How to Avoid ‘Spaving’ – A Biden-Era Scheme

Vladyslav Starozhylov /
Vladyslav Starozhylov /

Are you really saving money, or are you wasting more of it? That’s the question this article should make you ask yourself. Because, for a growing number of Americans, it’s, unfortunately, the latter.

At some point or another, we’ve all fallen prey to “spaving,” you know, that idea that you’re saving money by spending more. At its core, it’s about as hyperbolic as you can get. I mean, spending and saving are opposites, right?

But what about those Amazon deals that tell you that you’ll get free shipping if you add just another $3.25 to your order? Credit card points, BOGO, coupon codes, in-store “cash,” etc.

Sometimes these really are a deal and could save you some money. But most of the time, you end up spending more and not really saving anything.

However, as inflation has skyrocketed under Joe Biden, retailers have increased the use of this gimmick over and over again – enough so, in fact, that we now apparently have a new word for it.

As Jacob Channel of Lending Tree says, the appeal is totally understandable, especially these days. “But 90 percent of the time, when you break it down, it doesn’t make sense. You’re not actually saving money if you are spending more of it.”

Now, to be sure, retailers have been doing this for as long as anyone can remember. And it’s certainly not illegal unless there’s some false advertising going on. The sheer number of these “deals” is growing, and the statistics show they aren’t doing the consumer any good.

As Fox Business reported, for example, “credit balances jumped 47%” from 2021 to 2023. Analysts predict 2024 to “smash record highs.”

CNBC noted that in the last year, temporary retail price reductions were up 72 percent, and promotions were up 15%. At the same time personal savings rates are way down, at a mere 3.6 percent. In April of 2020, it was at an all-time high of 32 percent.

So, how do you make sure you aren’t getting taken advantage of?

It’s simple, really, at least in theory. Only buy what you intend to purchase.

Don’t give in to those impulse buys. Don’t just do it because you feel pressured to. That’s went you become a victim. If you see a deal, pause and really think about its costs. Unfortunately, in most cases, the odds won’t be in your favor.