I’ve written about spending money to save money before. This article from Wise Bread reminded me of that “scam,” but from a different angle. The email I received from Best Buy was a direct marketing email from the company trying to coerce me out of my hard-earned money. Wise Bread is a trusted personal finance site with a slogan of “Living Large on a Small Budget.” Many people – me included – go to this site to get ideas on saving money and spending wisely. They’ve built a reputation around giving people wise advice for making their dollars go as far as possible.
The tips in this article seem legitimate. They seem to be well-researched, backed up by “experts” who work at Marshall’s. It even appears that the author uses this advice herself. But there’s one important saving money advice that’s never mentioned in the article:
“Don’t Go Shopping!”
I can guarantee that I’m going to spend more money each time I walk into Marshall’s than if I don’t go at all - even if I use every tip successfully.
As I mentioned last week, our family is on a spending freeze for the rest of the year. This has been an interesting mental experiment for me. The graphic above shows feeds in my Google Reader that I keep track of for coupon deals and free stuff that’s being offered either on the web or in stores. I read these in order to “save money.” On the first day of our spending freeze, I was looking over these articles and kept feeling this desperate, worry feeling, like I was missing a deal that was too good to pass up. I finally made the decision to STOP READING these feeds (at least) until our spending freeze is over.
What does this have to do with the Marshall’s article? The idea behind the article is how to save money while you’re already shopping. I personally think we need to see more articles telling us to quit shopping altogether!
What costs you more money:
Paying full price for a pair of jeans
Buying a pair of jeans for half-off, AND buying a scarf, a toaster, a coat, and shoes for your next-door neighbor’s uncle’s two-year-old?
There are too many “how to save money on crap you don’t need” articles. What we need are more “quit going to the store when you already have fourteen pairs of jeans in your closet” articles.