Taming a Modern Spending Temptress: Your Mobile Phone

You may have thought that the easily accessible plastic and pounds in your wallet were the biggest threats to your financial health. However, new stats prove just how dangerous mobile spending can be.

According to Rackspace, tablets and smartphones increase spending by approximately £1.1 billion annually. The study revealed that 48 per cent of adults admit to buying on impulse more frequently with these handheld devices, which sets each consumer back an extra £329 per year.

While 71 per cent of these mobile shoppers blame the simplicity and ease of the technology, 27 per cent feel it’s better than shopping in store. Clothes were the most popular purchase, followed by books, music and takeaways.

“We’re a nation of bargain hunters, so tablets and smartphones make it easier than ever for consumers to keep their eyes open for great deals and snap things up wherever they are,” said Fabio Torlini, VP of Cloud at Rackspace.

However, the thirst for a deal can also dry up consumer wallets.

“If you’re making impulse purchases, it’s likely you will spend more than you planned,” Brian Wansink, director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University told the Daily Mail.

And payday loans are not immune to the perils of impulse buying. According to 100 Day Loan UK’s Payday Loan Sentiment Survey, a whopping 79 per cent of borrowers applied online. As consumers grow more tech savvy, this percentage is only on a trajectory to increase.

A Westminster Forum titled, “The Future of Mobile” revealed that there are more mobile phones than people in the UK, and 28 per cent of all internet usage comes from our phones. So it isn’t a stretch to assume a rising popularity in mobile payday loans.

Fortunately, you can apply to same rules to curb your mobile spending as you would to exercise caution with online payday loans.

First Step: Unsubscribe

You know the old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

When it comes to the deals and steals flooding your inbox, the same idea rings true. It may be hard to resist the VIP discounts at clearance-worthy price tags, but these bargains may do more harm than good.

First, these email alerts stoke desires and impulses that you didn’t have prior to the sale. Additionally, if you buy enough merchandise to equate to full price items, you’re actually getting no deal at all. It only encourages spending you think you can afford, but can’t.

While you can’t unsubscribe to the idea of a payday loan, you can limit its reach. Consider removing any mobile apps for payday loans from your phone that prompt you to take out a loan rather than help you work through an alternative financial solution.

Payday loans are easy enough to access, so if removing an app gives you pause to find a different way to plug a temporary cash flow problem, you could be saving a great deal on potential interest.

Use Apps in Your Favor

You use your mobile to snatch up amazing deals—clever apps that can tell you when you pay too much and where you can get something cheaper. So why not turn that idea on its head to find apps that actually reign in your spending?

SelfControl allows you to block browsing of certain sites while Urge helps you work through your spending choices and impulse buys.

There may not be a miracle app that provides a substitute quick fix to a payday loan, but utilizing these anti-impulse apps in conjunction with other mobile budgeting tools may help curb the need for a payday loan in the first place.

Eliminate the Ability to Auto-Purchase

Storing credit card information on retailer sites has made the checkout process all too convenient. And credit cards already do enough damage to bank accounts because their impact is not as immediate as having to part with cash. A stored credit card only amplifies the buy-now-pay-later mentality.

Removing the instant-purchase ability of a credit card means that you’ll have to take the extra time to re-enter it manually every time. This may help you either hold off or not follow through with the purchase at a later date.

Manually inserting your credit card digits add a layer of conscientiousness to the transaction process that’s often absent from a one-click purchase.

You can tweak this same approach for potential payday loans. Before you automatically click, “Apply” you should assess the status of your finances. By thoroughly understanding the income flow of what’s coming in versus going out, you’ll have a better picture of the principal loan amount and interest that you can pay back.

Mobile phones and tablets may make our lives easier in many ways, but don’t let them complicate your finances. By de-cluttering your inbox and being selective with your apps, you just might be able to regain your financial health.

If you’d like to learn more about payday loans before you consider applying, visit our I Hate You Payday Loans resource to learn the ins and outs of borrowing smart.