Most of us like to bag a bargain don’t we? That feeling of getting a good deal, paying less than you expected and leaving you with a little bit more in your savings account is hard to beat.
But keeping an eye out for a good deal can often leave us falling into some common money traps. Here are 5 ways your saving habit could actually be costing you money:
1. Three for the price of two
Three avocados for the price of two? Bargain! But that’s only if you’re going to eat them. It’s easy to get sucked in to buying additional products; if you’d usually only buy one, rather than saving by getting one free, you’ve gone and spent double the money on two.
2. Cheap tickets, not so cheap extras
That budget flight may be a few dollars cheaper than the full priced option, but factor in the little extras such as luggage allowance, seat allocation, and booking fees and you could be looking at way more than you bargained for. Using comparison travel sites can be handy, but it could pay to break down the costs of all the extras before you hand over your credit card.
3. Buying on sale – even if it’s not quite right
There’s usually a good reason why those fabulous designer shoes are 90% off in the sale; they’re often the extra- small or extra-large sizes which just aren’t suitable for most people. It can be tempting to squeeze your toes into shoes a size too small and keep your fingers crossed that they’ll magically fit tomorrow. Just bear in mind that you’ll probably be saying goodbye to your hard earned money buying shoes you’ll only wear once– and maybe saying goodbye to a toenail or two as well.
4. Free gift!
Ever fallen into the trap of making a purchase to get a free gift, even if it means buying something you don’t really want? A frequent offer at cosmetic counters, that free gift is actually costing you money if you’re buying something you don’t really need. It’s worth taking a moment to consider whether you would have made a purchase even if there wasn’t a free gift on offer… or whether you would be better off saving your money for something you really want.
5. Taking advantage of deals you don’t ever use
Deal site vouchers were one of the top sellers for gifts last year, according to IBIS World, and they can be the source of great discounts. But with the vouchers often stored in your online account, it can be all too easy to make your purchase and then forget about it. Put a reminder in your calendar to follow up on your purchase at a later date, and remember to check the use by date when you make your purchase; if there is only a one month window to use that 30 day yoga pass then make sure you’ll get round to using it often enough to get value for money.
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