Friday, June 6, 2008

Let them eat coupons

Many people gripe that they never have enough money -- even I've been guilty of uttering it on more than one occasion -- but while most think it's because they don't make enough, it's usually because they don't save enough.

Guess which income bracket (as a whole) routinely visits websites such as and to garner ultimate savings? Or, for that matter, which income bracket scours the Internet the most, looking for above-fabulous deals and printable coupons? If you guessed low-income web surfers, you're wrong. According to a still-relevant article published in Time Magazine in September of 2007, statistics show that the web traffic to the aforementioned sites, for example, actually hail from the wealthiest segment of Internet users! Thirty-two percent of Fat Wallet users, for instance, earn between $60,000 and $100,000 per year, while 13.9% earn between $100,000 and $150,000. The same goes for -- over 23% of visitors to the website earn over $100,000 per year!

Essentially what the rich and famous, I mean frugal, are showing us is that it takes more than just making a lot of money to be "rich." It takes saving. The most-searched terms within the higher-income demographic included such keywords as "cheap," "discount" and "bargain," and usually gravitated toward travel-sector specific niches, such as "cheap hotels," "cheap cruises," flights and car rentals. Interestingly enough, when higher-income people search for consumer items such as cars or electronics, they are less likely to attach "cheap" or "bargain" to the search term -- probably because they expect travel to have the widest range of pricetag fluctuations.

So, if high-incomers are browsing discount sites more than low-incomers, where are the low-incomers dwelling on the net? According to the Time article, it turns out they are exploring designer clothes, expensive cars and exotic electronics.

And sometimes, a cell phone isn't just a cell phone, especially to the lower-income demographic. The climax of this moral resides in a statistic from the Apple iPhone website. Yes, we'd all love one, but at about $399 to $499 a pop, they are one expensive form of communication. Interestingly enough (at least since late last year), "the income segment with the highest percentage of visitors to the iPhone site was 18 to 24 years of age, earning less than $30,000 per year." And then we wonder why many of us can't afford to buy a home in our 20s and 30s....even in our 40s.

Simply put, saving is a state of mind that, as evidenced, even the rich can afford! As cliche as it sounds, don't become a statistic.

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