Browsing Tag

Credit card debt

How to avoid Impulsive online shopping

November 14, 2011

Personally I found that  impulse buying online is my favourite way to procrastinate. I am an impulsive shopper , as witnessed with my recent Macbook purchase. I also made a very impulsive decision when I purchased my car.  Theses days I frequently find myself on Etsy or Ebay buying things that I have no need for. Ebay, in particular, is horrible for my savings plan and wallet. I impulsively bid on items just because they look rather cheap or seem like they are a good deal, then wander over to other items that the vendor might have and bid on those as well. The problem that I have recently discovered with Ebay is that when I purchase items (win), I have to wait anywhere between 20 days to 2 months to get them, and while I may have needed that item sooner, I go out and buy another one in person and forget that I have things still coming in the mail. This defeats the concept of impulse buying and is the opposite of instant gratification.

This happened with 3 purses. I purchased them Aug 18th. They got here Nov 3. Needless to say, I had already gone out and bought new ones to replace my old one. Same thing happened sunglasses, and padfolios, etc.

So last night, I sat down and looked all the pending items on my Ebay page and made a note of them in my Blackberry. I am going to try a few different ways to kick this habit. I asked around and researched and it seems like there are different solutions for different people.

  1. I don’t know about you, but one the my biggest I impulse buy is because I know my Amex credit card number off by heart. What I have recently done is assign my American Express card as my business expense card. And since I don’t know my Visa off by heart, it should reduce some impulse options. (I am lazy enough to close a site instead of walking 6 feet to my wallet)
  2. Disconnect my Paypal Account from my Ebay account. This might be the most challenging part of it since I love Ebay, but I will try it for 3 months and gauge the results. Hopefully it is successful. I didn’t even have my bank account connected my Paypal until 3 weeks ago. I only had my credit cards, so I would have for an item a month before it got to me. Not very smart.
  3. Create an ongoing shopping list, and carry it with you at all times. I did that on my Blackberry. I leave things that I have already purchased as well and note the date and time. If you own a smartphone, then Evernote is a great tool for that. You can also comparison shop that way and leave all the prices on created list.
  4. This may go without saying for most people, but shop when you are hungry, and emotional. I have been an emotional shopper in the past. Even though purchasing those shoes, or in my case gadgets have made me feel better momentarily, I get sadder when I look at my credit card statement later.
  5. If you use chrome as your browser, there are tons of Chrome extensions to limit time wasted on sites such as Facebook, Ebay etc. I use Stayfocused on my work laptop and it worked brilliantly. I am sure Firefox/Safari have something similar. I hate IE so you’re on your own there.
  6. Create a spending/saving plan. My next big purchase will be an Ipad. I have made up my mind, but that doesn’t mean I will go out and buy it tomorrow. I have a list of bills that are coming and I created a priority list. This will give me enough time to save for it in cash. I know it is common sense, but I, being a very impulsive shopper, have to break this down into baby steps. Many banks like Discover offer high yield savings accounts that can aide in the purchase of big investments
  7. Stop carrying your credit cards around. This may be harder for some than others, but lets try it together for a month and see what happens. Since I try not to have access to a lot of cash and limited my daily debit transaction limits, I fear that an emergency will come up and I will have to pay for everything on the stop. I know this is not rationale, but hey, I wouldn’t be in debt if I was rational.

My goal is not purchase anything besides that absolutely necessary items* till March 1st, and since most of my christmas shopping is done, I dont forsee any major purchases on the horizon.

****Besides my Ipad when I have saved up the money***** Unless I get it for Christmas.

Bartering 101 aka How to start bartering

June 3, 2011

I love the idea of trading or barter a good or service in-exchange for something else that you need. This is how I got my business cards printed for free. I do a bit of web design on the side and the company that I asked to print my business cards needs a few very minor things corrected on their site.

It is funny how many things you can barter for just by asking.

Some tips that I have if you are attempting to barter your goods or services:

1. Know what you have to offer.
This means taking inventory of your strengths. It might not be something that you are paid for in your daily life.
For example, my brother was hired as a dispatcher at our local pizza store during Highschool, the pay was not very good and the hours were horrible. But when the store manager found out that he was good with computers, he switched his position and gave him free food and better pay for a lot less work.

2. Shop around for companies or people who can use what you have to offer.
I did this by finding a local printing company that clearly needed help with their website but had really low rates. Usually these are mom and pop shops that don’t have budgets to hire a web designer to update their site. So when I offered to do this for them in exchange for some printing jobs they jumped at the chance. It is a win-win situation.

3. Sell your skills.
A close friend of mine is a genius in math but horrible when it comes to anything mechanical. So when his car broke down on him during his second semester, he knew he didn’t have the money to fix it all with a student budget. He did, however know his mechanic’s son needed a tutor in math and VOILA, he pitched his tutoring services in exchange for free labour to get his car fixed and a discount on the parts. The mechanic thought it was a fair deal since they were paying the money to a tutor anyway.

There are a lot of ways to get things that you want without having to pay for it, if you put a bit of effort in. So now the money that I had budgeted for these projects is going to pay off my Amex.

Networth- This is where I am starting.

May 17, 2011


I decided that the best way to start off with the blog  is to share my Networth.



  • Amex: 38
  • Visa: $4310
  • Student loan: $22,987



  • Car: $12,000
  • Stocks: $3280
  • RRSP: $1200
  • Savings: $480