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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.

InMySpareTime Wed 29-Aug-12 07:27:15

Cinemas, they cost a lot more than they are worth. Why spend £8 a head (plus the same again for the "snacks") to sit in an overheated room and watch a film while being irritated by the snack munching public, then invariably miss the important plot point because someone needs the toilet due to drinking a bucket of fizzy pop.
I tend to wait 6 months then buy the DVD cheap, make my own popcorn, and if someone needs the toilet we can just pause the film.

turnipvontrapp Wed 29-Aug-12 08:08:29

Ice cream van that comes at tea time every night. Get some for the freezer and let the kids have one of them instead.

turnipvontrapp Wed 29-Aug-12 08:15:22

Tumble drier when it's lovely outside.

Tesco when there's an aldi nearby.

Branded clothes. DS wants converse, H&M do almost identical ones £20 cheaper.

Magazines - don't buy, apart from a subscription one my mum got me for Christmas.

Gym membership - get outdoors, it's free.

Cinema food/ drink - take your own.

Cynner Wed 29-Aug-12 20:01:50

Head full of highlights..posh shampoo..facials..

bacon Sun 09-Sep-12 11:31:57

bottled water
ready made drinks when you can make your own squash and take it with you.

Readymade food when people cant afford it.

childrens tat (just think the amount of money wasted on crap toys)
hot stone massage and actually any treatment excluding nails & waxing.

Its got to be cheap tat that never lasts - from argos etc utter rubbish you end up buying twice.

This obsession with buying 'new' when you can have 2nd hand for half the price. Cant see how anyone can justify prams over £400!

Face creams over £10 WTF?

Mirage Tue 11-Sep-12 14:35:23

I find that living somewhere with no shops or coffee shops helps enormously.But magazines and newspapers are a big waste of money.My cousin's MIL gets Horse and Hound,which she passes on to my cousin,who passes it on to me,and I pass them on to my mum after that.

BoerWarKids Tue 11-Sep-12 20:13:40

Very true, Mirage. I've worked in an office on a high street where I was out shopping every lunchtime. I then worked on an industrial estate where there was no where to spend money. After a couple of months I could see the difference with my bank balance grin

racingheart Wed 12-Sep-12 20:51:31

I must be such a skinflint - whenever I read these threads on how to save money - it's all stuff I don't buy because they're such a waste of money!

Labels. I almost despise labels and people who think they are better quality than high street clothes. maybe hand made Alexander McQueen is better, but most are just emperor's new clothes IM unhumble O.

AllPastYears Wed 12-Sep-12 21:16:49

Don't see the point in wasting money on

- cinema (though we do go cause DD likes it, I'd rather stay home with no other people!)

- "nice clothes", yes I've spent £80 on a dress and worn it twice, though I consider that too expensive for jeans that I'll wear 2 days a week for 3 years...

- smoking (never done it, don't really understand it)

- regular takeaways (have one as a treat about twice a year!)

- buying sandwiches/lunch for work, I always make my own

- bottled water

- posh handbags

- fake nails

On the other hand, there are things that I spend a lot of money on and other people might thing are extravagant...

ceebeegeebies Wed 12-Sep-12 21:28:23

Allpastyears you are so right about £80 dresses. Someone links on here to a pair of Levi's (or whatever) at £80 and I think 'no way would I spend that on jeans' but, come Christmas works do, I think nothing of spending it on a dress...utter madness! I an absolutely not doing that this year.

Don't agree with magazines - there is nothing better than sitting in bed with a magazine - laptops just aren't the same wink

BoerWarKids Wed 12-Sep-12 22:49:25

Surely the obvious is smoking. You're paying a lot of money to die sooner hmm

katspaw Thu 13-Sep-12 12:24:23

Sky TV, stick with freesat.

bettykelly123 Sat 15-Sep-12 20:06:44

when i was a child (im now 36) i used to think we were poor cos we never had a new car but every 6 years or so we would get a new second hand one. my father worked 6 days a week and saved hard so he could pay cash.
what i now realise is all the kids at school who looked down at us were only driving around in big swanky new cars cos their parents had bank loans on them.
when my dd was born i bought everything i could second hand. it cost a fraction of what it would do new and it was all in immaculate condition. i now try to tell my friend to do the same but most think im mad!!!!

toptramp Sat 15-Sep-12 22:24:33

I think that a few 'nice' clothes are great things to have in the wardrobe; make me feel like a glam women even though I'm a bit of a slobby mum.

