Splurging or Saving?

Hello everyone!

I just got back from Disneyworld in Florida! We all had a great time; it was so much fun! I have a blog post about what I wore coming soon, so keep on the look out for that. But for today’s post, I was introduced to this website called Raise.com where you can buy and sell discounted gift cards! I thought it was a great idea and wanted to share that with you. But there was also a blog post on their website about whether you’re saving or splurging when a store tries to sell you something. I read the article and loved it. I thought it was a great post that showed different websites and whether you’re saving by using them, or whether you’re being ripped off, so to speak. So I am excited to share the article with you! I hope it helps you to resist splurging! My weakness that I always splurge on is purses. I will see a purse on sale and just HAVE to get it. What are some of your weaknesses that you splurge on? Let me know! Okay, enough ramble. Here’s the article. 🙂 p.s. Here’s the link to read it on their website if you so desire:    https://www.raise.com/blog/impulse-buying-splurging-think-youre-saving/

Also, make sure you check out:   https://www.raise.com/

Everyone loves a good deal, and we know how good it feels when you actually save money.  On a surface level, however, what sometimes appears to be a good deal ends up costing us more than we were planning to spend in the first place.

Retailers have recognized this for a long time, but the fast-paced online world has made it especially easy to tap into our fear of missing out (FOMO) and convince us to impulse buy. Here are a few popular types of sites that have sprung up in the last few years, and how they coax you into spending money you shouldn’t.

DEAL-OF-THE-DAY SITES

Examples: Groupon, LivingSocial

What they are: Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial send members daily deals through email, often to local restaurants or events, though they also have more retail-focused deals. The offers range from the mundane (pay $5 for $10 at a local restaurant) to the ridiculous ($100 for a bedtime tuck in). Each deal depends on a certain number of people buying it in order to happen.

How they pull you in: The perceived savings are often very high—Groupon’s website is selling a $999 elliptical machine for $329, for instance. That’s $670 off! And lots of the smaller local restaurant deals, which amount to 50% off, might seem like no-brainers.

Why they’re a splurge: Would you ever consider buying that elliptical in the first place? Whatever the original sticker price (and incidentally, nowhere online is the machine selling for more than $500), you’re still paying close to $350 for something you probably don’t need (or could find a less-expensive version of elsewhere).

There’s the matter of expiration dates, too. Somewhere between 20-40% of Groupons go unused. What good is getting half off at a local restaurant (especially if you wouldn’t otherwise eat out) if you then miss the cutoff? At that point, you’ve just wasted your money–money you might not otherwise have spent in the first place.

FLASH SALE SITES

Examples: HauteLook, Beyond the Rack

What they are: Flash sale sites like HauteLook and Beyond the Rack offer limited-time sales on designer brands. (Technically, deal-of-the-day sites like Groupon and LivingSocial are a kind of flash-sale site, too.)

How they pull you in: Flash sale sites are all about the fear of missing out: the idea that you must buy this now or you’ll never be able to (Beyond the Rack even calls their sales “events”). They also focus on “perceived savings.”

Why they’re a splurge: Again, if you buy something you wouldn’t have otherwise, or spend more than you were planning to, you haven’t saved anything, regardless of how far an item was marked down from its list price. Plus, shoppers may assume that the prices offered on these sites are the lowest around when they often aren’t. Lastly, expensive shipping and restrictive return policies can quickly add up to buyer’s remorse.

SUBSCRIPTION BOXES

Examples: BirchBox, NatureBox

What they are: Subscriptions are nothing new, but they’ve branched well beyond newspapers and magazines. You can now subscribe to get just about anything regularly in the mail, from Japanese snacks, to dog toys, and even meat.

How they pull you in: The boxes usually sound like a great deal–$10 a month for cosmetic samples? $20 for healthy snacks? Sure! There’s also convenience. You don’t have to step out of your door or even browse around online to order. And most places position themselves as experts who have done the hard work of picking things out for you that you wouldn’t find for yourself.

Why they’re a splurge: When you actually break down the cost of what’s in the box, it doesn’t always seem like that great of a deal. The monthly price adds up quickly ($264 per year for socks sounds a lot more expensive than $22 per month).

You may end up wasting what’s in the box. BirchBox sends a box of cosmetics samples to your door each month, but how many can you really use? And, while many boxes try to cater to your specific needs and preferences, there’s no guarantee you’ll like everything they send you.

As with other sites on this list, subscription boxes sound like a good deal. But they often end up enticing you to spend much more than you actually would, on things you don’t necessarily need. Plus, you might be forced to sign up for several months at a time with no way out if you decide you don’t want the service.

Saving, Outside the Box

Here at Raise, we want to help you actually save money, rather than just feel like you’re saving it. Our gift card marketplace gives you multiple ways to save. You can buy a gift card at a discount to save on everyday essentials, like groceries and gas, and when you consider all of the benefits that discount gift cards offer, the things you’re already spending money on truly become more affordable. You can also sell your gift cards and put the cash you earn toward your savings. However you choose to use Raise, you know you’re getting the most out of your money.

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