Manage Money ArticlesSpend Better

Should You Go Bargain Shopping Without A Budget?

Everybody loves bargain shopping. Haven’t you ever found yourself in a situation when you’re walking around the mall (Because that’s what we do in our free time, right?) or browsing your favorite online retailer to kill time and you just happened on a sale?


Could it be true? 65% OFF?!?! I wasn’t even looking. Of course browsing is never looking to buy.

Energized by this bargain, I enter or click around trying to find something to buy. I say out loud that there has to be something I want that I can get for 65% off. I continue looking around and say to myself, “I don’t really need anything but I shouldn’t pass up the chance to save money.”

I will always find something to buy with the justification that it is a bargain.

It’s really funny how my mind thought about money. In order to save, I felt I needed to spend.

There is an inner compulsion to take advantage of a great deal because not doing so is illogical. I wanted a new pair of sneakers and finding a $100 pair marked down to $30 made financial sense.

Bargain shopping is simple. Shop for deals and don’t ever pay full price. The problem with bargain shopping is that we end up buying things because of the perceived savings—not need or even wants.

In my book, You Only Live Once, I wrote about the two types of bargain purchases. Continue reading below and grab a copy of my book on Amazon.

Two Types Of Bargain Shopping Purchases

Bargain Find
A bargain find is when you’re casually walking around a store or surfing the Internet and stumble on a bargain. It may be an item you wouldn’t have bought otherwise, but the bargain price compelled you to make the purchase.

Bargain Hunt
A bargain hunt is when you’re actively looking for a bargain for something you need or want. The thrill of purchasing an item way below its suggested retail price is the reward.

Bargain shopping can lead to purchases of more stuff we don’t actually use and takes us further away from our actual goal – financial freedom.

Pitfalls Of Bargain Purchases

We learn to spend and know how important it is to save money. So the idea of bargain shopping grew from trying to meld the two. However, bargain shopping does more to support our spending habits with the illusion of saving money.

Regardless of the bargain, excessive shopping can lead to less money, more debt, and more time at the job.

When it’s a bargain we can easily justify breaking our budget because of the price point. It’s the “I must have it now” mindset because it would be foolish not to purchase at such a bargain price.

The Story Of Two Lawnmowers

I remember a story of a man who attended one of my seminars who said he owned 2 lawnmowers. He bought the second lawn mower because it was a better model than what he currently owned. He was compelled to buy the lawnmower because it was on sale. As I recall, he said it was a “bargain at about 50% off”.

He laughed stating he had 2 lawnmowers and was actually paying a neighborhood kid to mow his lawn. The kid uses the old lawnmower and the new lawnmower is in the garage collecting dust.

After the seminar, the man shared he wanted to become debt-free. And admitted he too had a bargain-hunting mindset. Not being aware of his compulsion for bargains was causing him to spend money that could be used towards debt repayment. This is an example of how bargain purchases can take one further away from desired goals.

How to Stop Overspending on Bargain Shopping

Now, I want to be clear. There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying something you need and want or happen onto. It makes financial sense to buy goods and services at a discount. The less money you spend on stuff the more money you have for other purchases or goals.

Here’s a couple things to be mindful of:

And one last nugget of financial wisdom. There is no reason to buy an item you will hardly use or don’t really love. If you’re going to make a purchase, make sure it’s something useful, something you’ll actually use, and something you’ll enjoy for a long time. That’s bargain shopping done right.

Jason Vitug

Jason Vitug is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and founder of and His purpose to help others live their best lives through experiential and purposeful living. Jason is also a certified yoga teacher and breathwork specialist and has traveled to over 40 countries.

Related Articles