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The Pitfalls of "Spaving"

Sale tags for "spaving"

Author: Tammy Doss

Spaving is a portmanteau, a mashup word. It is the combination of spending and saving. If you are not familiar with the term, you are not the only one, but not being aware of it doesn't mean it isn't affecting you. Advertisers and retailers love people who are Spavers, and here is why.

Spaving is when you spend more to "save". It is when you don’t really need another item during a sale; however, the advertiser has you believing you are saving money. Have you ever bought one package of cheese, and the sign reads "buy one get one 50% off"? At first glance, this looks like a good deal, and why not go ahead and get that extra item for only half the price? Here’s why! Because you do not need two packages of cheese. Before you get to the second package, the product may have spoiled or expired, and you haven't saved any money at all.

Another example is when you are shopping online, and the retailer suggests if you just spend a few more dollars, you will get free shipping or some other perk. Don’t fall for it. It is a way to get you to spend money you had not intended to spend. It encourages you to buy things you don’t really need and may not use.

These excessive buying habits can lead to additional credit card debt. Credit card companies make money by charging you interest on the unpaid balance you carry on your card. If you aren’t careful, before you know it, you have a huge credit card balance, and you are paying interest that outweighs the purported savings you had hoped for when Spaving.

It’s basically a trap most of us fall into at some point in time. There are ways to avoid falling into this trap. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Unenroll from sale alerts on your iPhone and computer. Take yourself off the email lists from your favorite brands. Don’t just shop to shop. Wait until you need something or have saved up for a specific item, and then make your purchase.

  2. Get only what is on your shopping list. Make your grocery or shopping list before you head out the door. Only get the quantity you have on your list. Stick to it and don’t get caught up with the flashy sale signs.

  3. Take a moment before you buy it. Consider your purchase carefully before you pay for it. Is it the exact item you wanted: color, size, and brand? Is the quality what you expected? Do you have time to look at similar products that are within the same budget but offer better options?

Don’t make Spaving a spending trip. It’s easy to get side-tracked by advertising and signage that make you believe you are saving money. You work hard for your money, so when you spend it, feel good about your purchases. Feel empowered by the fact you got exactly what you were looking for with no compromises. Enjoy the fact you won’t have to eat twice as much to save money. And always consider the consequences of adding additional debt to your credit cards.


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