I feel like every time I go into any store (and, actually, even when I don’t go into a store) I am bombarded with promotions about saving money. Macy’s Coupons, Deals, and Promos – SAVE NOW! Safeway: More Savings to Love. Washington Sports Club: Join Now and SAVE BIG! etc.
American retailers and consumers seem obsessed with saving. Oftentimes when you make a purchase, the receipt will even detail the discounts you received and contain a message saying “You saved $5.73!” or “TOTAL SAVED: $248.96.”
Except, the thing is, you didn’t save $248.96.
Rather, you actually just spent $154.96. Recall that saving is, after all, the exact opposite of spending. By going out and shopping, you are precisely not saving. If you had wanted to save your money, you shouldn’t have gone to Kohl’s and spent it.
Does nobody else realize this? Does this not bother anyone except me?
So, it seems what Americans love is not saving, but spending. And rather than just admitting it, they like to fool themselves (or let themselves be fooled) that they are doing otherwise. You might as well offer someone two donuts for the price of one, tell them that they saved a dollar, and then when they eat both donuts, tell them they have lost weight.