By Stas Bekman.
Published: 15 July 2006
It's very unusual to find yourself shopping nowadays, without seeing at least one "Save 10%" or similar poster. We are now too wired into this saving game. But this game could be very misleading. At the end of the day, what counts is how much you've paid, not how much you've "saved". This is the wrong "saving". Often times it's the store that saves, not you. So if you see several similar products on the shelf, check their final price and pick the one that will cost you the least (assuming that you like them all), not the one that has the biggest "saving" tag.
Moreover, sometimes you buy a product on sale, which normally you won't have bought. You bought it just because it was on sale. Ask yourself whether you need the product, before you buy it, even if it's offered for 50% and bigger discount.
Various points and awards cards are proliferating all around the globe. And while those could be useful, if you are purchasing something from the same company anyway (like flying with the same airline), often times those programs cost you a lot of money, that could have been saved. How often did you buy something, because it was suggested that you will get a lot of bonus points on your awards card, without even checking the competing products. For example it's common to pay more for a flight that gives you the frequent miles, when you could have paid much less for the same flight which gives you no points at all. Don't forget that even if you do gain those points, quite often you lose those points as they expire in time, because you couldn't use them fast enough. Were you to pay less in first place, you would have had that money in your bank.