When shopping becomes a bad habit

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Modern technology has made it so much easier to become a compulsive shopper. I’m Clark Palmer with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

One bad personal spending habit is to fill your empty hours with shopping, whether you’re on vacation or planning an afternoon with friends. Remove the source of your guilty pleasure by tossing those sales circulars, staying out of the mall during lunch hours and leaving your credit cards at home.

Unfortunately, the digital age keeps bringing temptation to our doorsteps. Websites now send alerts when they’re running sales, which prompt consumers to buy with a simple click. Take active steps to shut down alerts and close some of your online accounts.

Feeling that you have to own the latest technology can tear through your budget. Waiting to purchase the newest thing is advantageous, because the cost falls and developers work out the kinks over time.

Finally, remember that a clearance sale isn’t always a good deal. Don’t but items you don’t really need just because they’re on clearance.

For more smart spending tips, visit Bankrate.com. I’m Clark Palmer.