Tuesday, May 13, 2014

5 Reasons I Said Goodbye to Deals Blogs

We all know that one simple way to curb our spending is to stay out of the stores. This is an easy way to cut clutter & the budget at the same time, because if you're not in Bath & Body Works, you won't talk yourself into buying 5 bottles of soap, just because it's cheaper that way.

And if you're not in T.J. Maxx you won't even see that cobalt skirt marked down to a crazy low clearance price. (Yeah, you already have a cobalt skirt, but this one is a-line. So versatile!)

If you're not in World Market, you won't buy the Lavender Ironing Water. It smells great, of course, but you hate ironing.
You get the idea. No shopping = no spending. Easy enough.

But...dun dun DUN! You are active online

This is what happened to me. I'm a homebody so shopping is not usually how I spend my leisure time. And I can avoid online shopping fairly easily (Amazon. eBay. Etsy.)

Temptation for me came in a different form: my reading habit. I love blogs. I read hundreds of blogs every week (and no, that is not an exaggeration).

Among that number were about 10 or so money related blogs. All were self-professed "frugal" or "penny pinching" blogs.
These blogs were actually my first introduction to the blogosphere, back when our family was increasing but our budget wasn't. (Actually, that's still true.)

These blogs once offered inspiration and encouragement to a struggling homemaker, but as the years passed I started noticing subtle - and not so subtle - changes. These blogs became businesses.

There are only so many times you can explain just exactly how coupons work or how to save on your energy bill. (How many times have you read the advice, "Check for electronic 'vampires'."?)

Blogs that are businesses need constant content. So these blogs shared deals that they came across, whether in a physical store or online.

I found myself in 2013, about six years after I started blogging, feeling creeping discontent seep in whenever I read these blogs or when they came across my Twitter or Facebook pages.
I know how to coupon. I can sign up for freebies when I want to. I use Swagbucks (sometimes). I know how to do a search for online coupon codes before I order anything.

My problem wasn't lack of knowledge. My problem hadn't changed in the past six years from when I was first inspired to seek out these frugal gurus. The issue was still lack of money. Instead of feeling inspired after reading something from a frugal website, I felt annoyed by all the "deals".

I once read a study that said every person has a limit to how many times they can tell themselves no. Once you hit that limit, the struggle with your own will becomes harder.
A constant Twitter feed of "Only pay shipping!" and "This is the lowest price this season!" and "BOGO" or my least favorite of these pitches: "I just love my one of a kind piece of jewelry sent to me by this gifted artisan and you can have a similar piece starting at just $49.99! Which is your favorite?!"

It's all too much.

I don't need a discount for scarves I won't wear or 1/2 price on classes I don't want or a free tube of makeup in a color I don't use.

So, I started saying "no" to the deal blogs and bloggers. I no longer have any subscriptions to this type of blog in my reader. I cleared out most of them from my Twitter and Facebook (although not all, I admit).
  • Because I'm already a fairly decent penny-pincher.
  • Because I value my time.
  • Because I can think more about the blessings God has given me and less about whether I "need" a deeply discounted product.
  • Because I can always stop by if I want to see what's happening on a specific blog.
  • Because there's always, always, ALWAYS another sale.
Saying no to the source instead of no to the products makes me feel 10 pounds lighter and $1,000 richer.

That's a good trade.

Photo credits: all photos from Free Images.


Elisabeth said...

I seriously just "liked" a fb page about penny pinching today. Now I'm wondering if it was a good idea!

Karen said...

It's not a BAD idea. But if you start seeing more posts about buying stuff than saving money, you'll get where I'm coming from. Encouragement for saving money is always appreciated. Being exhorted to buy stuff I don't need is not.

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