Tips to Avoid Price Shock at the Register

Many people enjoy shopping, however when it comes to checking out their items, it can get pretty stressful. It is quite common to experience a sinking feeling when you head to the cash register and see your total steadily increase. At the end of the day you may leave a store baffled by how much money you ended up spending. However, there are ways to avoid price shock at the register.

Estimate as You Go

In order to have a general idea of how much your total bill is going to cost when you check out, it is a good idea to estimate as you go along. This way you will have a general idea of how much you are going to be spending, and won’t be completely blown out of the water when you check out.

Be Aware of Retail Pricing Tactics

While shopping, you probably have a rough idea of what you’re going to be spending. However, often times you’ll reach the cash register only to find that you spent way more than you expected. This isn’t entirely your fault as retailers often use tricky tactics in order to get you to spend more. One of the main ways this is done is by selling items at a sale price a few cents below a dollar amount; an example would be selling a pair of shoes for $19.98 instead of $20. They do this due to the fact that pricing an item a few pennies less than the dollar amount makes many shoppers think they are spending less money. Don’t fall for this. Instead of rounding down, make sure that you round up in order to get a more accurate estimate of what you’ll be spending.

Make a Shopping List

Before you leave your house make a shopping list of all the items that you need. This will help you avoid purchasing items that you don’t actually need. Stores use very tricky tactics in order to make you buy impulse purchases, however if you stick strictly to the list of items on your list you can avoid buying things you really don’t need.

Sleep On It

If you come across an item you really want to purchase then hold off. Giving it a night or two to think about if you really need the item can help you avoid buying purchases that you really don’t need, and will help you avoid price shock when you head to the cash register. After giving it a night to think about whether you really need the item, you will often find that it doesn’t seem so important to have it after all.

Don’t Forget About Tax

Don’t forget about sales tax when you estimate how much you’re going to be spending at the cash register. In order to accurately estimate sales tax you must know what the sales tax is in your state. Once you have an estimate of how much your total purchases are going to cost then you can also estimate the sales tax. Keep in mind that you can more easily do the math in your head by rounding the sales tax up. This means that if the sales tax is 6% in your state, estimate the amount by rounding up to 10%.

The Magic of Rounding Up

The best part of rounding up all of your purchases is that in the end you will end up with a higher number than what your actual amount is going to be. Not only will this give you a general idea of how much your purchase will be, but it will also give you the satisfaction of actually spending a little less than you thought you would.