How to Avoid the Spending Traps Retail Stores Set for Atlanta Shoppers

Have you ever stopped by the grocery store for a box of cereal only to exit with four bags worth of food - and a hefty receipt? If so, take heart - you're not alone.

Even the most budget-minded shoppers are guilty of falling victim to impulse buys - and it's not all our fault, say Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys. Stores have a few tricks up their sleeves to get us to spend more than we should. And being aware of those tricks could lead to lower bills and less debt.

Ever noticed how eager most stores are for you to pay with your credit card? Credit machines are easy, faster and more prominently displayed than ever. Websites advertise quick, secure service. And more and more stores offer their own cards. It's almost as if stores are trying to make it easy for you. But in fact, they're doing just the opposite. Time after time, studies show that consumers ring up significantly higher bills when they pay with credit rather than cash. Since you don't have to watch the money leave your hands, it's easier to put more in the cart. Just one easy swipe can get you one small item or a whole car load.

Another way retailers make things convenient for you (i.e., them) is with supposed deals - bulk purchases, buy-one-get-one-free sales and special advertisements. By convincing you that you're saving money, they can trick you into buying more than what you had in mind. But in reality, you may not be saving as much as you think. Many bulk items go to waste - that means that for a higher sticker price, you might end up using the same amount of product. Sales and clearance items are even more dangerous. Think about it - if you didn't plan to buy something in the first place, you aren't saving money, you're losing it, since you're initial plan was to spend zero.

If you want to save when shopping, don't listen to stores - listen to your shopping list. Try to plan out what you need to buy beforehand, and stick to it, no matter how tempting the latest sale looks. Once you have a plan, you can estimate about how much your purchases will cost and bring enough cash. If you make a commitment to only spend what's in your wallet, you won't be as likely to grab goods on impulse - not to mention you won't have to worry about paying interest on basics like milk and socks.

Now, if you're already on a tight budget and you're still having trouble affording routine shopping trips, it sounds like your large amount of debt might be to blame. The good news is, a bankruptcy plan can help you pay down or discharge debts so you'll have less bills (and interest) to pay - and more money to spend on the stuff you really need, like food or the mortgage. Wondering if bankruptcy can free up your finances? Find out more about with a free, no-strings one-on-one debt analysis courtesy of an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney.

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