Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Don't Let Deals Chase You
Tip #269 - Don't Let Deals Chase You. There is a lot written in the online world about how to "save" money. However, in order to "save" money, you need to spend some, which really isn't saving money at all. There are deals being thrown at us from blogs, credit card companies, auction sites, online stores, and emails from daily deal websites. Unfortunately, often these deals often cause us to spend more money than we normally would even if we get a good buy on what we bought.
If you want to truly "save" money - that is put money away in your bank account, the only way to do it is to not spend it. Getting 50 percent off tickets to a football game is not going to save you money unless it was already in your budget to buy football tickets at full price in the first place. Driving to the drugstore to pick up yet another bottle of shampoo when you already have 10 bottles in your bathroom cabinet costs time, gas money, and wastes space for something of which you already have an adequate supply. And clipping that Buy One Get One Free Ice Cream Sundae won't save you money if you can enjoy a similar treat for less from the supermarket.
If you are truly interested in saving money - that is putting away money - then do not let deals tempt you to spend more than you would otherwise, no matter how good of a deal it is. The only way you can save money on deals is if it is an item in your budget that you had planned to pay full-price for already. Then at time of purchase you look for a better price on it. That will lead to savng money. Spending money on haphazard items that were not in your budget in the first place, will only cause you to spend more money and have the exact opposite effect that you think a "deal" will do. So, if you want a deal then go after one on something you had already planned to buy. Don't let the deals chase you and cause you buy something you weren't planning to purchase.
In Real Life (IRL) - I am bombarded on a daily basis from deal sites - some that come into my email, some that are through sites I visit, and some that come in my mailbox out at the street. While I feel I have pretty good restraint when it comes to spending money, I am often tempted to buy something that is a good deal. If I get a flyer for a hotel that is having a special, I will read through it and ponder the idea of making a quick getaway trip since it's such a good price (vacations are a weakness of mine). I am subscribed to some daily deal sites that send me emails everyday about deals in the area. I have yet to buy something from one of them, but I have been pretty close a couple of times. And I read blogs that talk about saving money and have lists and lists of items you can purchase at a good price. Problem is, I don't need most of those items.
And while I can pass on good deals or waste a bit of money frivolously without going into debt, there are many others who are struggling financially now and do not have a dollar to spare, no matter how good of a deal something is. And I am afraid a person who wants to save money - that is build up their savings account, reading all of these deal sites can cause the reader to actually go out and spend more than they even normally would. Yes, they may have more goods and/or experiences to show for it than if they had paid full price for these items, but if they are spending more money on things they normally wouldn't buy, then they are worse off than before they frequented all of these deal sites.
If you are one of those people who is struggling financially and hope to put away more towards savings each year, make sure that you are not sucked into buying things that are a good deal, thinking that you are saving money. Let your budget driving your buying decisions. If you are have $300 in your budget to spend on a hotel for a weekend getaway, then shop around for a deal. But don't let an email promising you 50% off a hotel cause you to take a vacation that you would not have taken. Your budget should control your purchases. Don't let the deals control what you buy. That will not save you money.