SEATTLE - If you're like most Washington residents, you're coping with
the recession by doing your best to watch almost every penny. However, a
new survey from AARP
finds that sense of watchfulness can
break down when shoppers find themselves making unplanned, last-minute
The prevention strategy? Don't shop when you're hungry, tired or have a
lot on your mind, according to Doug Shadel, state director of AARP
. His group's survey of consumer habits pinpoints the
spots at which local shoppers are most likely to go off-track in their
efforts to curb spending.
"Two-thirds of the people we surveyed said they were trying to cut back
in their spending, but 85 percent of them say they continue to impulse
spend, meaning buying things on the spur of the moment."
Shadel says shoppers who can limit the amount of time they spend in a
store end up saving money, and there are other small, easy steps that
can lead to spending less each day.
"People who use things as simple as a shopping list; paying with cash as
opposed to paying with credit cards; and surprisingly, not taking
children with you to the store. Children tend to be a source of impulse
The full survey, "To Buy or Not to Buy," along with a list of shopping
"dos and don'ts" will be posted today (Wednesday) at www.aarp.org/wa
In partnership with the Federal Trade Commission, the Washington State
Attorney General and others, AARP Washington
is also presenting
a series of "Money Smarts" seminars across the state. The first, being
held today (Wednesday) in Seattle, is full; on the Web site, other dates
and locations are posted.