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Money Saving Monday: Browsing Habits

This is not about how you shop at stores. Although, that could be a worthwhile post too. But no, this is about how you surf. Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Safari, where do you point your browser? And does it provide you with ample money spending opportunities?

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Me, amongst my numerous weaknesses detailed on the internet for all the world to see, let’s add an affinity for Etsy. Corporate Servitude affords me nothing, if not some free time in front of a computer screen. Lots of it, mostly in the form of snatched moments. Not enough time to say, write an entire blog post, but more than enough to peruse the new items from my favorite sellers.

For the conscientious consumer, Etsy can be a life saver. If, for instance, you need fancy new pajamas for a pajama party (no, seriously), and you’d a) rather your jammies weren’t made in China b) don’t shop big box anyway c) not interested in second hand PJ’s (eww!) and d) are a little short on time, well, Hi again Etsy. Matching Kimono and jammie pants in fun almost asian pattern? Made in the USA by an entrepreneur? Yes, please. All taken care of in those brief moments at my desk.

That’s a bad example. In that case I was actually in a lurch. Somehow I suspected my collection of stained t-shirts and holey yoga pants usually serving as sleepwear, might not be appropriate for a night before wedding affair. Call me crazy. Maybe given more time, I could have come up with a creative solution. Since I didn’t buy a dress though, a PJ purchase wasn’t completely out of the question. In situations like this, a pseudo-need let’s say, Etsy = useful.

Most of the time this is not how it goes. Most of the time I am idly browsing, discovering new things I do not need. Have you ever heard the saying “If you keep walking into a barber shop, eventually you’re going to get a haircut”? Yup. Usually applies to recovering alcoholics. Also, works for compulsive indie-shoppers with a little too much free time. The more I point myself towards url’s where I can buy cool shit, the more likely I am to buy cool shit. I’m increasing the odds of finding something I “have to have”. I’m creating my own culture of want and longing, developing a constant case of the gimmes.

As I careen down the exit ramp of the spending super highway that has been my birthday month, I need to tighten my belt a little. Or a lot. I’m examining those browsing habits. Its not just etsy, although she’s my dearest ally in the journey to bankrupt myself with artisan crap. I’m breaking up with her. Here’s my strategy:

Log out. Dammit. If I’m already logged in, these websites helpfully know who I am. They know what I’m interested in and what I want to buy. Curse them and their catering to my weak will. It’s just that much easier. In a small effort to not remember what I was previously coveting, to not have my stored credit card information readily available. I’m deleting cookies. I’m logging out. That’s if I even make it there in the first place. Because really I need to…

Be Mindful. These little on-line shopping forays have become my default. If I’ve got a few minutes between tasks, this that’s where my fingers and my mouse wander. That’s no bueno. Knock it off already. I need to put the mental effort into steering clear of those common pitfalls. I need to stay in touch with my little black book, get new distractions,…

Find New Blogs. If I’m gonna be mindless on the internet for a couple minutes, its just as easy to read a helpful blog post on introductory bee keeping, as it is to check out paper mache taxidermy. And perhaps more thought provoking. Problem is, I’m fresh out of new-to-me blogs with a archives to dig through. Recommendations? My discretionary spending budget will appreciate the suggestions.

I don’t want to vilify etsy here. Etsy is merely the vehicle. This is all my fault, but I’m glad etsy exists. Sometimes you need nice pijamas. We just gotta form a healthier relationship. More boundaries. Less taking each other for granted.

What’s your mindless browsing poison? Pinterest? One Kings Lane? Amazon?
Notice how I’m not linking you to those places. You’re welcome.

How do you keep the on-line window shopping from becoming an actual spending of dollars?

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Comments

Tracy Warren
Reply

Ok so you didn’t link us to them but now I have to go check out One Kings Lane. Ughh!!
I am a great shopper w/o buying. Put it in my cart and then log out.

dogsordollars
Reply

A reverse strategy. I like it.

One Kings Lane is generally too rich for my blood. Not a real temptation, but really really good to browse.

Kimberly C
Reply

I guess my biggest strategy for online shopping is waiting. If I wait long enough on a purchase (say a week or two) then usually I’ll come to see reason, or find that it isn’t that interesting after time. Or, if I’ve waited long enough, and I still really really want the darn thing, then I’ll buy it with the assurance that it isn’t frivolous to me if I could spend so long staring at it.

This isn’t the strategy for Amazon shopping, usually, since that’s all need-based. I’m not going to stare at laundry soap for two weeks. But those beautiful wooden rings on Etsy I’ve been eyeing? I can stand to stare at them for another week or two, there’s no urgency. Time will tell.

dogsordollars
Reply

Waiting is good. That policy is usually already in place, my problem is I plot and plan for these purchases, and regardless of really, really wanting them or not do I need them? Can I live with out it? Is there a no cost solution? I feel less likely to come up with one if I’m obsessing about what’s in my shopping cart.

Good point on the Amazon though. Most of my ‘regular purchases’ there are ‘subscribe and save’ so I don’t have to think about it.

Erica / Northwest Edible Life
Reply

Amazon. But mostly necessities or books. But I can justify a lot as a necessity (cherry pitter, ahem).

Hey, one word: Regretsy.Your life and your etsy-ing may never be the same.

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