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biggest wastes of money in modern life and how to avoid!!

(100 Posts)
domesticgodless Tue 21-Aug-12 12:13:52

The excellent frugality thread yesterday made me ponder the biggest 'money pits' which suck up our hard-earned.

I looked in my own wardrobe. At least 3 'party' type dresses probably worth £80 each but the most I will fetch on ebay for the lot is about £20. FAIL

I also looked at my dresser. Topped with lots of rather pretty potions and creams. I've got no way of proving they didn't work. Presumably I'd look even older without them (?!). But total value of all toiletries, particularly 'anti-aging' stuff, in my house is probably £200 and is it worth it? I suspect not and I'd look better if I just got fresh air and exercise more often...

Today was passed on motorway by a gleaming 4x4 with a personalised numberplate. Why?? Why spend money on that when you could have a less glamorous car with a normal numberplate and more, er, other things you like like a nice holiday?

I think the other major money pit in our lives is probably DIY/Home improvements (particularly when done by workmen/builders: it's like 'open your wallet and repeat after me: help yourself). I spent a fortune 'improving' 2 houses in London when I was married. I left each shortly afterwards, my ex got the last one after 18 months in it and it's now a complete bachelor pit complete with falling-down curtains :D I distinctly remember spending a fortune fitting cherry-wood cupboards in the kitchen of one place which clearly did not improve value of house. FAIL

More suggestions welcome.

BlackberryIce Tue 21-Aug-12 12:15:11


domesticgodless Tue 21-Aug-12 12:15:30

Oh and I forgot 'sale bargains' which you buy cos they are a BARGAIN - and never ever wear. Then if you're 'frugal' you sell as BNWT on ebay for 10% of the sale price. Oh dear

domesticgodless Tue 21-Aug-12 12:15:58

Yes blackberry good point.
I try not to think of the cost of the little dears, it makes me a bit dizzy

BlackberryIce Tue 21-Aug-12 12:16:32

Oops... Kids chattels and wares I meant! Not the kids themselves!

Toys toys toys

domesticgodless Tue 21-Aug-12 12:18:20

LOL but the effect is the same anyway. Kids are the source of the demand for chattels god bless em

I think I will never buy lego again, I just gave a massive black bag of it away on freecycle to a local artist who was making a big model of The Shard out of it. What a great use of my hundreds of ££ (well, at least it was For Art)

lljkk Tue 21-Aug-12 12:19:33

"FAIL" label is a bit harsh. You have to try things out to figure out if they are for you are not. Mistakes are just a necessary step along the way to success. And you can't take money with you, so may as well try different ways of spending it to make you happy.

I shipped my mother's fancy china back from USA after her death; mostly pointless expense. I am never going to be the kind of person to host dinner parties on posh china. I am eyeing it up trying to figure out if I could Ebay it back to the USA.

Treats Tue 21-Aug-12 12:21:26

Spa days.

frenchfancy Tue 21-Aug-12 12:25:57

Ring tones

nosleepwithworry Tue 21-Aug-12 12:29:20

pre packed sandwiches.
takaway pizzas
pub soft drinks

Ahhhtetley Tue 21-Aug-12 12:31:46

Food at work! If i just got off my lazy arse in the morning and made my own lunch I reckon i'd save about 25 quid a week.

Shoes! I have shoes for every occasions and prob only wear most of them a few times and one pair almost every day (well they are comfy)

BornToFolk Tue 21-Aug-12 12:34:13

Bottled water. Tap water is free and clean.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Tue 21-Aug-12 12:34:33

Not being able to do things for yourself - loads of specialists around these days in everything, but often things you can teach and do yourself. Two examples are DIY - loads of jobs around the house are doable if you have basic knowledge - things like simple plumbing ect. And the other day I saw an advert for a days course to teach beginners knitting - £100! I taught myself using a book and the internet, it was easy.

I'm sure there are lots more examples.

Bluestocking Tue 21-Aug-12 12:39:24

Bottled water.

Quodlibet Tue 21-Aug-12 12:41:25

Manicures. Just paint your own nails.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Tue 21-Aug-12 12:41:32

Anything by Hot Wheels. I've been stung a few times with two boys but never again.

Cake shops. I do love a tea and cake stop and our recent holiday seemed to conaist of walks with a cake shop tour stop, by god they can be pricey!

Caerlaverock Tue 21-Aug-12 12:42:22

Stop having fun, all fun and eat dust

MrsShortfuse Tue 21-Aug-12 12:48:00

Branded medicines e.g. nurofen/anadin/calpol when you can get a generic version for a lot less with identical active ingredients.

domesticgodless Tue 21-Aug-12 12:48:02

FruitSalad do people really charge for knitting lessons???

(looks into it as potential career once university system collapses)

thisoldgirl Tue 21-Aug-12 12:51:11

"Investment dressing".

You spend £120 on a silk blouse or £200 on a pair of tailored trousers, spend a fortune having them drycleaned practically every time you wear them, and then one day not long afterwards, you spill some balsamic vinegar down them and they're ruined.

Any kind of branded leather good - why would you pay £800 for a bag? Or £300 for a wallet? Or £100 for a passport cover (which, by the way, has to be removed at passport control in most countries)?

Scented candles. Burn two £20s instead, and see how you feel.

Status symbols - swanky cars, prestige watches, designer handbags, sunglasses, polo shirts made in China with a man playing polo on the left breast. Spending thousands to look insecure, kerching.

bronze Tue 21-Aug-12 12:54:35

I try not to do this (as we can't afford to) but as a country it's got to be food waste

LackingNameChangeInspiration Tue 21-Aug-12 12:55:13

investment furniture

"oh we'll have this for YEARS it'ld go in whatever house we move to and last"
3 years later its totally impractical due to having kids and we're selling £500 pieces for £15 at car boot sales!

vamosbebe Tue 21-Aug-12 13:05:28

I have to laugh at the people who paint the bottoms of their cheap high heels red so thay look like Laboutins! Really? Have you no self esteem whatsoever??

I'd say stop buying a load of crap you don't need, but if you do need it buy quality. My sister in law is on her 3rd pram (DD is 11 months old) and has bought a bath chair as DD is trying to stand in the bath - but she's still trying to stand and it's leaving bruises on her soft precious baby skin sad can't you just have a bath with her?

We're up shit creek finance-wise and have to make do with what we've got. We're in the middle of moving house and DS has been having an absolute ball playing with the big packing boxes and helping Mummy pack by pulling out what she's just put in and running off with his loot squealing in delight! He loves tupperware, wooden spoons and my silicone cake moulds!!

I've never understood people who need to buy the best and biggest things all the time for their status, but I don't judge them by it. I do judge them for waving it under my nose when they know we'd never afford XYZ in a million years, that's just mean!!

domesticgodless Tue 21-Aug-12 13:06:17

yep Lacking I would include my 'statement' glass coffee table bought for hundreds in late 20s to the 'investment furniture' list. So practical for toddlers?! Ended up broken I think and on a skip...

domesticgodless Tue 21-Aug-12 13:07:27

vamosbebe when you look at the amount of personal debt in the country you realise a lot of them CAN'T actually afford what they are buying. That's the truly scary bit...

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