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The Discountant

July 9, 2013



The Discountant

BY definition, an accountant is a qualified person who is trained in bookkeeping, in preparation, auditing and  analysis of accounts. In the corporate world, accountants are the busiest people in their workplace. They have to keep track of the company’s cash flow.  One of the major part of their work is to add and record the expenses from the different departments. Now, what do we call a person who also performs addition, but this time around, he instead calculates the total discount he can get out of great deals? He is what we can call as the discountant.
I have a colleague whom I have known for quite some time. One time during lunch break, she showed me an iPod. It turned out that she did not buy it. It was borrowed from a friend who keeps on upgrading gadgets. She demonstrated to me the features and one thing that caught my attention were the mobile apps for credit cards.  When we opened the apps, I was surprised to find out from her story that she was able to maximize her various credit cards and make them work in her favor. She can even use her card to treat friends to a fancy lunch or dinner for free, to which her sister remarked that they are at the opposite of each other. Her sister is an Accountant. She, being the opposite, was jokingly referred to as “the discountant.”
The discountant believes in achieving one’s financial freedom but not through savings alone.  To her, freedom means that she is free and is not constrained to do what she wants, especially on buying her wants.  She believes that every person can still enjoy shopping while saving. There is no need to struggle and deprive oneself of a reward just to be able to save money.  According to her, one can still buy trendy shoes, fashionable clothes, branded bags without compromising his savings.  One can even get his massage at a spa for free! Isn’t that great?
Below are some pointers that we may use to get more value for our money. In essence, what she preaches is to buy more for less money.
1) Take the saving system to your shopping system. In buying things, one should have the same mind-set or system as to how one saves his money. For example, if one saves money for a purpose one should also buys things with a purpose in mind and not just to buy things recklessly.
2) Earn from credit card. Credit cards are a great financial tool. However, most people misuse it and become a slave to it. Master your credit card and make it work for you. There are a lot of ways of making money out of credit card. Nowadays, credit-card companies offer great deals just to outdo each other.
3) More savings from credit card.  There are credit cards that give discounts of 5 percent to 8 percent per transaction, especially on grocery purchases. For a P10,000 purchase, that translates to P800 savings.
4) Delayed shopping is worth the wait. This has to do with our behavior toward spending. There are times that stores or malls have mall-wide or clearance sales. Sometimes, discounts go as high as 70 percent. One can buy the same item and quality for less money.  There was once a chess grandmaster who won a game and was quoted as saying “ If you want to win, then wait!.” The same goes for shopping.
5) Early shopping is better than on time. Most of the time, off-season shopping is much better because there is no demand, the price will be lowered just for the store to be able to convert their inventory to money.  Also, it is also during off-season shopping that one can source out the best price. Buying during time of need tends to be more expensive as one does not have the luxury of time to scout for deals.
6) Studying can help you get a great deal. Buying, just like investing, needs studying to be able to get good results, especially nowadays, by learning the different buying modes, one can get great discounts. For example, knowledge of Internet buying sites can help a person buy with as much as 50-percent discount as compared to buying from stores or malls. As the saying goes, information is power.
7) More discounts more Shopping Money! What more can I say? More discounts translate to less money spent. Money saved is money earned.
Happy Spending!
Special Thanks to Wency Chavez (“the discountant) for helping a lot with this article. She will share more at her newly created blog
Edmund Lao is a Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines. To learn more about financial planning and how to become  an RFP, attend our free personal finance talk on July 11, 7 pm PSE Center Ortigas. Register at

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