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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.

BertieBotts Tue 21-Aug-12 13:10:51

TV licence... don't really understand why anyone bothers with this any more now we have iplayer etc!

I work in CeX and the amount of people who buy something, and then come and trade it back in weeks later (for about half the price they paid) because they have bills to pay is shocking and really sad sad

I've mentioned this before, but landline/broadband/TV packages.

My BiL pays something ridiculous like £200 per month (there are film, sport channels, HD, extra fast broadband) - £2,400 p.a.

I have a satellite dish and decoder box, £100 (and no further charges for free to view sat channels) and I use my phone for the internet (£30 pm) - £460 this year, £360 next year.

BoerWarKids Tue 21-Aug-12 15:26:42

Fabric conditioner, you don't need it.

Expensive toiletries. They DON't work. The beauty industry makes a fortune by exploiting our insecurities.

dementedma Sat 25-Aug-12 19:05:48

Fabric conditioner,branded bleach,painkillers,toothpaste etc.or if you must have branded get it in poundies or B and M.
Air freshener - open the windows,drop of essential oil on radiators.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 25-Aug-12 20:12:19

Brands of cleaner like flash etc.

Astonish is in the poundshops and is cruelty free and biodegradeable.

Failing that vinegar and bicarb of soda can be used for cleaning.

HollyBollyBooBoo Sun 26-Aug-12 11:36:50

BertieBotts just make sure you don't take advantage of the iplayer function that lets you watch live tv - you most definitely DO need a tv license if you are watching a programme as it is being broadcast.

coffeeandwine Sun 26-Aug-12 11:43:49

Starbucks, Costa, Neros... need I go on. There weren't any of these when I was growing up, but now they are on every street corner.
I used to work somewhere that had four costa coffee stands. shock

evenkeel Sun 26-Aug-12 11:50:20

Exactly, was just about to say coffee. And I'm currently sitting in a Carluccio's with an empty latte glass in front of me blush

I guess we've become conditioned to see this sort of thing as little 'treats' to punctuate the day....then you add it up and realise that your daily coffee equates to £40+ a month. Nice though it is, you don't really need it.

BoerWarKids Sun 26-Aug-12 14:04:18

I used to buy coffee out all the time blush now I do it once a week and see it as a treat. I just get my coffee and don't get tempted by biscuits, cakes, etc. They all add up.

I also go to an independent cafe run by a local family. I don't like giving my money to the big chains, if I can help it.

Cremolafoam Sun 26-Aug-12 14:15:48

Make pack lunches or take left overs
A boots meal deal( other stores are available) is no longer a bargain.
Buy own brand - mostly the same as branded stuff
Get a capped mobile phone deal - got one for Dd that's £7.50 per month and she can't spend any more on it.grin
Agree give up takeaway coffee- rip off

BoerWarKids Sun 26-Aug-12 14:21:58

I agree Cremola, and Boots ready made sandwiches are rank!

CathyComeCamping Sun 26-Aug-12 14:24:35

A tip if you have a fancy coffee habit - nescafe 'cafe menu' sachets from the supermarket, works out about 20p each and they are often on offer so cheaper. They do Mocha, Vanilla latte, Caramel latte, Irish coffee, and I think they are very similar to Costa.

I'm pretty good on most of the things listed here, but I do have a yankee candle habit.

Svrider Sun 26-Aug-12 14:28:24

It's gotta be going out with dc without taking own bottles of pop, and realising park charges £1 each
(£1.50 for fresh cappuccino is worth it obv)

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 26-Aug-12 16:16:57

The pound shop do douwe egberts filter coffee, the green and red packs. You could get loads of coffees for your flask for that.

BertieBotts Sun 26-Aug-12 17:30:19

The instant cappuchinos etc are nothing like proper coffee! They're okay but taste very different IMO. I'd rather just cut down.

notcitrus Sun 26-Aug-12 18:43:43

I got a dinky cafetiere for work (cost about £10), and so I can make excellent coffee at my desk, where one bag of ground coffee for £4 or so makes about 20 mugs! And the kitchen or office get to smell of lovely coffee.

I'm hoping the dcs never get into the habit of soft drinks and continue to just take bottles of water with them - a 7up or whatever can cost up to £3 at the cinema or similar.

Designer clothes for children has to be the most enormous waste ever. Expensive not-quite-designer clothes would be a waste if I bought them but someone needs to so they end up in my local charity shops! smile

Cremolafoam Sun 26-Aug-12 21:07:47

I actually got a mini cafetiere in pound land of all places and keep my coffee in the freezer compartment of the office fridge so no one nicks it-
Me ? Tight? Lolwink
You can even get cafetiere mugs I think.

TheCrackFox Sun 26-Aug-12 21:24:37

Coffee to go - take a flask. Actually coffee shops in general as the coffee I make at home is perfect (to me anyway) and I can make a much nicer cake at home.

Newspapers. All the news and gossip you would ever need can be found online for free.

Magazines. Give them up, you will save loads and feel far, far happier.

Smoking. I have no idea how anyone can afford to smoke anymore

Cremolafoam Sun 26-Aug-12 21:56:55

Agree magazines ate the devil
If you are trying to save money.

gettingeasier Mon 27-Aug-12 08:22:24


AdoraBell Tue 28-Aug-12 14:26:47

Hand cream and body lotion. I use olive oil, or any kitchen type oil - whatever you cook with. 1 or 2 drops for hands and about a tea spoon for legs and arms if very dry.

Cremolafoam Tue 28-Aug-12 17:21:42

posh looroll.
bog standard recycled stuff for us.

PestoSandalissimos Tue 28-Aug-12 17:43:27

Buying bottled water when out.

Take a refillable water bottle with you - free!!

WoodlandHills Tue 28-Aug-12 17:49:17

Microwave meals

Designer handbags but i love them

erm, thats all I can think of so far blush

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 28-Aug-12 19:34:38

How did we ever get sucked into coffee shops anyway? You line up, wait ages to be served, there's never enough seating and they charge extortionate amounts for a coffee you could do at home for pennies, and the noise!

I'm as guilty as the next person for going every day when I worked next to one too.

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