Internet Habits & Credit Building | Refresh Financial

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How Your Internet Habits Can Slow Your Credit Building

internet habits

The internet has, in so many ways made our lives easier, quicker and more efficient. From sending someone a quick note or paying our bills online to performing our jobs and staying on top of the news, the internet is good for a great many things.

It also has its downsides, though.

There are things we do on the internet that can be perceived as negative, especially if we’re trying to save money, pay down our debts, and boost our credit scores.

Internet habits can even affect credit building.

One of the biggest ingredients in improving your financial well-being is to curb your spending wherever you can. Unfortunately, the internet makes it easier to spend without thinking. If you make a few changes to your internet habits though, you’re going to have a much higher chance of success. Here are some changes you should consider:

1. Don’t make/use accounts

When you’re shopping online for things you can’t live without, make sure you use the option to check out as a guest, if you can. Do not create an account. Doing so allows the online shop to learn more about you, your habits, etc. You’ll start getting emails asking you if you need to purchase the item you bought again, or emails with suggestions for what to buy next. In short, they’re going to make it irresistible to part with your money, so just check out as a guest.

2. Install an ad blocker

It’s super easy to find ad-blocking plugins for whatever browser you use most. Just go into your settings, then to extensions and somewhere in there, there’s usually a link to “Get more”. Search for “ad blocker” and you’re going to have tons to choose from. This will stop those crafty cookies from tracking your behaviour and showing you personalized ads that make it hard to resist spending. If you’ve ever browsed Amazon and then noticed that all the ads you’re seeing all over the rest of the internet for days are for the items you looked at on Amazon, you know what I mean. An ad blocker will stop you from being tempted by it.

3. Shop incognito

Anytime you’re on a shopping site, browsing for products or services, ensure your browser is in private or incognito mode. This will prevent the shops and advertising platforms from tracking what you’re looking at and knowing what you’re interested in buying. Showing you personalized ads based on your browsing history is going to be that much more difficult.

4. Don’t store your payment details online

There are all sorts of places we shop at over and over where we’re lulled by the draw of convenience into saving all our payment details. The problem here, is that making it easier to spend your money isn’t necessarily the best thing when you’re trying to save and pay down debt. Having to re-enter your credit card details every time you buy something online can act as a deterrent to spending.

5. Don’t opt in

Stay away from the newsletters! Unless those newsletters are for places you have no choice but to shop at, like your local grocery store, just stay away from them. You will be tempted to buy, buy, buy when you get those professional shots of shiny new products in your inbox relentlessly. Just say no!

6. No 'Deal Sites'

Deal sites will pull you into something you never wanted in the first place by the draw of low prices, but if you’ve ever bought an item from a deal-site, you know the quality is probably lacking. You might as well just go to the dollar store. Instead, when you’re looking for a deal on a restaurant or travel or something you have to buy, visit the site and look for it - and only it - there. Don’t let the deal come to you, always go to it.

These six habit changes will make a drastic difference in how much you spend online. They will help you get closer to your goals, pay down your debts, and improve your credit score.

If you're struggling with building your credit score, Refresh Financial can help! We have programs to suit all lifestyles and budgets. Check it out!

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