You’re probably well-versed in Google searches and smart browsing, so you know how to approach online shopping without spending too much.
But there are also a few tricks that you might not have considered before. Here are some of the best ways to get the best deals online during your next payday.
1. Use the 50/20/30 rule for budgeting
The 50/20/30 budgeting rule is one way to make sure you’re using your money wisely while still having a social life and saving for the future. It’s a great way to take control of what you spend so things don’t get out of hand.
It can be hard to say no when someone suggests going out with friends, but it can be even harder when you know you’ve got bills to pay. This is where the 50/20/30 rule comes in handy.
The idea behind this budgeting method is that it breaks down your income into three categories: needs, wants, and savings.
The concept is pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it. Here’s how it works:
- Your needs should account for 50% (or less) of your income. That includes food, transportation, rent or mortgage payments, and utilities.
- Your wants should account for 30% (or less) of your income. These include dining out, entertainment costs, travel expenses, and clothes shopping.
- Finally, 20% (or more) should go into savings and investments. This includes your emergency fund as well as contributions toward retirement accounts like pensions.
2. Look for discounts at the right time
In general, it’s best to buy something when everyone else is selling it. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, retailers want to move as much merchandise as possible.
When there’s a glut of inventory, stores will drop their prices to clear the shelves and make room for new products. Waiting for the right time can also mean buying during price wars between brands or stores.
When retailers know that customers are looking elsewhere, they’ll often drop prices just enough to be competitive.
They do this intending to keep their current customers and attract new ones by building a reputation for offering the best deals online. Frankly, this is one of the ways businesses market their products and services.
3. Use shopping tools and apps
If you’re looking for the lowest price or the highest rewards, shopping tools and apps will help you find the best deals.
Shopping tools simply scour the web for different kinds of deals. These multi-use tools are great if you want to do one search across multiple sites.
However, they will not always show the best deal, especially on sites that require a login to see what discounts a user is eligible to receive, like Amazon.
The right way to shop online or purchase gifts is with purpose—and that means knowing what you need and what tool will get you there.
For instance, if your goal is to save money on groceries, use a tool like El Grocer or Kibsons that gives free delivery and other discounts.
If your goal is to get free shipping on items from a specific store, use a shopping app or site like Shein, where you can obtain free shipping after reaching a certain amount in your purchase.
You can even find mobile wallets in apps like Google Pay and Apple Pay that let you send gift cards directly from your phone, so they’re always handy when checking out online or redeeming them in-store!
4. Compare and match prices
The internet is a vast marketplace, and online stores compete to give you the best deals. So what’s the easiest way to make sure you’re getting a good deal on the items you want?
Compare and match prices. Savings can be as simple as taking advantage of price matching policies at major retailers, like Amazon. You can also compare prices for similar items across different websites using sites like Pricena.
Finally, don’t forget about coupons. In addition to checking Tulas for sales and deals before shopping, sign up for your favorite store’s rewards program to make things like free shipping available after your first few purchases.
5. Get rewards
The easiest way to get exclusive deals is to sign up for your favorite store’s loyalty program. You’ll often be notified about sales, discount offers, and bonus points.
While some of these can be sent to your spam folder, you may find it worthwhile to use a separate e-mail account specifically for this purpose.
Credit card rewards are another way to get discounts in many stores. They usually have their own reward programs attached when you sign up.
These cards can offer cash back or points with every purchase, so make sure to check out the details before you decide on one over the other.
Some apps will add money directly into your checking account if eligible purchases are made at participating retailers selected by them in advance each week.
Online shopping can also be a big temptation because we think we’re going to get better deals by buying things from our computers at home. This is usually true if you know what you’re doing.
Of course, you can also take advantage of accounting software to help you budget and use your money wisely.