Saving money, does it really feel that great?

AP Photo/Ronald Zak

There are surveys to support virtually any view you care to hold but the latest dopey one trumpets that Brits feel just super when they save a bit of cash.

The study by, presumably to back up the idea that using their website will make you feel like a thrifty marvel, says that 48% of people – still less than half, mind you – say they take great pleasure from securing a bargain, whether that means saving £1 or £100.

So the assumption would be that the other 52% of people – the statistical majority – are disciples of the church of retail therapy where maxing up the credit card, sucking up the overdraft or simply blowing their monthly wages on clothes, books, shoes or whatever makes them feel better because they feel they deserve it.
There really is something liberating about just giving in to wanton consumerism. It's a bit of a thrill tinged with remorse and as these two conflicting emotions wage battle the therapeutic bit kicks in.

Tongue-tied and embarrassed
I'm not making any judgement on either approach to spending money but to claim, as this survey does, that saving money is becoming second nature to most Brits just doesn't hold up in my experience. We all know how uncomfortable it is to haggle over prices. Visit a souk abroad on holiday and most Brits become tongue-tied and embarrassed at the compulsory haggling, scurrying past shops and back to the hotel simply to avoid having to take part.

Sure, back home it's nice to go into a store and get 5% off an ex-display model tv, or a top that has a pulled stitch, but does it give you a warm glow or just a nagging feeling that if they were prepared to knock 5% off the price anyway, why couldn't it have been 10%?

Then there there's the claim that many of us are going out of our way to find a bargain. Well, if I have a coupon to hand that I found online can print off and take to the shop, sure, I'll do it. But I wouldn't drive to the next town just to save a bob or two.

Further, those who commissioned the study reveal it says that 64% of those quizzed said they feel cheated if, after purchasing something, they find they could have bought it cheaper elsewhere.

This is simply called having your nose rubbed in it. And I don't need a daft survey to tell me that people don't like that.
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