Debunked: Money Saving Tips That Don’t Actually Save you Money

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Woman with coins in jar

When it comes to saving money everyone wants to saves hundreds of pounds with in their first weeks of saving. Which often leads to us to performing some crazy money saving rituals that more often than not save us very little money at all, if not costing you more money in the long run. Over time you may find that you’re spending more and more money keeping up with your little money saving tips. Not all budget solutions it seems are created equal. Here are the ones that may end up costing more than you think.

  1. Buy Cheap Household Furniture or Appliances

Whether you’re moving into a new house, redecorating or something in the home simply needs replacing, it can be difficult to convince yourself to buy the home necessities at full-price. This can be especially hard because there are a huge amounts of national holidays in which retailers celebrate by offering huge savings on household items. While many shoppers – whether they’re looking to save money or just fancy a great deal, are drawn to buying their household necessities in these sales, it’s important for everyone to remember that you always get exactly what you pay for.

Saving yourself money by buying discount furniture and appliances while is a great short term fix – in the long run it can often cost your more money than it would for buying items at full price. Buying a big-ticket item for a low price might mean you end up getting rid of it a lot sooner than you anticipated – causing you to have to shell out more money to replace it. If you really can’t afford to buy full priced reliable items then maybe look for second hand quality furniture and appliances.

  1. Buy Things because It’s On Super Sale

If you’re someone who responds to flash sale marketing emails, and only goes into stores when they have big red 50% off signs out front, then your jilted savvy shopper logic may still be costing you. If you wouldn’t have bought anything had you not seen the sale sign or message, then buying the sale item isn’t saving you money. Buying something you don’t need at a reduced price is still buying something you don’t need, with money that could have been otherwise saved.

  1. Ignore your Car Maintenance Needs

If you ignore a sore throat, you at least have a shot at it disappearing a few days later. That principle however does not  translate for cars. If your brakes need attention, they aren’t going to need less attention if you wait it out. The longer you put off car maintenance for, the higher the mechanic bill can potentially climb. So if you’re looking to save money, take extra care of your car and pay to fix problems as soon as they occur.

  1. Use Sites like Groupon and Wowcher for Deals

To reiterate, if you’re buying things you wouldn’t ordinarily buy, you’re not saving money, even if it is a fantastic deal. Two on-sale pedicures in one month, while it may seem like a fantastic deal, is still two more pedicures than you probably would have otherwise paid for and had. These kinds of sites are handy and great assets when specifically looking for something, but when you visit them weekly, and receive daily emails, you’re inclined to buy things you just don’t need. One solution might be to only visit them when you’re already looking for a specific service or product – rather than frequenting them in your spare time.

  1. Setting a Strict Budget

As with any change you’re wanting to make, it can always be difficult to make the required adjustments. So if you’re looking to save a few pounds here and there – then cutting back on absolutely everything can be near impossible. The main thing to remember is savings take time – you cannot expect to have hundreds saved in the space of a week. If you have managed to save this much this quickly chances are you’ve only spent the bare minimum throughout your time saving.

Which while on the face of things may look fantastic, but you’ll soon miss the little treats you once had and chances are as you begin to get sick of discounted and cheaper products the urge to splurge will be irresistible, and that nice chunk of change you’ve saved won’t last long. Too-strict a budget can lead to an everlasting cycle of saving and spending similar to the cycle of yo yo dieting.

  1. Refusing to Use your Credit Card

If credit cards have gotten you into trouble before, then paying off your debt and restricting your swiping is absolutely the right choice. In fact, after an expensive month, I personally try to hide my card aside and go on an all-cash diet. However, by not allowing yourself to ever use your credit card or never even getting one, you’re missing out on all kinds of rewards, cashback and a way to build up your credit rating. One solution is to only set recurring payments on your credit card.

Many people, millennials especially, avoid credit cards because they don’t trust them. While going credit card-less ensures you remain credit card debt-free, it also means you won’t build credit that lenders might want to see, and you’ll miss out on rewards. Although we don’t recommend racking up a ton of debt, using your credit card for the occasional items – maybe even your weekly food shopping – and paying it back quickly and on time means you could actually end up earning additional cash back just from spending what you would already be spending.  

  1. Spending Money on Fast Fashion

Buying clothes and shoes from big branch stores at incredibly low prices should be a red flag that you’re compromising on something. Aside from the ethical issues surrounding fast fashion, the inexpensive clothing is likely to wear out sooner, or you might rationalize getting rid of clothes sooner because of how inexpensive they were. A £5 t-shirt is no bargain if it’s worn out after a few washes. And those jeans on sale aren’t worth £10 if you’ll wear them just twice before consigning them to the back of your closet.” When it comes to buying clothes, they obviously are essential however be smart when shopping and stick to reasonably priced clothing that will last from stores such as Forever 21, Designer Desirables and Boohoo.

  1. Skimping on Groceries.

While it may seem cost effective to not buy foods you really want at the grocery store, buying things you don’t want to eat could prompt you to waste more food (and money along with that). Furthermore, if you’re not cooking a somewhat satisfying meal at home, you’re more likely to buckle and go out to eat, or find yourself snacking late at night or between meals again costing you more. It’s not about buying less groceries, it’s about being a smart shopper, buying things you like on sale, and switching out named brands for store branded products.

  1. Cheap Promotions for Utilities

When you’re shopping around for a new provider – be it gas, electricity, or your wifi, rates can seem miraculously reasonable because of the promotional rates being offered to you. However, there is nearly always a change in fees around 12 months later when your promotional rate ends and suddenly your bill goes up from £20 a month to £50. At this point, so many have fallen victim to these promotional rates (myself included) that you must read and reread what exactly you’re signing up for.

A Lot of people I speak to have changed providers in the hopes of saving money – a plan that only lasts for a short period of time, for a contract they may not be able to cancel when fees start rising, meaning that as time goes on they inevitably end up spending more money than you ever would of saved.

  1. Buy Singular Household Items – just get what you need

Buying in bulk can go two ways; buying eight or 16 rolls of toilet paper is more cost effective than picking up a couple at a time at your local store. However, buying in bulk is also a frugal move that can cost you money if it isn’t done properly. The key is to know your needs, know your storage space, and always calculate the cost-per-unit.

Your average corner shop, toilet paper is £3.47. On Amazon, a 45-pack of Andrex is £17.67 (40p a roll). Obviously, the best bet is the 45-pack. However, if you don’t have storage, to keep 45 rolls you may find that you end up losing some as they split up around the house, or they become damaged due to improper storage. If you have a good place for storage then buying in bulk is always the best way to save money over time.

 

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