With the festivals around the corner, it’s time to shop for gifts, clothes, home décor and appliances. Durga Puja, Dhanteras and Diwali are dotting our social calendar and you don’t want to hold back while you go ticking against that shopping list. Neither do you want a bitter aftertaste recovering from the expenses after the holidays. So, instead of trimming your shopping list, implement these shopping hacks to control overspending.
1. Consider Shopping Online
E-commerce websites don’t just offer convenience to shop remotely, but also give you competitive prices to avail the best deal. Be it clothes or appliances, you’ll find that online stores offer sizeable discounts, especially at the time of festivals. Shopping through e-wallets and credit cards can get you to save some more, as there are exclusive offers thrown by retailers in tie-ups with credit card/e-wallets companies.
2. Compare Prices for big-ticket items
Before you zero in on an item, especially if it’s a big-ticket one, compare prices available in the market either through price comparison sites or aggregators. Price comparison sites show the lowest price available on a particular product both offline and online. All you need to do is scan the barcode of a product. With the highly competitive pricing environment online impacting the pricing strategy of brick-and-mortar store, it is possible now to get a cost-effective deal in a physical store on certain occasions.
3. Borrow carefully
With certain banks offering zero-processing charges and discounts on interest rates of loans during festivals, you can consider buying consumer durables and vehicles on loans. 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 also earn cashbacks and reward points on credit card purchases. You can pay back opting the EMI option. However, have a repayment plan in place before you take a personal loan or opt for a credit card purchase.
4. Make a shopping list and stick to it
Overspending often happens due to splurging on things that we never intended to buy in the first place. Flat discounts or the tendency to be a compulsive shopper leads us to over shop. You can put a check on this by preparing a list before going shopping online or offline and sticking to it. You can prepare this list based on how much you have and allocate a certain amount against each category.
5. Go for personalised gifts
Gifts are essential to festivals and you can’t do without exchanging gifts with your relatives and friends. However, instead of going for expensive gifts, you can go for something thoughtful. It will not just be cost effective, but also a way to tell your near and dear ones that you have put your thoughts in gifting. For example, make a painting, bake cookies or make some craftworks and gift wrap them for your friends.
(The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com)