It is a natural inclination to want to spend and spend at the mall. You’ve got dozens of stores. Deals are everywhere. You can re-do your entire wardrobe if you want, fill up your home with décor and electronics, and pick up nearly anything at the mall.
Spending time at famous shopping centers like the Newmarket Shopping Mall can lead to boundless amounts of entertainment. As fun as your shopping experience might be, you should still be mindful of your personal finances. Going overboard on your spending at the mall comes with financial consequences, which you may regret later when the credit card bill arrives.
Here is how to avoid overspending money at the shopping mall.
1. Don’t Impulse Shop
Malls make their money off impulse sales. These are often unnecessary purchases where a buyer was convinced to make a purchase that they weren’t initially seeking. It builds off a technique known as the sense of urgency. Unless you pre-planned the purchase, delay it. Give yourself some time to think about what you’re buying.
2. Don’t Shop In A Bad Mood
A bad mood is not the right frame of mind to go shopping in. Every purchase will make you feel better and it’ll be akin to a dopamine rush. You are just setting yourself up for failure, with impulsiveness likely to be higher and you to be relying on buying things as a means of making you feel better. A neutral mood is best to walk into a shopping mall with, especially for what you acknowledge could be a long trip.
3. Shop During the Right Sales
It is a terrible feeling when you see something you bought last week is now on sale for less. Although this is sometimes unavoidable and will happen, it is also possible to calculate when the best time of year is to shop for certain items. Holiday sales. Black Friday sales. The back-to-school shopping season. Early spring shopping. A lot of items have seasonal appeal. Try to pinpoint when that is and pick it up at that time.
Malls bombard shoppers with signage expressing all sorts of amazing sales and deals but rarely are those saving you the money you think you’re saving. Every deal at the mall is structured for profit. Make a commitment to yourself to not be caught up in the ads for blowout sales and marketing on impulse.
4. Make a Shopping List
Make a shopping list. Write down what you need and the stores you want to go to. When you have done some planning, you’ll be way, way less likely to spend based on emotion or the whim of the moment. Instead, you’ll be guided by the plan you wrote out beforehand. It separates what’s necessary on a trip from what probably isn’t.
5. Watch Out for Small-Ticket Items
Low-priced items add up, and so do items on sale. You may not feel bad about collecting a few inexpensive knick-knacks here and there or some clothing on sale. When you look at how much you’re spending in totality, it all really adds up. Be very cautious with low prices. This is how many shoppers overspend, even the most experienced.
6. Ignore Aggressive Kiosk Salespeople
Kiosks are fairly routine at malls now. They’re usually filled with salespeople on part-commission wanting to sell you something you might not need. They’re trying to reel you in as you walk by. Ignore them. You can give them a quick hello, but engaging beyond that point increases the likelihood of them making a sale. You might end up losing a little more money from your wallet.
7. Clearance Items
There’s clearance in almost every store in the mall. The items might be cheap, but they are often out of style, from overstock, or in damaged condition. Be careful with buying clearance. While it’s a good rule upon entering a store to check the clearance, it can also be something of a gateway into buying things you don’t need simply because of the advertised discount. Use clearance sections as a way to find what you’re looking for and what’s on your list, and only that.
8. Compare Pricing
Your phone is a research device. Just because a sign says ‘sale!’ doesn’t mean that’s the case. Compare pricing between stores. Go to Amazon, look at how similar products are priced. It’s possible you can get a better price somewhere else. If you can’t, you know definitely that what you’re buying is at a fair price point for your budget.
9. Eat Before Leaving Home
Shopping mall food courts rake in a ton of money every day from people who pause their shopping to get something to eat. Feed your hunger beforehand. If you buy lunch or dinner at the shopping mall, that’s going to contribute to your overspending. That money could have been entirely avoided with a snack beforehand.
10. Set a Daily Budget
This is one of the most important parts of avoiding overspending at the mall. Set a budget for shopping. Make it a daily limit and don’t go over it. No matter what, do not exceed it. A daily limit is not a suggestion. It’s something that should be followed to a tee. This way, with everything you purchase, you will be forced to do the calculations and judge whether a given purchase is worth it.