CHARLOTTE, N.C., August 1, 2007 – Ever know someone who always seemed to be getting a bargain? LendingTree.com provides the following tips on how to save money when you spend it so you can be the shopper you’ve always envied.
Create a budget – The first step in any savings plan: create a budget for your household spending. A simple way is as a percentage of your income. After big monthly payments like housing and your car, how much of your income will you set aside for clothing and household goods? Another method, especially if you use online banking, is to track your debit and credit card information to a spreadsheet and tally up how much you’ve spent over the past three months.
Make a list - Keep an updated list of household goods and clothing items you need. When you head out to the mall, bring it with you – it will remind you what you’ve come for.
Think before you buy – If you are prone to impulse shopping, come up with strategies to avoid it. For instance, don’t carry your credit cards with you and carry only the cash you may need in any given day.
Shop cheap – Know where the closest outlet mall is and shop when the next season’s clothes are hitting the retail stores. Brands use factory outlets to get rid of overstock at heavy discounts. Always check the sales racks for even deeper discounts.
Sales, coupons and promotions, oh my – Absolutely take advantage of any special offers, but beware of spending just to get a discount: make sure it’s an item you need and will use.
Do your homework – Before you fork over your hard earned cash for high dollar household items like appliances or furniture, be sure to comparison shop for the best deal. Comparison shopping can be the best way to find a great deal.
Ask for the discount – Commissioned sales people often have the authority to drop the price in order to make a sale, especially for big ticket items. The worst they can do is say no.
Know the return policies – A full-refund policy is better than a store credit. Sometimes stores have both – full refund for returns within a short time, and store credit for longer returns. Keep tags on your clothes and sales receipts until you wear them the first time.
Avoid medicinal shopping – You know who you are – shopping as a cure (or at least a respite) from stress, heartbreak or disappointment. If this is a behavior you are prone to, at least set aside a budget for it. You can call it your ‘shopping medicine cabinet’.
About LendingTree, LLC
LendingTree, LLC is the nation’s number one online lending exchange, providing a marketplace that connects consumers with multiple lenders that compete for their business. Since inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 20 million loan requests and $152 billion in closed loan transactions. LendingTree provides access to mortgages and refinance loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, auto loans, personal loans, credit cards and high-yield savings accounts via www.lendingtree.com and 800-555-TREE.
Launched in 1998 with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, LendingTree, LLC also owns and operates LendingTree Loans sm, LendingTree Settlement Services, LLC, GetSmart®, and HomeLoanCenter.com. LendingTree, LLC is an operating company of IAC.