Have you ever bought something for the simple reason it was on offer? If so, you're not alone. A lot of people hit the sales in the hope of finding a bargain or two, but in all the excitement and adrenalin of bagging that must-have deal, they realise they actually spent far more than they intended – so they're not really saving money at all.
Research from NS&I shows that 77% of those surveyed admitted to making purchases simply because of vouchers, flash sales, discounts or special offers, or because loyalty points were being offered on their purchases. Furthermore, 85% of those aged between 16 and 44 thought that vouchers and other incentives encouraged them to spend money they may not otherwise spend, with only 13% of all respondents stating that they actually saved money through the use of vouchers.
In fact, 43% believe they spend more money as a result of these kinds of offers – far from best money saving practice. Of those who thought they spent more, the average additional spend amounted to a considerable £72 per month, so it's no wonder that 27% of respondents stated that they regretted using discounts due to the realisation that they were actually spending more money, with no real savings being made.
Julian Hynd, NS&I retail director, said: "Our survey results show that rather than necessarily saving them money, people are all too often being swayed into spending money on items and services that they may not actually want or need. In order to encourage more responsible spending, we all need to think about whether the pursuit of saving money through sales and discounts is actually causing us to spend much more than we should or actually want to."
It seems that the thought of missing out on a bargain is too much for some people to bear, but in the process, they don't save a penny – and end up spending far more. It could be even harder to avoid temptation at this time of year as the post-Christmas sales are in full swing, so if you're hitting the shops, make sure to stay sensible.
Don't buy something for the sole reason that it's a bargain – if you're hunting for a particular item and it happens to be on sale, then by all means make the most of the saving, but don't spend money unnecessarily! You should never spend more than you initially planned just for the sake of it, because a bargain isn't a bargain if it's costing you more.
Be truly ruthless when you're making your decisions, and if you really want to bag a bargain, make sure to be on the lookout for true discounts at all times of year. Money off coupons are ideal, thereby giving you the chance to actually save money on your usual spending, cutting your grocery bills (for example) in the process. Check out our voucher section for the hottest deals of the moment, and you can be sure that you won't overspend.
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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