I’ve got all the self-control of an untrained, ADHD-addled labradoodle puppy. Suffice to say, this time of year is always mildly financially ruinous for me, as I inevitably fill my apartment with all the discounted crap my credit card will permit.
If you’re like me, you’ll want to check out Icebox, from comparison site Finder.com, which promises to stop impulse purchases by making you — wait for it — think about them. This Chrome plugin replaces the ‘Buy’ buttons found on over 400 e-commerce sites with one of its own design. When pressed, it holds the purchase for a pre-defined period of time, forcing you to ask yourself “do I really need this?“
If you do, great. Once the time is up, it’ll let you place the order.
But if you don’t, you can just forget about it, in turn saving you some money that you’d have otherwise poured down the drain (figuratively speaking). Icebox will keep a tally of how much money you’ll save while using the tool.
You can set your cooling-off period to whatever you want, although it defaults to 30 days. You can also tell it to not block certain sites — which is useful if you do your grocery shopping online. If you had to wait 30 days every time you wanted to buy food, you’d probably be pretty thin at the end of the cooling-off period.
You can also place reminders on the sites that Icebox doesn’t support, urging you to exercise some self-restraint.
It’s a handy little plug-in, and although it’s not all that useful on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where the deals are ephemeral and disappear in seconds, it could save you a decent whack of cash throughout the rest of the year. You can check it out here.