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Is there a difference and if no, which one do you use more often?

  • Yes, there is a difference between "saving more" and "spending less"

    Votes: 5 100.0%
  • No, there is no difference and I use more often "saving more"

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, there is no difference and I use more often "spending less"

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    5
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys,

I need your help. I need your personal opinion as I don't think there's one best answer.

Is there a difference between "Saving more" and "Spending less"? If you think there is, then please explain me your point of view and also which one you will use more often.

TL;DR (Goal of this discussion) Just tell me which one is the most popular. I mean, if you had to google it, would you make a distinction between "how to save more money" and "how to spend less money"?

TL;DR (My opinion) Based on popularity, I think people are looking for "how to make more money" and "how to save more money" and by playing on these two variables, it completes the equation (savings = income - expenses) where "spending less" comes from "saving more" and that's why people are not looking "how to spend less money". Also, from a cognitive bias, when talking about money, the word "less" seems negative/restrictive as opposed to "more" and that's why we want to do "more money/savings". Though, when trying to be specific, I think there may be a distinction as you can see in my example at the end of this message.

Definition

Saving / Savings
  • The act or an instance of economising
  • Savings : Money put by
  • The excess of income over consumption expenditures
  • A usually specified lower cost
  • A saving is a reduction in the amount of time or money that is used or needed
  • Your savings are the money that you have saved, especially in a bank or a building society
  • Investopedia : Savings is the money a person has left over when they subtract their consumer spending from their disposable income over a given time period. Savings can be used to increase income through investing.
Spending
  • The act of paying out money
  • To consume wastefully
  • To expend or waste wealth
  • Investopedia : Consumer spending is the total money spent on final goods and services by individuals and households for personal use and enjoyment in an economy. Contemporary measures of consumer spending include all private purchases of durable goods, nondurable goods, and services. Consumer spending can be regarded as complementary to personal saving, investment spending, and production in an economy.
People trying to explain the difference
  • The Difference Between Spending Less and Saving Money
    • Spending less = Buying a cheaper version of something
    • Saving more = Buying at discount
  • The difference between saving and not spending
    • More about the difference between "saving" and "not spending"
    • How much money have I saved from not smoking? None, because I've spent that money elsewhere
  • (In French) La différence entre économiser, épargner et investir (+nos conseils)
    • Even if the translation of "économiser" and "épargner" are both "to save", let's try this
    • If I translate "économiser" as "spend less", then spending less is optimising our expenses
    • If I translate "épargner" as "saving more", since savings are what's left from subtracting your consumer spending from your disposable income, then saving more means either reducing your consumer spending or increasing your disposable income (in order to save that money).
People using it interchangeably
  • Title of an article "6 Ways To Trick Yourself Into Saving More And Spending Less" 6 Ways To Trick Yourself Into Saving More And Spending Less - Money Under 30
  • Found on a french website : Si tu te demandes si « économiser » et « épargner » sont des mots interchangeables, la réponse est oui et non. En économisant (en réduisant tes dépenses), tu peux épargner (mettre plus d’argent de côté).
    • Even if the translation of "économiser" and "épargner" are both "to save", let's try this
      • Basically, it's saying that if you spend less, then you can save more
Google Trends https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=save more,spend less
  • Worldwide, "save more" is more popular than "spend less" (it doesn't mean it's about money, it can be time for instance)
  • In Canada, popularity distribution is 93% for "save more" against 7% for "spend less"
    • All provinces are 100% "save more" except Ontario at 82% and BC at 98%.
  • In the US, popularity distribution is 80% for "save more" against 20% for "spend less"
  • In the UK, popularity distribution is 77% for "save more" against 23% for "spend less"
  • In Australia, popularity distribution is 30% for "save more" against 70% for "spend less" (the only country which "spend less" is more popular)
My thoughts on all this
  • I liked the point of view where if you need a car then spending less on means you don't have to buy a Ferrari when a Toyota does the job and then saving more meant that even though you will be buying a Toyota, you should buy it at discount.
  • Also, I guess it depends on the subject. When talking about frugality and minimalism, I guess we are talking about ways to spend less.
  • From a mathematical point of view, yes "Savings = Income - Spending", therefore saving more basically means spending less.
  • But as pointed out, the other way around is not necessarily true, since spending less on your current expenses will lead you with more money left, which you could then decide to spend on something else. Basically, that means that by spending less, you can have more while keeping the same amount of savings.
    • Example
      • I have an income of 100$ and I want to spend 50$ and save 50$. I like to buy books.
        1. I see a book at 50$. I buy it right away and save my other 50$ left.
        2. I see a book at 50$. I search the internet and find it on discount at 30$. I buy it and save my 70$ left.
        3. I see a book at 50$. I search the internet and find it on discount at 30$. I find another book on discount at 20$. I buy both and save my 50$ left.
      • Case 1 is my current situation.
      • Case 2, I spent less and therefore I saved more.
      • Case 3, I spent less on each item, but I didn't save more as my total expenses remained the same, though I had more for my money.
        • Still, does that mean I spent less on the first book in order to buy the second book OR did I save more on the first book in order to buy the second book?
Is the glass half full or half empty? (My answer to that is : If the last action you did was filling it, then it's half full. If the last action you did was drinking/emptying it, then it's half empty. I guess we can do an analogy with saving and spending...)
 

