Knowing the following money traps will help you realize when a special offer isn’t worth digging into your wallet.

Stores have some tricky ways of encouraging you to spend more while making you think you’re saving. It may seem like that coupon or special offer is saving you from paying full price, but the reality is that many times, you end up spending more money when something is “on sale” than if it wasn’t!  

You Think You're Saving, But You're Actually Spending

August 3, 2017

Keep these tips in mind to help you from spending in order to "save".

Stores have some tricky ways of encouraging you to spend more while making you think you’re saving. It may seem like that coupon or special offer is saving you from paying full price, but the reality is that many times, you end up spending more money when something is “on sale” than if it wasn’t!

Coupons, rewards programs, and special offers can save you money, but knowing the following money traps will help you realize when the offer isn’t worth digging into your wallet.

Coupons



Couponing can save you tons of money, but without a plan they can be harmful. If you’re buying something simply because you have a coupon, you probably don’t need it and may not even really want it! Coupons can be enticing because they make you believe you’re saving money, but if you’re using them on purchases you wouldn’t make otherwise, you’re probably wasting more money than you’re saving.

Rebates



How many times have you bought a product with a rebate, then forgotten to cash it or been too confused to know how? This happens more often than not; in 2013 over $500 million dollar in rebates went unclaimed!  It’s easy to misplace or forget about a rebate form, and often times they expire quickly. If you do remember to cash in your rebate, they generally have difficult instructions and make you jump through hoops before you can qualify, hoping to discourage you from proceeding.

 

Spending Offers



It’s an easy and sneaky way stores convince you to spend more: offering a discount for a minimum spending amount. Whether it’s $5 off $25 or $10 off $100, these spending offers convince consumers to purchase way more than they originally intended to. If you’re cashing in on these offers strategically, you probably are saving money, but many times we add unnecessary items to the cart in order to make the supposed savings happen. It’s like going into the store for cat food and coming out with a plasma TV!

 

Buy One Get One



Whether it’s buy one get one half off or buy one get one free, these offers can make you spend more if you’re not careful. These offers are meant to encourage you to buy more than you originally intended and could end up being a waste if the products expire or spoil quickly. Ask at the check out—some stores like Publix will offer a discount whether you buy two items or not, so you could only buy one item and still get a discount! 

 

Although coupons can be a way to save money, if you don’t use them responsibly you can end up spending a whole lot more than you save. Keep the pointers above in mind the next time you go shopping to avoid these common coupon problems.

What coupon strategies do you use to keep from overspending? Let us know below!

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