You know when people say they’ve “saved” money, like from getting a good deal on something or using a coupon, only really what they did was spend money because savings only counts when it’s actually *saved*?
“What’s that? The Ferrari dealership is having a $50,000 off sale? Awesome – here’s $300,000!”
“A two-for-one sale on these shoes? Sweet – I’ll take 10 please!”
Well, I recently found out there’s a term for this fake savings, and it’s called “Spavings” – a combination of “spending” and “saving” :) Which I am now completely obsessed with, and have actually gone out and created my very own “Spavings Account” to start tracking my own fake savings! Haha…
It’s so pretty, isn’t it? (Although technically, if I’m now saving the spavings wouldn’t it really go back to being savings again? Or would that be Zombavings (Zombie Savings) because we’ve now resurrected the original spavings? ;))
Anyways, as you can see, the account already has $35.68 in it and that’s only after two weeks.
I freakin’ love it! The plan is to use this money here to max out a future year’s Roth IRA account, similar to what we did with my old Challenge Everything Experiment back in the day. And of course we track it all *separately* to better help with motivation and being able to actually SEE the difference we’re making – else it’ll just get lost with all the other saving and spending we do.
Here are the spavings/zombavings comprising of this new fund so far:
- $1.00 — dollar off my coffee this morning due to Panera rewards card
- $9.50 — difference between two products I was considering buying, eventually going with the cheaper option to save money (and now is truly saved!)
- $10.00 — amount I was about to spend on a new coin on eBay, only I was 10 seconds too late and someone snatched it up right from under me (not sure if this is technically considered spavings, but since I had already committed to spending the money, I’m going to count it as it’s now turned back into spaved savings)
- $15.18 — domain name I accidentally renewed for another year and was just gonna let ride, until I convinced myself the very next day to spend the time asking customer service for a refund so I can add this to my new spavings account! Haha…
So as you can see, just the mere action of setting up this new and random fund has already influenced my decisions for the better :)
Who knew we “saved” so much money over time without even really noticing? And the beauty of course is because we don’t notice it much, it kinda feels like free money in a way. Money that would have been spent somewhere else, only now it’s spent right into your bank account!
Man I’m smart….
HAH! If only I could take credit for this. All inspiration actually comes from The Lady In The Black who did a couple of deep dives into this phenomena, and whom I wouldn’t be surprised if coined the word “spavings” to begin with (have any of you ever heard of this term before? I hadn’t!).
These are her two articles that drove me over the edge:
- The Definition of Savings: A Scientific Exploration
- Converting Spavings to Savings: Another Scientific Exploration
You’ll have to check them out if you’re as into this as I am, but in a nutshell The Lady and 5 of her friends got together to track their own spavings over the course of the month, and then came back to report on the tallied results. Here’s what they found:
- On average, the amount of spavings saved per person was $5.61 a day
- They had a total success rate of 83% converting spavings into actual savings
- And all combined the 6 bloggers saved a grand total of $1,010.59 once the month was over
Not too shabby!
Here was the breakdown per blogger if you’re curious:
- She Picks Up Pennies: >$80
- Mrs. Adventure Rich: $138.64
- Budget Like A Lady: $175.47
- I Pick Up Pennies: $180.91
- Tiny Ambitions: $194.66
- The Lady in the Black: $240.91
It looks like none of us are immune to this spavings epidemic – even finance bloggers! Despite how we all like to think we’re saving all the time when we’re actually not. Of course, spending less is preferable than spending more, but at the end of the day it’s all very much still spending.
Nothing we can do about that completely of course, ‘cuz you know – LIFE, however taking a few extra seconds to really consider all these transactions can only help us become better with our money.
And that’s exactly my mission with this new Spavings Fund: to be a lot more conscious with my spending habits, while at the same time at least rewarding myself when I do have to/choose to spend!
We’ll see how long it takes to hit this first $5,500 goal (the longer the better, probably – hah!), but I’ll follow up with reports as time goes on, and if anyone would like to join me I’d love to hear your own results as time passes as well :) Hit me with a note, or drop your findings in the comments anytime!
Because as they say, the friends who spave together slay together! And we’ve got alotta expenses to slay up in here!!
Killer resources and apps:
- Best Budget Templates & Spreadsheets (FREE)— The best free budget templates from around the community! Including the ones I use :)
- Personal Capital* (FREE) — A great app to track your investments and net worth. You can see an in-depth review we did here from a millionaire who checks it daily 😂
- You Need a Budget (YNAB)* (FREE TRIAL, then $14.99/mo or $98.99/year) — One of the BEST budgeting methods in the space, with new users saving $600 on avg their first two months, and more than $6,000 over their first year! Check out my friend Vic’s review of YNAB here that went on to completely change his finances 💪
- Digit (FREE 6 mo. Trial, then $5/mo) — This is one of my favorite apps for automatically saving money, and I even came on board as an advisor I believed in them so much! You can see my full review on Digit here.
- Acorns* ($3-$5/mo) – Similar to Digit, this app helps you automatically INVEST money by rounding up all your transactions to the nearest dollar and then investing it right away for you. My full review of Acorns can be found here.
- Honey (FREE) — By far my favorite coupon service out there! Click the Honey button any time you're about to buy something online, and BOOM - any discounts it finds will be automatically applied at checkout. You can see my write up on them here.
- Credit Karma* (FREE) — An easy way to check and monitor your credit score AND report! See my full review of these guys here.
- My Favorite Blogs + Books < -- Click here to see all my other recommendations!