Money Matters: Shopping Traps

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A lot of us love to shop and today's shoppers have more choices than ever before.

Modern technology makes it easier to spend in stores and at home. But you don't want to shop until your bank account drops. So Carole Moore with has come up with some tips on how to avoid those shopping traps we fall into.

1. Compulsive shopping as a hobby or sport

Sometimes if you're bored or on vacation you opt for shopping. A lot of times you don't even need something. To avoid this, you might try stay away from the mall on your lunch hour, leave your credit card at home and set up a budget for discretionary spending and stick to it.

2. Cruising for deals online

Shut down those online sales alert you get in your email. You might even close some or all of your online accounts. Resist the temptation to visit those store websites.

3. Mistaking shortcuts for savings

Sure, it's faster to buy the salad already made in the bowl at the grocery store. But it's a heck of a lot cheaper to buy the individual ingredients and make several salads for the price of one already made.

4. Buying the brand

Sometimes it makes sense to pay more for a name brand. But often you can save big bucks with generic or store brand products.

5. Confusing clearance with necessity

Only shop for clearance items when you can match the clearance to your real needs. You can get Christmas decorations cheap in January. But then you have to store them for a year.

6. Taking couponing to the extreme

Good couponing is buying something because it's a good value not simply because you have a coupon. If you have to store 50 jars of jelly, you have too much jelly.

7. Having to own the latest technology

If you're one of those people who stands line all night at a store to be the first to own a new gadget, you may have a problem. There's nothing wrong with being into gadgets but staying up to date on the latest trends can shred your budget. the longer you wait for new technology the better. I decided to pass on the iPhone 4-S in order to guy the new iPhone 5.

Don't get me wrong, I love to shop as much as the next person. But if you're taking money away from your savings or food budget to buy some bling, you might want to think about what you're doing.

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