What Would You Do to Save $1,302?

Is it worth it to spend money that's not in your budget to "save" money?

I received this email from Best Buy. The subject line said, “Shop Cyber Monday Sale; Save Over $1300 on Samsung 60″ HDTV.”

As intended, this caught my attention.  ”Wow,” I thought. “I can save $1,300!” Since I’m all about saving money right now, I opened the email, and learned a few things.

“Shop Cyber Monday Sale”

Capitalizing on the popularity of Black Friday combined with the ease of internet shopping, Best Buy constructed a headline designed to get attention from shoppers.  Obviously, it worked on me.

“Save”

The insinuation here is that you will lose money if you miss out on this deal.  Does your blood pressure go up a little bit at the thought of losing $1,300!

“Over”

$1,302.00.  0-2.  That qualifies as “over” $1300.  That first impression of big savings stays with you even after you see the actual numbers.

“$1300″

That’s a lot of money in our budget. Who wouldn’t want to save that much money.  But wait…how much do you have to spend in order to save that much money?  Do you see it there in tiny print? I had to search for it twice: $1,497.99!

Here’s the problem: Once you start off with an idea cemented in your mind – “This is a really good deal,” in this case – you continue operating off that assumption – even when you are presented with the facts.

What’s the Solution?

#1. Unsubscribe from stupid Best Buy’s stupid marketing emails. (How did I even get on this list?)

#2. Budget. Plan. List. If everything is written down, and you have accountability, you have already automated that decision.  Your brain doesn’t have to process all the factors that go into it, weigh options, reinvint the wheel every time a new “deal” comes along. It can just discard the information.

While you click the “delete” button on the email.

How do you handle “really good deals” that come along? What are some bad decisions you’ve made in the past? (You know you want to share…)

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3 Responses to “What Would You Do to Save $1,302?”

  1. B aaron C says:

    I like to think that I'm pretty good at recognizing cheap marketing schemes, but those make me look every time!

  2. Georgia says:

    I recommend having real-person accountability. Someone you have to justify your expenses to, someone who will ask hard questions about your budget. Just knowing we would have to explain this purchase to our financial-accountability partners makes me very vigilant.

  3. [...] written about spending money to save money before. This article from Wise Bread reminded me of that “scam,” but from a different [...]

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