EVERYDAY CHEAPSKATE
April 22, 2013 10:50 AM

Are you more apt to overspend at the mall or online? Can’t decide? While you’re thinking, I’ll go first. I am more likely to overspend in a store. Without a doubt.

I’ve gone to great lengths to wean myself from brick-and-mortar stores. I must be nuts or something, but I can stroll past a store like Restoration Hardware — not needing a single thing — and just like that have an overwhelming need for the finest Italian linens with sumptuous thread counts. Plus, an entire bedroom suite on which to display them. It’s crazy!

I feel deprived and pathetic not owning the stuff I see. I turn into a spoiled child pitching a fit if I can’t have everything I now want. Clearly, it is better for me to simply not go near anything resembling a mall.

Online shopping is a godsend. It keeps me out of the stores and makes shopping less emotional, so I can just get what I need and be done with it. I don’t feel so vulnerable and compulsive while seated at the keyboard.

It looks like I’m not like most consumers, according to a column at MSN Money. Recent findings by Forrester Research indicate that the average online shopping transaction now runs as much as 15 percent more than the average brick-and-mortar store purchase.

The research says there are five reasons that people overspend online:

I don’t doubt that online shopping can be a real budget buster, and I’m sure I’ve made my share of cyber-mistakes. But adding to this equation the time I don’t have to drive across town while burning up $4-a-gallon gas, to fight traffic in a parking lot that has one less parking space than the sum total of cars wanting one at any given time — online shopping beats the mall for me. I believe I will stick with my answer.

OK, your turn. Where are you more apt to overspend — online or while in the store?


Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com and author of 23 books, including her 2012 release, “7 Money Rules for Life.” You can email her at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630.

To find out more about Mary Hunt and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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