Shopping can be challenging to do when you want to stay on top of your budget and adequately protect your finances. It can even be quite stressful when other expenses need to be addressed, such as an important event like a wedding. Typically, in this situation, you would need to spend for a new fashionable outfit, a wonderful present for the happy couple, as well as a few other things such as hotel accommodations or travel expenses.
Fortunately, there are new shopping programs that can save you from paying full price at the counter. What’s more, various shopping sites have recently been observed to offer flexible payment options. So, if you are looking to shop for what you want and need while expertly preserving your budget, you’ll be happy to find that it is so much easier to do that now as long as you know the different provisions to use.
So, what are these shopping programs that you should consider taking advantage of? Here are six great examples to keep in mind.
1. “Shop Now, Pay Later” Program
The “Shop Now, Pay Later” program splits your purchase into four manageable installments. This means for four pay dates, you only pay 25 percent of the total price of the item.
You’re probably thinking that this isn’t too different from paying for something using a credit card because you can delay the full payment. They are indeed a little similar that way, but this program is better because there’s no interest for installment payments. You’ll only pay minimal fees if you fail to pay on time.
Simply sign up for this program and shop at the stores of the different partner online merchants. Before checkout, you’ll be asked to select your payment option. All you have to do is check the box for this option and the payment arrangement of your choice to complete the transaction.
This is an excellent shopping program to use when you need to buy something high-quality and quite pricey that you simply can’t stretch your monthly budget for.
2. Online Discounts for In-Store Purchases
Quite often, you’ll find available discounts in online stores for particular products. You can actually use these discounts when you go to the physical store. For instance, the American brand Banana Republic honors online discounts from the website at their brick-and-mortar establishments. And the great thing about this program is that you will not only get a product at a much lower price, but you also avoid shipping costs.
To make sure that this program will work for you, try calling the store first to inquire if they’re honoring the program, and if they do, go to the store ready with the discount code for the specific item you’re buying.
Alternatively, you can choose to complete the payment online and select the store pick-up option, which is often one of the choices for service delivery.
3. Layaway Program
One of the reasons why so many turn to their credit cards often is that they’re afraid to miss out on something they want or need because payday is still several days away. Thus, if you prefer to pay in cash to avoid credit card payment fees, look into the retail stores’ layaway program.
With the layaway program, you can ask the store to reserve a product for you until a particular date. More often than not, it will be willing to do so, and you can purchase the product when you already have the money for it on hand.
4. Subscription Box Program
Subscription boxes have boomed in the last five years and have improved significantly in the last couple of years. They used to be splurges for avid shoppers, but they have since evolved into practical solutions for a lot of people when the providers of this program began allowing customers to modify the products they want in the box.
On top of that, there are particular subscription box programs designed to really help you save you money. For example, there’s one that provides a high-quality, great value electric toothbrush handle with a wall-mount or travel cover and new bristles every two to three months. With the products in this particular box, you can save almost half of what you normally would spend every couple of months for a new toothbrush.
It’s worth factoring in as well that some subscription boxes include freebies. These are value-added top quality items that you get for no extra cost. If you don’t need them, you can create a side income by selling them.
5. Credit Card Rewards Program
Start using a credit card that comes with a reward program. If you regularly use your credit card to pay for bills and other life essentials, you can easily reap rewards. These rewards will allow you to purchase goods at select stores for free based on your accumulated points.
This is a fantastic provision to take full advantage of because it offers you great value products and services for absolutely free. A lot of people manage to buy new appliances, designer clothes and shoes from the rewards program of their bank.
But that’s not all. Rewards points from credit cards can also pay for flights, dining experiences, club memberships, hotel accommodations, and so much more.
6. Store Membership Program
Some people think this is a waste of money, while some say it helps them stay on top of their finances. Here’s the thing: A store membership program can be both an asset and a liability, but this will depend on how you use it to work for you.
If you have a favorite store and it’s where you get most of your clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories, then the membership program will serve your best advantage. From the membership program, you will score not only useful discounts, but also special services and other valuable perks.
However, if you don’t frequent a store much, you should opt out, especially if the membership doesn’t come cheap. It’s not worth it if you won’t recoup the cost of the membership and get to use all the benefits it offers.
With these shopping programs, managing your finances or spending the right way doesn’t necessarily mean doing without the things you want. Which of these six shopping programs fits your lifestyle best and can contribute the most to your financial goals?