How to Save Money on Back to School Shopping This Fall

You might not be in school anymore, but retailers are doing their darndest to get you back to school shopping.

After several years of slumping sales, stores are using aggressive new tactics to move their merchandise. And they're focusing all their efforts on the fall season and - before you know it - the holidays. So how are retailers getting customers to buy things they don't need with money they don't have?

By putting on the pressure, say Chicago bankruptcy attorneys.

Stores are increasingly relying on short-lived sales and fast-expiring coupons to get shoppers to make purchases quickly, without thinking them through. Retailers know we're trying to save money, and therefore are particularly drawn to good deals. If they make us feel that a good deal is going to slip between our fingers, we might frantically make a purchase without weighing whether it's something we really need - or even want.

And avoiding the mall isn't enough anymore. Department stores regularly send out e-mails advertising their latest specials, while shopping networks like HSN and QVC get you with "buy it now" gimmicks while you're flipping between channels. They all have the same goal - to make the consumer feel like they're getting a special deal they can't pass up.

Unless you want stores dictating how your money gets spent, bring a shopping list next time - and stick to it. When you do get offered a good deal, give yourself some time to think it over. Walk out of the store, turn the channel or close your browser window and decide on your own whether you really need the item. Don't worry about missing out - in this retail climate, chances are it will go on sale again. At the very least, check a store's refund policy before you buy to make sure you can return it if you realize tomorrow that you made a mistake. If you're a big online shopper, don't save your credit card info in an online account - that way your purchasing process will be a little slower, and you'll be forced to think about what you're actually buying.

Remember, pumping up the economy isn't your job - managing your family's finances is. If too much shopping has left you with debts you can't handle alone, bankruptcy can help. Find out if bankruptcy can get you back on your feet financially when you try a free personal debt analysis with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney.

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