Semantics: Savings versus saving

I was in Chicago last week presenting at a strategic planning meeting for Fiserv. Another presenter, Peter Tufano, the Sylvan C. Coleman Professor of Financial Management at the Harvard Business School and a Filene Institute Research Fellow, made a statement in his presentation that really stuck with me.

"People today have confused saving with savings."

This is such an interesting insight. Saving and thrift are hot topics with credit unions today as belts tighten and the R word (recession) is being batted around. Consider these statements that we all make.

"I saved $15 today at the grocery store."
"I saved more than $500 on my new plasma screen TV from Costco."

The retail industry has stolen the word 'saving' and redefined it as saving money when spending. Saving used to mean putting money away in a savings account or in a piggy bank. But, now we must spend to save.

What can credit unions do to redefine savings yet again?


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