Shared Reading: Stupid Things People Do In the Hope of Saving Money


I found an interesting article about money-saving "miracle" products that don't actually save you any money. In the article, nine deals are broken down to show you the true cost of saving money.  As always, I am just posting my favorite highlights here, but I encourage you all to read the original article on Wallet Pop.

1. The membership
What's a better option? If you shop sales at grocery stores, or belong to a food co-op or (grassroots) buying club, you may end up finding better per-unit prices, and you won't buy three times what your family really needs to consume.

3. The lease
But guess what's even cheaper? Buying a reliable used car. And you won't have to give back your "asset" when your term is done.

6. The BOGO
Take a product that won't sell (even in quantities of one) and offer a deal on three! Inventory is moved; profits roll in.

7. The shipping is free
The $25 order limit, above which shipping will be free, is now common among online retailers, and is the gateway drug, a rationalization to all manner of unfortunate things we do in the name of saving money. Many, many times I've added a book or CD to my order, spending $30 or $35 in the name of saving $4 or so in shipping charges.

My favorite part of the article was the end when the author sums up the best way to determine if the deal is really a deal.

A nice consistent rule of thumb is that "savings" gives us the justification we need to make purchases we probably shouldn't. Ask yourself if you would buy the thing without the deal, the hype, or any other rationalization you can think of. Ask yourself if you'd buy the thing if you had to walk to the store and carry it home. If you still want it, maybe you need it. If not? Consider hiding your credit card until you're strong enough to say no.


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