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Spaving explained: Financial expert on shopping trend that encourages more spending to save


(NEW YORK) — For retail lovers there’s nothing quite like the rush of a good deal, and whether it’s TikTok Shop or discounts for digital boutiques on Instagram, deals are seemingly always at shoppers’ fingertips.

The digital trend of “spaving,” spending more money to save more overall, has taken off online.

“Brands have always pulled out all the stops, but the stops that they can pull out are … greatly enhanced now because of the technology and data that they have available,” financial planner Natasha Knox, founder of Alaphia Financial Wellness, told ABC News.

Despite inflation, Americans are still spending money, owing $1.2 trillion in credit card debt, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Q1 financial report.

Meanwhile, online promotions are on the rise by 26% from the same time last year, according to Numerator.

Knox explained that “the sophistication of understanding our particular buying patterns and habits” has made shoppers “that much more susceptible” to spending.

Mom of two Kristen Kline told ABC News “spaving” is a trend she has become more familiar with in recent years online.

“About half the time or more, I will spend more to save more, especially, I think, in the past couple of years on TikTok and online and Instagram with all of those ads,” she said. “They’re really enticing.”

Kline will “spave” ordering things like household necessities, but other times she’s spent money just because there’s seemingly a deal.

“They’ll say, you know, ‘this is going to sell out.’ And it sold out last time. So, I used to go — ‘oh my gosh, I have to get it,"” Kline recalled. “Because of that, I have been sending my daughter a lot of the things that I bought that maybe I don’t really need.”

When it comes down to spending and saving or skipping entirely, Knox suggests staying practical.

“If it’s for something that is, let’s say, consumable that you use regularly anyway and that you have the budget for — it makes sense,” she said. “But when it is items that were not planned — you end up buying two things in order to get the third one free — most importantly, you didn’t account for it or budget for it then that’s when it becomes problematic.”

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