Ever since the recession everyone and their dog’s been giving out money saving tips like the whole world’s an expert. Well, if we were all so fantastic at saving money, no one would need money saving tips would they? And, unsurprisingly, a few pretty naff and hilarious money saving tips have slipped through the cracks and now people are following them thinking they’re getting some great deals.
You’re not going to like what I’m going to say next, but here goes. Whenever we get a bad deal, it’s our fault. When the Black Friday deals started and people went crazy, people pointed the finger of blame at shops for tempting the dark side we all have in us, but that’s a huge cop-out. Who’s to blame really? The people.
Whenever you use one of these money saving tips, and then kick yourself when you realise you’ve really been ripped off, blame yourself for once. And maybe that’lll stop you doing it in the future, and stop some of these ‘fake deals’ that shops put on!
Frugal living definitely doesn’t start with these….
- 1 7 Money Saving Tips You Shouldn’t Be Following
- 1.1 1/ Bulk Buying Is Always The Cheapest Option
- 1.2 2/ Budget Out Your Spending For The Week In Cold Hard Cash
- 1.3 3/ Cut Out Your Morning Coffee, It’s A Waste Of Money
- 1.4 4/ Stop Shopping Online For Food – It’s More Expensive And Worse Quality
- 1.5 5/ The Cheapest Item Is Always The Best Item
- 1.6 6/ If Your Petrol Station Isn’t The Cheapest, Drive To A Further Away One
- 1.7 7/ Stock Up On Sale Items (Even If You Don’t Need Them)
- 1.8 I got a Dyson but I don’t even know if I want it
- 2 SEE MORE: How To Get Cheap Meals In The City (If You’re NOT Lazy) >>
7 Money Saving Tips You Shouldn’t Be Following
1/ Bulk Buying Is Always The Cheapest Option
Yep, don’t even bother checking the labels and seeing how much each item costs individually when you bulk buy them and compare that to how much they are sold for normally. No need for that. Just trust the manufacturer’s to have your best interest at heart and not to think about their profits at all.
Of course bulk buying isn’t always the cheapest way to buy. Look at that example above. Crazy, the prices are right next to each other, but people probably still picked up the more expensive 2 for £3 just because it’s a bulk buy on a sticker so it must be cheaper.
THINK. Use your brain. There were reasons why you did maths in school even though your job might not have anything to do with it – this is one of those reasons. Don’t be conned by what looks like a good deal, actually spend some time working out the individual cost of the item. It might take you a little bit longer, but it’s better than wasting your money.
2/ Budget Out Your Spending For The Week In Cold Hard Cash
I do get the point of this one, but there are still some downsides to it that people who do it aren’t considering. The tip itself is that you should work out how much money you’ll need for the week, take it out at a cash point, and only use that to buy things so that you know you can’t overspend by not being able to see your bank balance.
The problem with this is, it won’t really stop you from making impulse purchases. You’re much more likely to grab a pack of chewing gum at a supermarket checkout if you know you’ve got a pocket full of change (which actually adds up to quite a bit of your budget!) than if you’ve only got your card on you.
And aside from the impulse purchases, you’re losing the ability to track your spending. You’ll only be able to see what you’ve bought from receipts, whereas if you using a debit or a credit card you’ll have a statement detailing every purchase you’ve made. You’ll be missing out on any protection you have for buying big purchases for not using a credit card too.
It’s a good concept, but not a great one in practice. Just be disciplined and using your card should be just as good a money saving tip as using cash.
3/ Cut Out Your Morning Coffee, It’s A Waste Of Money
Is it though? Let’s say it’s an average Wednesday, you usually have a coffee in the morning to give you a bit of a boost for work, and today you decide against it. You feel groggy and annoyed because it’s what you usually look forward to. It puts you in a bad mood for the rest of the morning, and you get less work done.
Ok, so that’s pushing it a little, but honestly you shouldn’t have to cut out all the small pleasures you have in life just to save a bit of money. That seems to be what money saving blogs are championing though, and you already know from our post on why some money saving blogs will ruin your life that we’re not always fans… That’s like saying ‘we technically don’t need sugar in our tea at home, so I’ll stop buying it from now on’. What’s the point in life if you can’t have some of the little things you love?
A better money saving tip would be to look objectively at your spending and see if there’s anything you’re overspending on, or anything that you actually don’t need and wouldn’t mind losing. But make sure you decide which of these little luxuries you really want to keep – like your morning coffee – and make savings elsewhere.
And if you really can’t decide how to keep costs down, why not just cut back on one of those coffees a week? You’ll still save money, and you can still have what you want the majority of the time.
