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It's Not How Much You Save But How Much You Spend

Updated on May 29, 2011

People get so excited about a deal or a bargain. They find something on sale and can't wait to purchase it, thinking the whole time about how much money they saved. I am going to challenge you to think about it differently though. While saving money is great and I encourage everyone to do it, the bottom line is - it is how much you spend that matters, not how much you save.

I was watching Extreme Couponing this week and there was a classic example of this skewed way of thinking. The two women shopping were so excited because Maalox was on sale for $5.49 and they had $5 coupons. They went on and on about how they were going to save $5 on each bottle and they bought 15 bottles. They were going to save $75 on a product that they admitted they don't even use. One woman made the comment that how can someone pass up that kind of savings. My question is why would you spend $7.35 on a product that you don't need or use. I can see buying 1 bottle to have on hand just in case, but 15 of them? I don't see it as a 91% savings, I see it as a waste of over $7.

Manufacturers, stores and marketers have us figured out. They know that everyone likes a bargain. So they proclaim huge savings to try to get you to buy more. Now if you need an item and were going to buy it anyway, then I am all for buying it, even stockpiling it if it is that great of a deal. Most people don't think this way though. How many items do you have in your house that you have never used, eaten, worn, etc? If you think about why, I bet it goes back to you got a great deal and saved a lot of money on the item so you bought it for that reason.

When you come across a great deal, a rock bottom sale price, a drastically reduced item, or some other scheme the marketer has come up with, please stop and think about a few things. Do you use that item? Do you need that item? Do you have to have it right now? Do you have something like it already at home that can be used in it's place? How much does it cost? Not how much you are saving, but how much money will you have to pay for it? Is it worth that amount of money? Could that amount of money be better spent on something else? Start paying attention to how much it costs, not how much you save and I bet you will put half the items back on the shelf.


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    • Jennifer profile image

      Jennifer 6 years ago

      HealthyHanna, I like that saying, it is so true!

    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 6 years ago from Utah

      My mother always told me "you can go broke saving money".

    • Cornelius Dollar profile image

      Cornelius Dollar 6 years ago

      "Manufacturers, stores and marketers have us figured out. They know that everyone likes a bargain. So they proclaim huge savings to try to get you to buy more."

      This is a great point. Large companies spend millions and millions of dollars to figure out how to get people to part with that extra 50 cents or that extra $1.99.

      They are able to capitalize on a culture that has come to place too much value on just "getting a deal." Well, if I got a good deal on it, how can I go wrong?

      Your bank account doesn't know what the "original" or "suggested" price was; all it knows is that it's a little poorer.

      Great article.

    • C-Bless profile image

      C-Bless 6 years ago from Canada

      Absolutely makes sense. It boggles the mind that people are stockpiling useless products (because it won't get used) only because it's a great deal. Thank you for writing this article.

    • mepperly profile image

      Shelly Epperly 6 years ago from Vancouver,WA

      I agree... But... you can buy stuff like this at a huge bargain and resell it on Ebay... You would be surprised what people will buy on ebay. Check it out... You might be able to make money on these deals. Just a thought.

    • His princesz profile image

      His princesz 6 years ago

      That's a thought. Great hub! :)

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 6 years ago from Australia

      Well said Jennifer. I am embarrassed to admit the amount of 'things' in my home I didn't need but bought on special or at a bargain price.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Jennifer thanks for pointing out what should be quite obvious, if you don't need it don't buy it no matter how cheap or marked down the item is. It's sad in our "buy" mentality society that this has to be even pointed out at all. Will have to show this article to my daughter and a few of her teen friends! Voted up and useful.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 6 years ago

      GREAT Hub Jennifer!

      At first I thought the title of your Hub was backward; wonderful way of catching people's attention!

      I had never even heard of a show called Extreme Couponing! Sounds a bit like glorified hoarding to me!?

      We are 'conditioned' by the media and marketing into purchasing things we do not need and often do not use! It is the fuel that keeps a capitalist society moving their 'lifestyles' upward!

      I think many of us are 'awakening' to the entrenched presence of a severely broken value system, and like you do so well, are creating our own sense of what has real value!

      GREAT Hub as always! Blessings, Earth Angel!

    • MFGwrite profile image

      MFGwrite 6 years ago from USA

      Great way of thinking about it! I do this too often, I'm wasting a good amount of money. Fantastic posts, I'm sure more people will find this helpful. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.


    • lcbenefield profile image

      lcbenefield 6 years ago from Georgia

      Great article. This is something I've always thought was crazy. It doesn't matter how much an item is marked down, if you don't use it, it's a waste of money. up and useful.