Welcome back to another edition of Simple Savings Sunday. As some of you may have noticed, there was no SSS last weekend. Why do you ask? The answer is simple just like these savings tips. I was up to my elbows in DIY projects to get our home ready to list. I will be spending this entire weekend pressure washing my driveway, house, fence, and some other things. Of course it has to be 40 degrees when I am doing it, but this is the only time I have. At least it is not below freezing, as that would make pressure washing very difficult I would assume. Either way, I am glad to put up another simple savings Sunday for you. They have become quite popular since I started them, so I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. As I said, these tips are supposed to be simple to understand and implement. There is nothing difficult about them and they are just here to help you save money. This simple savings Sunday tip is all about sales.
It’s On Sale!
I have written before about how sales tend to make us irrational shoppers. I have fallen for the ruse before, just like most people have. Retailers are very good to doing sales. They know that people are looking for them. It doesn’t mean that the sale is actually a deal. A simple story is when JCPenny stopped doing coupons and sales. They instead just lowered their prices across the board. It was a simple strategy at heart. You just give you customers an everyday low price to deal with and then they no longer have to worry about shopping for sales. Well, I am sure you know how that turned out. If you don’t, then I will just say that the CEO who implemented the strategy was fired and JCPenny went back to doing their coupons and sales. Why?
We, as customers, have been sold the high praises of sales. If it is on sale, it must be a good deal. We only shop items when they are on sale, and maybe only when we have a coupon. The issue is that most sales are not really deals. They are just simple marketing tactics to lure customers into the shop. It is not a hard concept to understand and when JCPenny tried to change the culture of sales, they paid the price. Customers are clamoring for sales, so retailers give them to us, no matter if you are actually saving anything. It is all about perception!
I Have to Buy It!
The simple saving Sunday is really about understanding when a deal is really a deal and that not all sales are truly deals. There are many times when people buy things just because they are on sale. They might not have needed it, but the psychological effects of seeing a deal slip through their fingers made them bite the bullet. This is marketing in action! This is exactly how retailers and marketers want you to purchase goods. They understand the fear of missing out. How can we live with ourselves if we missed out on a great deal?
If you buy something that you really weren’t intended on purchasing, just because it was on sale, then you aren’t saving anything. You are spending money that you didn’t intend on an item you may or may not need. I hear that excuse more times than I care to count. “I bought it because it was on sale, so I saved!” No, no you didn’t! You spent money……
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If you really want to save money and shop real sales, then you need to compare. Comparison shopping is the best way to understand if you are really getting a deal and if the sale is truly a sale. Comparison shopping also includes price tracking. If you know of an item you want to buy, then you should track prices across a time period to see if a current sale is actually saving you any money. If you have a smart phone, then you can do most comparison shopping in the store. There are also a few price tracking apps that will help you see what price you should be paying. If you love shopping at Amazon, like I do, then you can use CamelCamelCamel to track prices there.
The basis of saving money is to actually save money. If you spend money at a sale that you had no intention of spending, then you are not saving money. That excuse really gets under my skin. That just sounds like a shopaholic’s rationale. Don’t be a shopaholic, be a saveaholic. That is right, you should be looking for ways to save, not spend. Start by checking out all of the simple savings Sunday posts. If you want more ways, then sign up for my free newsletter!
Do You Know Your Credit Score?
Even if you don’t plan on getting a loan, a good credit score can affect your ability to get a job, a place to live, and will save you money whenever you need to borrow. If you don’t know your credit score, you can get yours free at Credit Sesame. It’s 100% free with no credit card required to signup. I’ve been using it for years to monitor my credit score.