One of the things I see other people fall into the trap of too often with this budgeting lark (no, not me, far too smart.. cough cough) is buying into false economies. In other words, investing in something that appears to be a bargain but doesn’t really benefit or save money in the long run.
One thing that springs to mind is this Approved Foods website (short-dated / clearance food), which I’ve actually seen popping up on my Facebook timeline quite a lot recently. With my new financial goals in mind I had a flick through, popped about £7 worth of stuff in my basket (RRP roughly £55) and went to checkout. However, they have a minimum spend of £15, which in itself is fair enough but meant I’d have had to waste £8 to go through with it. Seems counter-productive to me.
Perhaps it’s just the timing of my visit, too, but I found a lot of the stuff listed on the site to be junk food and non-essentials. Stuff like jarred sauces may seem a bargain listed at 80p or whatever, but I can make a better tasting, healthier sauce at home for much less and have it go further too.
I found the same thing applies to a ‘Baby Budgeting’ blog I flicked through recently. I don’t want to link because the author might think I’m singling her out/picking on her (I’m really not) but her posts were on things like Boden clothes, Seraphine maternity wear, frugal valentines gifts; surely all of this stuff is frivolous over-spending on brands and unnecessaries and the truly frugal thing would be to avoid them altogether?
I know, I sound like Scrooge already.