The Art of ‘Spaving’ – Spending Money to Save Money

Society and inflation are constantly making our daily lives more expensive. Although the recent dip in Brent Crude Oil prices has helped our wallets to some extent, prices are still rising all the time. The resulting increase in pressure to try and save where possible, is something that frequently plays on most of our minds. Especially when we see deals that require us to spend more money to potentially save money.


‘Spaving’ is a new amalgamated word that combines spending and saving together. Large retailers notoriously use this tactic to lure us in with special offers and incentives for buying in bulk making us believe that we're truly ‘spaving’. But are we really?


What to Look Out For

Spend Vs Save

‘Spaving’ scenarios will catch you by surprise and the examples that you need to look out for and be aware of are things such as buy two get one free deals. Offers like these may be suitable for items that are consumed regularly, but products that don’t get used often will more commonly be advertised in this form. In order to save money, ask yourself if you really need three of those items. I bought three shaving cream canisters two years ago within one of these deals and still have two left for example. With the power of hindsight, just because it was a good deal at the time doesn't mean I really needed to spend the extra money to have three of them.

Extra reward points on approved products is another way retailers like to entice customers to spend money and receive more points. Changing your spending behaviour to earn points that will likely be forgotten or result in you being lumbered with products you don’t really use is a crucial thing to avoid.

Buying items simply because they are cheap is another tactic all retailers use to some extent to part you from your money. Pastries for example on sale at the end of the day have a reduced price to attract you. Although they may be 50% off and only priced at $4 for example, not buying them and spending $0 is a more favourable outcome - for both your waistline and your pocket.


Where Spaving can Help

The Art to ‘spaving’ requires you to ask yourself if you will need those products this month. Financially speaking, that shaving cream or other items that you can buy in bulk will not earn you interest. That money sitting in your bank account as opposed to your bathroom shelf will add more value to your savings and wealth.

But if you have the cash flow to do so, ‘spaving’ on items you use frequently can be a good way to save some money. To ensure it’s the right decision make sure you ask yourself if that extra money could be helping you in other ways, such as paying off debt or investing into something. Buying to save on such items can prevent you needing to return to the shops regularly for those products, a good example of this could be toilet paper.

A scenario where ‘Spaving’ does play to its strengths is if you know that you will need particular products in the coming weeks or month and you see it on special offer right now. A good example could be meat for Australia Day, where Woolworths currently have 20% off a $50 spend which runs out on the 31st January. Spending money to save here is a great way for you to buy produce at a discounted price, potentially before prices are hiked in preparation for Australia Day.

Woolworths 20% off $50 Spend on Meat

If you’ve ever heard of the popular saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff” ‘spaving’ can also play a key role. If you see something that you need, but know its $1 cheaper if you order online, its really not worth your time to wait for it to be delivered etc. Save yourself the hassle, spend the extra $1 because your time is valuable, use it to earn more money not make tiny unnoticeable savings.

As a result, spaving is a combination of human nature and retailer tactics. We humans love to spend money and we also love the sensation of getting a bargain. Retailers will often play on our intelligence and emotions making us believe that we may not receive that bargain again in the future. This, combined with our natural instinct to hoard and nest build for our families, urges us to spend more money in the hope that we think we are saving money. But, hopefully now you will be more aware of when to and when not to spave.


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