than your budget can allow. If you feel the need to give money to certain projects, find ones that are for people you know and earmark a set amount you plan on donating. Don’t look at other donation histories either; you will be tempted to give more.

  1. Get Offline

If you’re finding you’re joined at the hip to your phone or computer, set up some time periods when you stay strictly offline. This is a surefire way of keeping you from spending money online because you won’t be there.

  1. Visiting Blogs

Blogs will often pull you into many DIY projects that you then have to spend money on. Staying away from them will help you control more of your budget – a budget that might have gone to things that you didn’t need to purchase in the first place.

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).