I have this vague sense of unease whenever someone tells me they use Groupon.
It’s not because I am against the concept of using coupons to buy something, it’s because Groupon reverses the process.
The whole concept of cash flow management starts with first identifying what your inflows and outflows are, and from there managing the tradeoffs you have to make to reach your goals.
Using cash flow to reach your goals means allocating, ahead of time, the money you are going to use for different purposes.
But with Groupon, since there’s a different promotion in place for you to buy every day, the cash flow management gets sabotaged in 2 ways:
1) You are going to get tempted every day to buy something you may not have planned for at a price that may or may not be good value.
2) Unless you have a willpower made of steel, you will act on this tempation from time to time, and it will be impulsive, and it may not have been anything you were planning on buying.
So even if a good deal (or what looks like one) may come across from time to time for something you were planning on buying anyway, does it make sense to expose yourself to offers on a daily basis for things you were not planning on buying?