As a society, we love the word “save.” It lets us feel like savvy, empowered shoppers. It lets us brag on our blogs about what good deals we got.
But what do we actually do with those savings? I’m sure some of you are beautifully organized and make sure money saved is money banked. And, frankly, I don’t like you. It’s nothing personal; I’m sure you’re wonderful people but… phooey on you.
I, on the other hand, have a mixed success rate. I did start banking the money we save using Amazon gift cards. But in other areas, not so much.
I talked about our big Hulu savings, and I was so proud of myself. Until a reader asked if I was banking the $92 savings each month. I was not.
This is what we in the biz term a “wake-up call.” Hope I didn’t get too technical there.
So, starting this month, $92 of my paycheck needs to go into our Capital One 360. savings account. No matter how many unexpected costs we get pummeled with, I want to officially save those Hulu savings.
But that got me thinking about how I really can do more. After all, we allegedly save all the time when we go shopping.
Of course, any PF blogger will tell you that most store savings are pure psychological manipulation. Most of us wouldn’t buy the items in question unless we could get a good deal, so it’s questionable whether we’re actually saving anything.
So maybe it’s not actual savings. But my brain likes to think that it is, so why not make use of that? Why not start banking money that I “saved” when I get back from the grocery or drugstore?
It would have the secondary benefit of curbing the “but it’s on sale” syndrome. Sometimes we buy items only because they’re on sale. None of us like to admit it, and sometimes we feel duped afterward. (Other times, it’s delicious Safeway cookies; and the only thing you regret there is how many you eat. Stupid Safeway make stupid, tasty cookies.)
Delectable snacks aside, having to bank the full price could be a great reminder to buy purposefully. To only make a purchase if I’m willing to pay the whole amount. If an item loses value because it’s full price, I probably didn’t want it that badly in the first place.
Of course, no plan is foolproof — especially if I’m the fool. There will be times when we buy a discounted item and don’t bank the remainder.
It could be an issue of how much we have in the bank, since I only get paid once a month. Or perhaps the savings are so large that it’s ludicrous to bank quite that much. I don’t know. As I’ve proven many, many times, I can only see far enough into the future to know that there are loopholes looming.
But at the very least, it adds yet another layer to the buying process. And when the answer is yes, at least our bank account will actually see the benefit of all those “savings.”