The majority of us are at home more, and let’s be honest – we’re all
buying more online because of it. Whether that’s to reduce our need to venture out by grocery shopping online or for some form of excitement when the package arrives. That’s all well & good when you have the money to do so, but what happens when the direct debit bounces because of another online purchase?It’s easy to shop online these days, you can do it on a mobile device, tablet, PC etc. It is too easy! A lot of websites you can opt to save your card details or options like Google Pay, Apple Pay and Shop Pay, not to mention Paypal – meaning you could buy something faster than it takes to boil a kettle. We’re not saying online shopping is bad, but there are plenty of tips to help you cut down if you feel you need to (or if your budget says so!). We’ve pulled together six simple steps to help reduce your online spending:
Remove – If you have your debit or credit cards linked to an online shopping account/website, remove it – take back control by adding more time to consider your purchases.
Unsubscribe! – A lot of us only visit these websites because we’re on their mailing list. We often click on the website automatically, especially when there’s a sale. Click unsubscribe and see the difference it makes to your free time and your bank balance!
Consider a ‘pre-buy grace period’; do you really need it or is it more of a want? If so, will you still want it in 24/48/72 hours’ time? Chances are that the impulse will have passed, and you may not want it anymore.
Shop Your Stash – this has become a trend over recent years among money-savvy bloggers. They are trying to save by using up a lot of different products bought over a long period of time. Some haven’t even been touched or still have tags on. Can you say that you have worn everything in your wardrobe at least once? You might find a hidden gem at the back of a drawer that you’d totally forgotten about.
Make a list of things you actually need and shop for these things first. This will help to avoid any unnecessary purchases!
Set yourself a goal – big or small – such as purchasing a newer car or investing in a proper winter coat. This will reduce your need to splurge, and you’ll feel all the better when you reach your savings goal.
“.ie” Websites and Customs Charges
There are also some things to be aware of when shopping online. Customs charges, VAT (on orders over €150 and coming from outside the EU), and the returns policy are three areas we often don’t think of. We’ve had several queries since the beginning of the year from people buying from a “.ie” website but getting charged when the purchase is delivered because the company is actually based outside the EU (Remember, this includes the UK now too!).
Some things to remember when buying online
Always check the Contact Us page to see where the company is located. Some companies may have a notice to say they are based in the UK but are covering customs & VAT charges.
Be wary of “free shipping”; this won’t cover any customs or VAT charges that are due if they come from outside the EU.
Any order (coming from outside the EU/EEA) is liable to customs charges and VAT at 23%.
Check the returns policy to ensure you are covered if you need to return some or all of your purchases. Some companies have free returns and hubs that you can return to.
Do you have a tip or life hack that helps you with your online spending? Let us know on our social channels @MABSinfo on
Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.
Increases in the cost of goods and services are having an impact on many people living in Ireland. This blog’s tips, tricks, and life hacks are suggestions to help you find better value and stretch your euro.
MABS advisers are here and ready to help you through the MABS 6-Step Money Advice Process. This process will help you maximise your income and tackle and prioritise debt and spending. Advisers can help you access social welfare entitlements and hardship funds to get you through.
You can contact your
local office here, message us on WhatsApp 086 035 3141 or call the MABS Helpline on , Monday to Friday, from 9am to 8pm. 0818 07 2000