Understanding Is the Key to Saving More Money

by David Ning · 10 comments

Saving more money, a goal we should all have. Sometimes, it is quite difficult to ignore our desire to want that new thing. We can all relate. Whether it is that golf club, new pair of shoes, or the TV, they all seem to reach out to us and say “You know you cannot live without me… Bring me home today”.

Once in a while, we can temporary talk us out of the wish but let’s just say that we just cannot do it this time. We have decided that the new product is exactly what we need and we won’t be denied until we get one. Then what?

At this point, all is not lost. We just have to understand and appreciate our impulses and desires and still try to maximize our savings.

Take my desire to always want that cup of Starbucks coffee. There are many times this comes up and I would feel the burning desire to drive to the nearest coffee shop. In the old days, I would get a grande (medium) sized coffee, but I have come to realize that all I really need is a tall (small) cup because all it takes is the first 25 ml of liquid to calm my nerves. I learned to stop thinking about whether a medium or small cup is a better value because what’s the most important is how much I end up saving and ultimately keep in my pocket. I understand my desire (to want coffee), the product (Starbucks coffee size differences), and the solution just followed.

The key to saving more money

Here’s another example, my future purchase of a flat screen TV. I don’t own one right now, but I want one every time I go to Costco. I did some research over the past few months, and I know that the ones with 1080p are more expensive because it’s provides the best picture quality in the market today. For many of us, we want a flat screen TV because it is cool, not because it’s got 1080p. If we understand what it is that makes us happy and calm our impulses, then we won’t waste our money on the high end model that may cost $2,199 but instead get the lower end model that might be $1,399. Most people will be just as happy with purchasing either, but the ones that take the time to understand their desire would have saved an extra $800.

These are just two examples, but this actually applies to almost everything we purchase because there are always comparable products at different price ranges. The key is to understand our need and want, understand the product so we can make informed decisions, and the solution will soon follow.

Understanding is the key to saving more money.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Calvin April 8, 2008 at 10:26 am

Well put. I do this too and make sure I’m not wasting more money than I need to waste even on impulse buys :)


LiteDeals April 8, 2008 at 12:57 pm

I really enjoy David’s writing on the psychological aspects of personal finance and shopping. In my view, the “entrepreneur struggling to be a good investor one” is classic for this blog.

Just let me know when you are ready to get a HDTV – just post a request on our forum and LiteDeals will do a personalized deal-hunting for you 😉


Hannah April 8, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Very well put. I make sure my money goes almost immediately into my high yield savings account when I get paid so I don’t have much left to spend on frivolities.


MoneyNing April 8, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Calvin: Good stuff :) I’m glad someone else shares my views..

LiteDeals: Thanks for the help. Maybe you can run a giveaway some day and give me a flat screen TV…

Hannah: Good work. I think what you are doing with your money is another great idea.


Joe @ SimpleDebtFreeFinance.com April 9, 2008 at 8:13 am

You make some great points David.

I would also add that a great aid in controlling your impulsive buying urges is to consider how long you have to work for that item you are thinking of buying… that sort of perspective really makes you think twice about buying something – anything 😉


The Blad Monkey April 9, 2008 at 9:07 am

I am in this boat right now. I got $300 for my birthday. What to do with it. I have been planning on buying a new LCD monitor for my computer and finally dumping the old CRT. I can get it for around $250. But, I don’t actually need it. Being a tightwad, I am now struggling with whether I want to spend the cash for the new toy, or put it in my savings account and just sit on it until my CRT finally dies.

This is the downside to getting money as a gift, I always struggle with what to do with it. :o(


MoneyNing April 9, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Joe: Heh yup that’s a great way to look at it :) Once you understand that you have to work 200 hours after taxes to get that flat screen TV, you wouldn’t want to buy it.

Blad Monkey: You can always put it in a high yield savings account or invest it. In the long run, you will get more money to buy more stuff with it.


The Bald Monkey April 9, 2008 at 6:31 pm

I have a fairly high yeild account that I use for most of my savings. $300 just doesn’t grow that fast though.


Double Journey April 11, 2008 at 12:20 am

I’m waiting to buy that TV I want. Despite my frugality, I’ve decided to go with the 1080P 50″ Plasma I want. I’m going to the high end, despite my better judgment. Haven’t bought a TV for over a decade, figured I should get the one I really want :)


Ross May 9, 2013 at 5:11 am

My Dear, Beloved Readers,

This article, “Understanding Is the Key to Saving More Money” is all very well, but “understanding” what? I would say understanding yourself of who you are. Reading the sentence, “You know you cannot live without me… Bring me home today” made me laugh really because this is not applicable only to things and objects but also to people. I know loads and loads of people who are ready to pay people money for being with them, for their company. Others are even more than willing to pay people for sex, both men and women. This, to me is lack of spiritual intelligence. Do you need sex for you to feel this and that? I do NOT think so. Do we, the SELVES, the SOULS, pure ENERGY and CONCIOUSNESS need other souls to have sex in order to be happy and content? We are happy and content ALREADY! Do you have a good feeling giving what your body needs – sex in this case – even material things? Whether you have them or not, I repeat, YOU are already what you are looking for in people and in things. Who are you? Who do you think you are? THIS is understanding, wisdom, awareness worth ‘understanding’. Once you know who you really are, you’ll be saving huge amount of money for your SELF and for OTHERS to spare.

Ross, NLP Spiritual Life Coach


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