Q: Is there a way to spend less at the mall this holiday season and to make the experience more pleasant?
A: In the weeks leading up to the holidays, every trip to the mall means battling crowds and retail manipulation priming us to overspend. No worries, though; we’ve got 10 incredible mall shopping hacks to make your trip a little easier on you and a bit lighter on your budget!
- Map out a route
The less time you spend at the mall, the better off your budget is. Before heading out, create a route of the stores you’ll hit. As a bonus, you might even make it home headache-free!
- Turn it up
Plug into your favorite playlist while scouring your favorite stores for fantastic finds. You’ll be calmer and less stressed—and a lot less likely to overspend.
- Cash only
Leave the plastic at home and only bring along the amount of cash you plan on spending. You’ll be forced to stick to your budget no matter how tempted you are to overspend.
- Find the hidden cashier
Skip the endless lines in the bigger stores this holiday season by seeking out cashiers set up in out-of-the-way spots of the store. You might find these quieter checkout lines near the lingerie department, in a far-off corner or near the fitting rooms.
- Box it
When a cashier offers to box your purchases for you, say yes! It might mean a bit more time for you at the checkout, but you’ll get a head start on all that gift wrapping and save money on wrapping paper, too.
- Shop late in the day
The malls usually see the fewest shoppers during the late evening hours, so you’ll be able to shop quickly without jostling your way through the crowds.
- Shop in heels
A study found that shoppers spent less when their minds were focused on staying balanced. You can also hit the shops after a yoga class or after riding an escalator for a similar effect.
- Don’t befriend the checkout clerks
According to Forbes, shoppers tend to overspend when they feel a kinship with the cashier. Be cordial and polite, but don’t get too chummy with the clerks this season.
- Carry a snapshot of your financial goal
Print out a photo of your financial dream and stick it into your wallet. Pull it out whenever you’re tempted to bust your budget on a purchase and it will help you keep your mind on your goal.
- Suck on a mint
Did you know that stores use scents to manipulate shoppers into spending more? Suck on a mint to help you block out the store’s smells and stick to your budget.
Your Turn: What’s your favorite mall shopping hack? Share it with us in the comments!