I've got a few nice dresses cut price from factory shops. I hardly ever buy clothes full price.

I do hate cars as status symbols or anything that is obviously a status symbol. Having said that i'm a sucker for bling although I can't generally afford reeal precious stones so I tend to go for cheap and tacky chearful bling instead!

HoratiaWinwood Sat 15-Sep-12 22:41:12

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.

Yes, milky coffee in a paper cup. Also equivalent to a couple of stone a year in calories. Just say no.

Bottled spring water - I will allow bottled mineral water which has to meet higher standards than tap, but still spring...

Hair straighteners and associated potions.

AllPastYears Sun 16-Sep-12 11:03:22

Not the hair straighteners! Some mornings they're the only thing that makes me look presentable! grin

HoratiaWinwood Sun 16-Sep-12 11:45:43

No, hair straighteners. What's wrong with waves or curls? Hair that has been straightened and left to hang all straggly looks shit. All the heat destroys the condition, all the products ruin the natural protective oils and don't quite mitigate the heat damage.

Women/girls of Britain - embrace your natural head hair! It's beautiful!


grin wink shock

amothersplaceisinthewrong Sun 16-Sep-12 11:50:30

Cosmetics - I spend a fortune on anti ageing stuff from Boots No7. I have got great skin but I suspect that its actually genetic as my 78 year old Mother has too and she does not buy the expensive stuff. So when the next pot runs out I am trading down to a cheaper moisturiser.

Hair straignteners - ruin the hair and result in expenditure on fancy shampoohs.

I do however believe a Tumble Drier is a virtual necessity in this climate and get very good use out of both my fridge freezers!

AllPastYears Sun 16-Sep-12 12:09:35

"No, hair straighteners. What's wrong with waves or curls? "

I've wanted straight hair since I was about 3. When hair straighteners were invented it was like a dream come true. grin

And now that I'm, er, old(!) I find wavy hair (which on me looks like a bad hair day) makes me look even older, like a 55 year old that is past caring. Straighter hair (not poker-straight) is a huge improvement, trust me.

TramadolJacket Sun 16-Sep-12 12:16:49

Most 'time saving' kitchen appliances, choppers, mixers, grills, juicers... If you factor in the time it takes to wash the bloody things up it takes twice as long as doing the same job by hand. They only ever end up gathering dust at the back of the cupboard anyway.

Pre packed salad and vegetables, massively over priced.

Sorry though, I can't agree re hair straighteners, these are essential imo, I would look like side show bob without them!

HoratiaWinwood Sun 16-Sep-12 20:52:19

Tsk. It's cheaper and quicker and better for your hair to wear it up if Sideshow Bobism is an issue. Then the very occasional straightening/blow dry will not harm it.

Snog Sun 23-Sep-12 14:34:14

Status handbags seem a crazy hobby imo
Give me a £10-£50 one anyday
Ditto staus jewellery - give me costume jewellery that you don't have to worry about losing or insuring!

higgle Wed 10-Oct-12 16:10:10

Size 10 dresses, when I'm size 14.

redadmiralsinthegarden Wed 10-Oct-12 17:48:20

The Internet!
I spend AGES on it (mn, fb, twitter etc), racking up time and power for absolutely nothing (this post is a case in point!).
Why don't I invite a rl friend over instead?????

kiwigirl42 Thu 11-Oct-12 08:12:10

buying books brand new when there is the option on Amazon to buy them second hand, usually at a fraction of the price. I buy lots of books (its my only vice!) and must have saved a fortune buying second hand - its even cheaper to do this than getting them on my Kindle.

If you have a kindle, sign up for a service like e reader IQ which will send you an email every day with free books to download. Some of the books I've downloaded have been selling for £7 24 hrs later shock

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