For some people chasing a bargain online can be a great source of wellbeing.  For others, the thought of trawling the internet to get a couple of quid off can fill them with dread.  Is it possible to find a bargain without spending hours online?  Black Friday and the festive season are just around the corner, so let’s weigh up your options helping you to maintain your wellbeing online.

Limit your browsing

If you’re not looking for something in particular, limit your exposure.  Online retailers spend millions on getting us to part with our money so beware of the endless finger scroll in an attempt to find that perfect purchase.

Sign up to email updates and alerts

Your favourite online stores may offer you a discount on your first purchase or for signing up to their newsletter.  If you don’t want emails clogging up your inbox, you can always unsubscribe once you’ve received your items. Too many emails can overwhelm us so limit who you give your details to.  You don’t want emails to trigger a spending habit either, consider a clear out of your inbox regularly to prevent this from happening.

Does it pay to be loyal? 

Collecting rewards points, particularly with retailers you use regularly, can be helpful.  Points soon add up, and you can often exchange these for days out with the family, meals at your favourite restaurant or use them against future purchases – ideal to build up for when your budget is tight.  But think about why retailers provide this service, more often than not, they are using your information to capture your data, from what you’re buying to your buying behaviour.  Once they understand your buying habits, they can then target marketing directly to you.  Be aware too, that they may also be selling this data to other organisations.

Are you spending mindfully?

It’s proven that buying more and more stuff does not improve our wellbeing so next time your online really think about your potential purchase.  Research points to the fact that enjoying experiences can be a far more effective way to find happiness than acquiring possessions.

Compare and research first

Price check and compare first as prices really can differ widely.  One thing to remember – make sure you are on a genuine site, as sometimes fake copies may appear on these price checks.  If the price seems too good to be true, it usually is.  Try buying using incognito mode to get the best prices, especially on travel where your location is a larger driver of price.  This means that your browser works a bit differently as your search history won’t be stored locally.

Sign up to cashback sites

Going through these sites can give you as much as 20% cashback.  You may have to wait a while to get the cash, but it is free money.  Some cashback sites have their own browser extensions that will automatically let you know if the site you are on offers cashback.  This way, you never miss a deal.  Cashback sites now sell insurance and broadband services but are not always the cheapest.  Continue to research and compare prices before using these sites.

Visit online money saving forums

There are loads to choose from. Money Saving Expert is one of our favourites! Find out about the latest discounts, vouchers and offers, but only buy if you need it!

Deals are much easier to get online, but for those of you who still like to visit the high street, there are still ways to save money.  With the shops hopefully reopening in the next couple of weeks, ask if the shop will price match if you know a cheaper online deal is available.  If not, there is nothing wrong with asking for a discount – what’s the worst that could happen?

Looking for more tips on building your financial resilience and wellbeing? Take a look at our blog library.