The Concept of Spaving: Spending to Save

The Concept of Spaving: Spending to Save


In the realm of personal finance, there’s a term that captures a peculiar spending behavior many of us have encountered: “spaving.” A portmanteau of “spending” and “saving,” spaving refers to the act of spending money with the intention of saving money. This phenomenon often manifests in various promotional deals and consumer habits that entice individuals to make purchases they might not have otherwise considered. While the allure of saving money is undeniable, the actual impact of spaving on one’s finances can be more complex than it appears.

What is Spaving?

What is Spaving?

Spaving is essentially the practice of spending money under the premise of achieving savings. Common examples of spaving include:

  • Buy-One-Get-One (BOGO) Deals: These promotions promise an extra item for “free” when you purchase one at full price. For instance, buying a pair of shoes and receiving another pair at no additional cost.
  • Free Shipping Thresholds: Online retailers often offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount. Customers might add extra items to their cart to avoid paying for shipping.
  • Bulk Purchase Discounts: Stores may offer significant discounts when items are bought in larger quantities, such as a case of 24 soda cans for the price of 18.
  • Membership Discounts: Programs like Costco or Amazon Prime offer discounts and deals exclusive to members, encouraging an upfront payment for potential future savings.

The Pros of Spaving

Spaving can offer several advantages, making it an appealing strategy for those looking to maximize their purchasing power while minimizing expenses.

  1. Immediate Savings: The most apparent benefit is the immediate discount or deal. For example, getting two items for the price of one can be advantageous if both items are needed.
  2. Stocking Up: Bulk purchases or BOGO deals can be particularly beneficial for non-perishable items, ensuring you won’t need to purchase them again for a while.
  3. Reduced Shipping Costs: Meeting the minimum threshold for free shipping can often justify adding an extra item to your cart, especially if the cost of the item is lower than the shipping fee.

The Cons of Spaving

Despite its appeal, spaving also comes with several drawbacks that can undermine its potential benefits and lead to unintended financial consequences.

  1. Unnecessary Purchases: The biggest downside is the potential for buying items you don’t need. The allure of a deal can lead to spending more than intended.
  2. Overspending: Spaving can lead to a false sense of savings. Spending $100 to save $20 is still a net expense of $80.
  3. Clutter: Accumulating items because they were on sale can contribute to household clutter, which might require additional effort and expense to manage.
  4. Opportunity Cost: Money spent on unnecessary items could have been saved or invested, potentially yielding better financial returns in the long run.

Does Spaving Really Save Money?

The effectiveness of spaving in saving money largely depends on the consumer’s discipline and needs. For individuals who carefully consider each purchase and utilize deals for items they genuinely need, spaving can result in meaningful savings. However, for those prone to impulse buying, the temptation to spend more to “save” can erode financial health.

Strategic Spaving:

To make the most out of spaving, consider the following tips:

  • Assess Need vs. Want: Before making a purchase, ask yourself if the item is something you truly need or if it’s just the deal that’s enticing.
  • Set a Budget: Allocate a specific amount for spaving activities and stick to it.
  • Plan Purchases: Take advantage of spaving opportunities for items you know you’ll need in the future, such as holiday gifts or household essentials.
  • Compare Prices: Ensure that the deal is genuinely a good one by comparing prices across different retailers.


Spaving, when approached with caution and strategy, can indeed lead to savings. However, it requires a mindful approach to ensure that the perceived savings are not outweighed by unnecessary expenditures. By carefully evaluating each spaving opportunity and maintaining disciplined spending habits, consumers can strike a balance between enjoying discounts and preserving their financial well-being.

Featured Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *