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How to Online Shop without Screwing your Savings

How to Online Shop without Screwing your Savings

Recently my spending habits have altered in a major way — I’ve got some ambitious savings goals and also have a fair chunk mortgage debt to pay down. Over the past few months I’ve found a major shift in my need for material goods. However I have my days. We are all humans and by being exposed to social media, we are often confused when our wants and needs crossover.

Life does happen, and I find that I sometimes I just need to “treat myself’. We’ve all been there. You’re online shopping for one item, and then before you know it, three other items have been added to your shopping cart and your credit card details are already saved  — It’s all too easy I say.

Let’s not forgot pay-later services e.g. Afterpay, Laybuy, etc! For those who haven’t come across this yet with your online shopping consider yourself lucky. This new craze means that you can shop online, get the items sent to you and then make the payments over six installments due every two weeks. All of a sudden your new top is no longer $100, instead it’s $16.66 x 6 payments. As appealing as that can seem, it fools you into thinking you can afford something when you really can’t. Don’t give your future self more debt, especially when unexpected costs come up.

Paper and Sweat is here to help and today I am going to share a strategy to help you with your ongoing purchases. It’s all based on being conscious of the relationship between time and money — how much time it has taken you to earn that money. By seeing this time you may double take on your next The Iconic order.

Here’s what’s been working for me — Time Is Money Chrome Extension. You enter your pay rate (hourly after tax) and currency and it will automatically covert prices on all websites to time. You’ll see how many days, minutes, and hours it takes you to earn that new item! The extension has been created so we can be conscious spenders, and ultimately spend your hard earned money on things that matter! Here’s the link for the extension — It’s easy to turn on and off if you do get a little frightened!

If after seeing your time vs item cost and you’re still wanting to make the purchase — consider these final tips.

  • Look for discounts codes — Quite often when you sign up to a websites newsletter you’ll get offered a 10-20% discount code.
  • Watch out for shipping costs, opt to share with friends if there is a charge.
  • At certain times of the year there are big online sales across all sites e.g. Vogue Online Shopping night. If you’re wanting a big ticket item, it’s worth the wait!
  • Found an item you love? Pop it into Google and see if there’s other sites stocking the item. It may be cheaper, it may include free shipping and they may have a discount code!
  • Free Returns — Life happens, sometimes the jeans just don’t fit as well compared  to the size 4 model. Free returns are a stress free option!

Paper and Sweat wants you to consider all your purchases, no matter how big or small! Remember every little bit counts!


  • Convert each purchase to the hours you’ve spent at work to buy that
  • Add this Chrome Extension to do it automatically
  • Grab a pen and paper and set yourself to a 7 day challenge to write down each purchase
  • Set a 30-Day-Challenge, and give something up that’s burning a hole in your back pocket — See Paper and Sweat Template here
  • Discount codes, shop around + free returns
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