Be Wary of Spaving
Spending money to save money -- something called "spaving“ -- is something that almost every penny-pincher does from time to time. Sometimes spaving can be a good thing when you're stockpiling things you will need for future use, such as grocery deals, gifts, or buying necessary clothing items for your kids for next year. However, you need to be aware of its pitfalls as well.
When you’re frugal, it’s sometimes easy to get caught up with saving and take it a little too far. The thrill of finding a bargain sometimes overrules better judgment and causes you to buy things you really didn’t need in the first place. Sometimes “saving money” can even get you into financial trouble when you’re spending on things you really don’t need.
Spaving can also encourage over consumption. Have you noticed that when you buy the big bottle, can, or box of something, you may be more liberal with its use? If you buy the huge bottle of shampoo, you may squirt more out each time because mentally you feel like there’s plenty left. The price per ounce may be less, but you’re going through it more quickly -- which tends to negate some of your savings. A perfect example of this is the McDonald’s Supersizing where for just pennies more, you get more soda and fries. What a great deal! But did you really need them, and did it cause you to eat more than you would have?
When my daughter was a baby, I bought her more clothes than she actually needed because I found so many great deals at garage sales. I rationalized that I would be able to sell them for what I paid when she outgrew them; but I was still filling my house with things I didn’t need. I've bought cases of bottled water on sale that caused me to drink bottled water like it was going out of style instead of just filling up my glass from the tap. I've Supersized my fast-food meals more than a few times. The list goes on and on. However, the more aware I become of when I'm spaving, the more likely I am to avoid it in the future.
Assignment: List some of the times when you’ve spaved. When was it a good idea? When was it a mistake? Did it cause you to go through that item faster, or be less careful with its use?