Savings versus saving! - MoneySense

Savings versus saving!

Be aware of the difference between spending money and saving versus just plain saving money


I got a Groupon notice the other day that told me I could buy $40 worth of stuff from Bill’s Garden Centre for $20. Half off! What a deal! And since I was going to be in the vicinity of Bill’s later in the day, I’d get savings for sure. Or maybe not.

I didn’t take the Groupon deal. My common sense prevailed. The Gail-in-my-head said, “Are you sure you’ll get to Bill’s today?” I wasn’t sure. Then the Gail-in-my-head said, “You’re spending $20, not saving $20. Do you want to spend $20?” Nope.

Good thing too. My day was jammed full and “having to get to Bill’s” to spend my $20 would have stressed me out. But there was a lesson in the experience. I’ve cancelled my subscription to Groupon. There are enough temptations in my life, I don’t need one mailed to me daily.

I have a girlfriend who is very into treating herself well. She loves Living Social because of all the half-off deals she gets for massages and manis. She’s got a stack of deals just waiting to be used. She justifies this by saying she’s shopping smart. Hey, not if those deals are still on paper!

Daily deal sites are springing up all over the place. Every time I turn around, I’m being offered more ways to save money. Hey, if I’m spending money, I’m not saving money. And if I’m spending money to save money on impulse, they’ve got me by the nose, haven’t they?

Some sites even want to convince me that I can “do good” by shopping. And many promoters of daily deal sites say things like, “The savings are so good you’ll want to keep checking the site so you don’t miss out.” Yah, that’s conducive to saving money, isn’t it?

Buyer’s regret is such a big deal for daily deal grabbers that new sites are coming along to help you undo the mistake you made. CoupRecoup is like a Craigslist for Groupon. Other sites charge a fee, usually to the idiot who bought impulsively and now wants to sell and cut their losses.