4/ Stop Shopping Online For Food – It’s More Expensive And Worse Quality
I love some of these money saving tips, because they’re just so ridiculous if you actually bother to test them. No, this is not always the case of course. Sometimes shopping online for your food can be the same price, or even cheaper, than shopping in store because you can easily compare prices and find the best deals. If you pay over a certain amount you normally get free delivery too (only go for this if you were planning on spending that amount in the first place!).
Even if you don’t get free delivery, sometimes the costs are so low they’d probably be about the same amount of petrol or money on public transport you’d spend getting to and from the supermarket that week.
And if you consider time as money, think how long it takes you to do your weekly shop in-store. Now add on how long it takes you to get it all back home. Well over an hour right? Since I started shopping online it takes me about half an hour or less to order a weekly shop, and I get free delivery on that. All in all, I think I’m the winner.
Even if it does turn out a pound or two over your usual costs, you could decide you’d rather pay that extra £2 for how easy and time-saving it is compared to going to the store yourself. It’s all about what you value most – your time or your money. In my case I’m managing to get a great deal on my online food shop anyway, but even if it was slightly more expensive I’d probably still get it for how much time it’s freed up for me!
If you’re worried about the quality of the fresh food that’s selected for you when you’re unable to pick exactly what pack you want yourself, make sure you check reviews for the quality of the delivered food of the online supermarket you’re looking at. I’ve only ever had one bad experience – 2 cracked eggs in a pack of 6 which the supermarket quickly refunded for me – and all the rest of my fresh food like fruits and vegetables have been spot on.
5/ The Cheapest Item Is Always The Best Item
This should just be common sense really. If I gave you the choice of buying one pair of shoes for £3 that would last you a week, or a pair for £30 that would last you a year or two, which would you choose? Hopefully you’d see that the £30 pair are much better value for money; so much so that the £3 pair feel like a bit of a waste!
Unfortunately a lot of people just don’t think like this; they see a low price and snap something up to ‘save money‘. It’s kind of like they’re blinded by the price tag.
In some cases the opposite happens – especially with things like drugstore medicine. Some people snob the ‘own-brands’ and go for the brands they’ve heard about from TV that’re more expensive. But the truth is, you’re just paying for the branding, if you check the labels most of them have exactly the same ingredients. It’s always worth checking to see if you can save a bit of money. And I do admit, in this situation, this money saving tip is appropriate.
But it’s not the majority of the time.
6/ If Your Petrol Station Isn’t The Cheapest, Drive To A Further Away One
This one makes me laugh because I actually know someone who does it. I understand frugal living, I really do, but with the petrol prices as they are right now you’re literally saving 1 or 2p per litre between each one. And, ok, that does add up, but not if you waste petrol driving to an out of the way petrol station for a total saving of about 30p!
That already tiny saving shrinks even further when you consider the petrol you’re using to get to the next petrol station. And more than that, you’re wasting your own time for the sake of 30p.
The only time I think I’d consider using this money saving tip is if the petrol station was a part of a supermarket or a shopping centre and I wanted to go there to shop anyway. Sort of hits two birds with one stone.
7/ Stock Up On Sale Items (Even If You Don’t Need Them)
Again, this is one of those money saving tips that I get that idea of; the main theory is that you can keep these sale items back for birthdays and Christmas presents, so even if you don’t personally need them they have a use and you’re saving money in the long run.
What I don’t get, is buying things for the sake of it when you don’t have a person in mind to give this thing to or don’t need it yourself. This quote from an article about the recent Black Friday sales sums this up nicely:
I got a Dyson but I don’t even know if I want it
Really, what’s the point? Just because it’s a low price? Don’t ever be swayed into buying something just because it has a nice red sticker on it saying it’s a lower price. Here are the money saving tips you should use instead:
- Stop – work out whether this is really a good bargain, or whether the price has been raised prior to this ‘sale’.
- Question – do you really need another kettle just because this one is half price? If you don’t, then it’s not a deal at all, you’ve just wasted money buying it.
- Think – would this suit any of your friends? Would they actually like to receive it as a gift? If you’ve done a price comparison and found out that it’s a good deal, plus it’d make the perfect Christmas gift, then you’re on to a winner. But don’t buy a gift set of body soaps when you know none of your friends or family would actually appreciate that as a gift.
It’s sad that people are still wasting money like this, but you only have yourself to blame if you do. There’s no point blaming the retailer’s for putting on sales that don’t save you much money – they’ll keep on doing it regardless, and they’re not selling things to help you, they’re doing it to make a profit. Make yourself accountable whenever you make a bad purchase and maybe you’ll stop yourself from doing it (and supporting these bad sales with your own money!) in the future.