Spend Smart! 9 Bad Shopping Habits You Should Ditch by 30


Bad Habit #8: Scoffing at Renting

The outdated belief that buying is always better than renting is just that—outdated.

These days, you can opt to rent a number of pricey luxury goods—art, sporting equipment, fancy outfits and even jewelry—for a specific period of time, rather than blowing your budget on a single-use purchase.

“The items we [use] every day are the ones worth investing in—far more so than special-occasion pieces,” Akbari says.

So while paying $100 to rent a gown for your cousin’s black-tie wedding or skis for your upcoming winter getaway may seem like you’re throwing money away, a pricey purchase that sits in your house unused is even more of a waste.

Sites like RenttheRunway and BagBorrowOrSteal offer high-end clothing and accessory rentals for when you need a red-carpet-worthy outfit but don’t want to pay the accompanying price tag. Others, like Spinlister, let you rent such items as bikes and surfboards from other people.

For the go-to items you use every day, Lal says it’s wise to spring for higher quality—even if it means paying more up front. When you spend a little more on a nicer item—say, a pair of well-crafted winter boots—they’ll last longer than a cheaper, lower-quality item that you’ll need to replace before next season. “Over time, this will actually save you money because you’re shopping smarter,” Lal says.

“If you were living without an item before you knew about an online deal for it, you will continue to live without it—and have more money to use for wiser purposes.”

Bad Habit #9: Falling for Online Shopping Deals

Fact: It’s really easy to spend money online. From daily newsletters that lure you in with coupon codes to flash-sale sites tempting you with today-only deals, scoring an amazing “get” is just a click away.

There’s no doubt these digital deals have their advantages—if you’re in the market for a particular item.

“But if you were living without an item before you knew about an online deal for it, you will continue to live without it—and have more money to use for perhaps wiser purposes,” White says.

Now, we’re not suggesting you forgo the convenience of online shopping. But if you just can’t combat the allure of instant shopping gratification, it’s time to opt out—before the thrill gets the best of your budget.

Start by unsubscribing from newsletters, and removing your payment information from your favorite sites—so you won’t be tempted to mindlessly shop.

While these tiny moves may not feel like they’re having a big impact now, kicking these types of habits while you’re young will pave the way for smart spending down the road—allowing you to reap the benefits of having more cash for future money goals. Your 40-year-old self will thank you.

RELATED: The Shopping Embargo: My Annual, 8-Week Buying Fast

  • Phybe


  • Jenna

    On tip #9, if you don’t want to completely unsubscribe from the retail emails, set up a filter in your email to have those emails bypass the inbox and go directly into a dedicated folder. This way, you can search for current sales and coupon codes if you are planning a purchase, but you don’t have to be bombarded daily!