Watch Out for Store Tactics Meant to Lure Chicago Shoppers into Overspending

Have you ever gone to the store to pick up some bread or run into Target for paper towels - only to come away with a cart full of purchases and a $100-plus receipt?

You're not the only one. Stores rely on a few tricks to distract consumers from saving money and instead lure them into spending it, explain Chicago bankruptcy attorneys. Fortunately, once you know what to look out for, keeping your wits - and your cash - can be a piece of cake.

Credits cards are the number one reason consumers overspend at the store. Retailers encourage you to use credit by providing rewards programs and fast, easy-to-use payment machines. But they aren't trying to make things convenient for you - they're making things convenient for themselves. Study after study shows consumers spend more money when they shop with credit. Unlike cash, which you must physically exchange in order to receive merchandise, swiping a piece of plastic feels the same whether you've got one item or a full cart, making it a lot more conducive to impulse buys.

Another retailer trick is offering deals. You heard that right - trying to save money can actually cost you. Take buying in bulk, for instance. Sure, you might get more product per ounce, but in most cases some food will go bad or product will go unused before you finish your purchase. In the end, you might have paid a higher price only to get the same amount of utility as if you'd bought the smaller package. And if you're buying something purely because it comes in bulk, then you're really losing, since you otherwise would have spent zero. The same goes for clearance sales and end-of-aisle displays. It doesn't matter how good the deal is, if you're spending money on something you wouldn't have purchased otherwise, you're losing.

If you want to stick to a budget, stick to your shopping list. Even better, consider bringing enough cash - and only enough cash - to cover what's in your shopping plan. It will keep you from using credit and, in the process, force you to commit to your list and your budget.

Of course, if you consider yourself a frugal shopper and you're still having trouble footing the grocery bill, having too much debt may be the problem. Bankruptcy can help lower or eliminate debts so less of your money will go to creditors - and more will be available for necessities like groceries, gas and the mortgage payment. Have questions about bankruptcy? Our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys can answer them free of charge when you try a complimentary one-on-one debt analysis. Free and no-strings-attached - that's what a real deal looks like.

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