Do You Spend Money to Save Money?

Written by Karen Bryan

spend money to save moneyIt seems to me that there’s an almost constant temptation to spend money in order to save money. You know the feeling, when something looks like a such a great bargain that you can’t resist buying it? This is one of the biggest traps of consumerism.  You will definitely save more money by buying less. If you need to, or were planning to buy  that product/service anyway and see it at a lower price, that’s the only time it’s a real bargain.

So how do you avoid falling for this ‘spend money to save money’ trap?

Think (at least) Twice Before You Buy a Bargain

If you can resist that initial impulse to snap up that bargain, you’re half way there. Many stores won’t give you refunds on reduced items, unless they are faulty. I’ve noticed that even Debenhams have changed their refund policy on items reduced to half price on less; you won’t get a cash, debit or credit card (except if it’s a Debenhams card) refund, only credit put onto a Debenhams giftcard. I assume Debehams were getting too many bargains returned and decided that they wanted to keep the money in their own coffers.

Work Out If You Can Afford to Buy It

Even if something seems cheap, you won’t save money if you end up going over your credit limit thereby incurring an additional charge, paying interest of anything of up 34% on your credit card balance, or paying overdraft fees on your current account.

Will you Use/Enjoy it?

Think seriously if you will actually use and/or enjoy that purchase. If it’s a half-price new item of clothing, is it likely to spend more time languishing in your wardrobe than doing useful service, especially if you already have a wardroble full of clothes.

Is There Another Way You Could Spend That Money to Give You More Pleasure/Utility?

I’m not anti-spending; we could all save more money but being misers. The occasional splurge in a sale isn’t a big sin. However, as most of us don’t have unlimited cash, you have to prioritise your spending. If you buy X then you can’t afford Y, if you are going to stick to your budget.

Ignore ads & promotions

Perhaps it’s even easier to be tempted by cut price deals when you are constantly bombarded by advertising of bargain buys when you are online or watching TV; you don’t even have to physically get down to the shops; you merely need to press purchase on the screen in front of  you. Some people say it’s easier to get carried away in a spending frenzy when you are in-store and get the instant gratification versus having to wait for home delivery. Even cashback sites which are supposed to save you money, can encourage you to buy more during sales, when not only are you getting a price reduction from a retailer but cashback too and sometimes even additional discount vouchers/codes.

Your Strategies for Avoiding the Spend Money to Save Money Snare

Please leave your tips as a comment.

One Response to “Do You Spend Money to Save Money?”

  1. This is a great article as more and more businesses are using the ploy of a bargain to get us to part with our cash when we don’t need to. Thank you for this.