The Balanced Spreadsheet-Financial News, Budget Advice, Debt help, Financial Tips, and other advice

August 21, 2009

Shoppers having second thoughts?

Filed under: News Review, Personal Finance — Tags: , , , — thebalancedspreadsheet @ 5:21 pm

An article today by the AP titled “More shoppers thinking twice in the checkout line” highlights the importance, in my opinion of having and sticking to a budget

They’re [shoppers] leaving sweaters in the dress department, dumping cookies near the grocery cashier and waiting until the last minute to judge needs versus wants. Online, shoppers are consumers are abandoning their virtual carts as they search for better deals.

Customers are asking cashiers to provide a total while they’re still scanning items to see where they stand, or to have necessities like health care basics scanned first, said Dan Fishback, chief executive of DemandTec Inc., a retail technology company. When they hit their limit, they forgo what’s left in the basket.

Now I am certainly all for focusing on needs and not wants in addition to spending what is in your limit.  But with that being said, shouldn’t you have an idea of what you can afford before you get into the store?  Having a budget allows you to do that.  When my wife and I sit down at the beginning of each month and do our budget, we know then exactly how much we are going to spend of food, clothing, entertainment, etc.  Some may say this is constrictive, but I say the opposite!  I find that knowing how much you are going to spend before the month begins frees you and allows you to enjoy your purchases and not wonder in the back of your head if you can really afford this or not.  Overall I think it takes discipline to be able to say no at the checkout, but it takes even more discipline to create a budget and stick with it.  And discipline is the key to financial success.

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