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I see the difference between the two as what you do with the excess money. If you buy something cheaper and then invest the difference, you are saving. If you are using the difference to buy something else cheaper, you may be spending less compared to buying at full price.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just asked my spouse and she told me the difference was clear to her. She laughed and said it was clear to all women. When she goes shopping and everything is discounted -25% saying "Save more!", well, she's saving more, but that doesn't mean she'll spend less. I guess we all know that situation when the spouse comes back from shopping saying "It was discounted -50%! ...so I bought two!" (Note : Not being sexist here, this happens to women AND men)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's also how marketing works in order to make people spend more while thinking they are saving more. Instead of selling at 4$, sell at 5$ and add a -20% discount. That's also true for bulk deals which aren't deals : Buy 1 for 10$, 2 for 18$ or 3 for 21$. Sure that's some kind of deal, but do you really need 2 or 3? They didn't reduce the price when you buy more, they boosted the price when you buy less... Same for sizes : buy a small drink 2$, a medium 2.50$ or a big 2.75$. Since the price jumped 50¢ from small to medium, but only 25¢ from medium to big, it seems like buying a big is a deal, but is it? You're simply ending spending more. Do you really need a big drink? Those deals are good only if you truly more or bigger or if it's a recurring expense, but otherwise it's just making you spend more.
 

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Is there a difference between "Saving more" and "Spending less"? If you think there is, then please explain me your point of view and also which one you will use more often.
Yes there is a difference, and it depends if you are speaking on the macro or transaction view of saving more. Spending (less) tends to be more consistent to the micro/transactional view of saving more and therefore used more interchangeably.

Macro View using your definitions:
Saving / Savings
  • The excess of income over consumption expenditures
  • Your savings are the money that you have saved, especially in a bank or a building society
  • Investopedia : Savings is the money a person has left over when they subtract their consumer spending from their disposable income over a given time period. Savings can be used to increase income through investing.
Micro or Transactional View:

Saving: Money put by
  • The act or an instance of economising
  • A usually specified lower cost
  • A saving is a reduction in the amount of time or money that is used or needed
Spending
  • To expend or waste wealth
  • The act of paying out money
  • To consume wastefully
My view is if you have ‘macro’ savings, that that is the money you have in the bank, investments, or as you said what is left over from your income-spending.

If you ‘save more’ on an item, you paid less on the individual transaction or ‘spend less’ on that transaction. However, as you said, you could have more transaction (bulk buying) and your ‘macro savings’ would be the same (or even less).

I try to save as much as I can on most of my purchase, or spend less than I need to on the purchase by buying on sale. At the same time, I ensure that my overall savings is more than my overall spending.
 

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That's also how marketing works in order to make people spend more while thinking they are saving more. Instead of selling at 4$, sell at 5$ and add a -20% discount. That's also true for bulk deals which aren't deals : Buy 1 for 10$, 2 for 18$ or 3 for 21$. Sure that's some kind of deal, but do you really need 2 or 3? They didn't reduce the price when you buy more, they boosted the price when you buy less... Same for sizes : buy a small drink 2$, a medium 2.50$ or a big 2.75$. Since the price jumped 50¢ from small to medium, but only 25¢ from medium to big, it seems like buying a big is a deal, but is it? You're simply ending spending more. Do you really need a big drink? Those deals are good only if you truly more or bigger or if it's a recurring expense, but otherwise it's just making you spend more.
This is all mico/transactional. I am the bulk buyer. I would do the following. If it was 1 for $10 or 3 for $21, and I only truly needed one, I would find two other people who needed the other two. Same with drinks or food which is a little different. As a family of 4, I will usually buy two large items for $2.75 and split them between all four of us. So I spent $5.50 instead of $10 it works surprisingly well. We got a triple scoop of ice creams $7.50 and paid $.50 for two extra cups, instead o $4.25 a person. So $8 instead of $12.75. So I saved $4.75 more or spent $4.75 on the transaction. My overall savings doesn't change as I put that aside separately.
 

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We have a budget and if we happen to make significant savings in our purchases, we chock that up to savings that were above plan. But then we are passed the impulse phase of our life.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes there is a difference, and it depends if you are speaking on the macro or transaction view of saving more. Spending (less) tends to be more consistent to the micro/transactional view of saving more and therefore used more interchangeably.

Macro View using your definitions:
Micro or Transactional View:

My view is if you have ‘macro’ savings, that that is the money you have in the bank, investments, or as you said what is left over from your income-spending.

If you ‘save more’ on an item, you paid less on the individual transaction or ‘spend less’ on that transaction. However, as you said, you could have more transaction (bulk buying) and your ‘macro savings’ would be the same (or even less).

I try to save as much as I can on most of my purchase, or spend less than I need to on the purchase by buying on sale. At the same time, I ensure that my overall savings is more than my overall spending.
Thank you, that's very interesting to point out the two different points of view and it makes a lot of sense.
 
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