I guess you might say I know a thing or two about bargain shopping. I’m good at it. So good, I bargain-shopped myself into a horrible mess—with a life-ruining load of credit-card debt to prove it! The experience of paying back every dime taught me a lot about myself.
I need limits. I have to set a limit for how much I will spend for Christmas. And then I have to parent myself to make sure I stay within that set amount no matter what.
I am not good in a mall. It’s not just the time it takes to get there and find a parking place—it’s the lines and the crowds and so many options that I can reach out and touch. I love the mall as a place to enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas. But to shop? Not me. I’ve found a better way.
Online shopping is for me. I can get online any time day or night, I don’t have the drive, parking, pressures or tempting opportunities to careen off my shopping plan. Surprisingly, I am not impulsive when I shop online. I’m very cautious, taking all the time I need to think, drink coffee, compare, walk around, calculate and even change my mind.
The big challenge with online shopping is payment. It’s dangerous to use a debit card online, so I use a credit card. But I record each transaction in my check book just as if I’d paid with a check. That way, the money is deducted from my balance and set aside so I can pay in full when the credit card statement arrives.
I’ve tried going from one site to another to compare prices and shipping costs, but that’s a huge hassle. I’d rather let Bing shopping do all the work for me. I use the search feature and Bing shows me a list of retailers with that product, price, plus information on shipping costs. I compare and decide. Then, Bing takes me right to the retailer I choose to complete the purchase. Here’s the best part: I get money back on Bing cashback purchases. I am not kidding. Bing’s more than 1,000 retailers (including Target, Walmart and Macy’s) give me from 3% to 20% of my purchase back in cash, right into my Bing cashback account.
Right now, Bing customers can earn up to 35% cash back on their purchases from some of the Bing retailers during the Bing cashback Holiday Gold Rush promotion.
Guess what I’m doing today?
Mary Hunt – Personal Finance Expert and author of Debt Proof Living
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