How to Think About Promotions and Deals

By Miranda Marquit

| Photographs By guruXOOX

Getting 50% off a product or service is always an ego boost — and it can help your pocketbook too.

Still, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of these promotions. There are so many deal sites now that it seems like you could spend money on “great deals” several times a day, depending on how many sites you’re signed up with.

Getting promotions can be exciting, but in order to make sure that you are truly getting the best bang for your buck, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

Spending money is still spending money

First of all, it’s crucial to understand that when you get a “bargain,” you aren’t actually saving money. Instead, you’re spending it. You’re just spending less of it. This is an important distinction. Truly saving money means that it’s going to a future purpose that is part of a well-thought-out financial plan. No matter how great a deal is, when you spend money you’re really just spending money.

Before you jump on that special promotion, stop and think about what you’re doing, and how you’re using your money. Is this something you really want to spend money on? Think about what you’re sacrificing in the future if you spend money to get a “good deal” now.

Would you have bought it anyway?

Ask yourself — and answer honestly — whether or not you would have bought the product or service anyway. If you’ve been planning to buy a new pair of shoes for a few weeks, and the deal site has the chance to save 30% on shoes, then it might make sense to buy. However, if you have no real need (or desire) for a new juicer, it doesn’t matter if you’re getting 65% off. You weren’t planning on making the purchase, and now you’ve spent money you didn’t plan to spend. The argument can be made that you’re wasting your money. If you’re truly going to get the most out of these promotions, you have to limit yourself to planned purchases: Get only what you will actually use.

Set aside fun money

In some cases, you might be planning to have a good time, but the promotions are just still too pricey. You can start up a lifestyle fund. Set aside money each month that can be saved up. That way, when a good deal comes — and it’s something you want (rather than need) — you have the money to pay for it. Promotions aren’t good deals if you’re going into debt to take advantage of them. The interest you pay will likely negate any savings you enjoy for using the promotion. It may be counterintuitive, but planning ahead a little bit can allow you to enjoy a little spontaneity in some of your purchases.

Bottom line

These types of promotions can provide great opportunities for you to find good deals and spend less than you would have otherwise. However, to get the best bang for your buck, you have to refrain from buying just to buy. As with all spending, it’s best to spend consciously, and have a plan for your money.

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This article was written by Miranda Marquit from MoneyNing and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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