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Revealed: The top 20 biggest false economies!

30 August 2013

From buying cheap bras and loo roll to knock-off goods - over half of Brits have been caught out by a false economy - but many still love to bag a bargain

Paying the minimum amount off a credit card bill each month tops the nation's list of false economies, according to research released today by Gocompare.com, the price comparison website. Buying counterfeit goods and lying on insurance applications to get a cheaper premium completed the top three.

‘Financial falsies' featured highly in the study, with holidaying abroad without travel insurance named by 47% of Brits, but buying cheap shoes (41%), cheap paint (41%) and cheap loo roll (40%) were also ranked highly as bad buys.

ank

False economy*

%

1

Just paying the minimum amount off your credit card each month

54

2

Buying counterfeit goods

51

3

Lying on your insurance application to get a cheaper premium

48

4

Going abroad without travel insurance

47

5

Not having your car serviced

45

6

Buying cheap shoes

41

7

Buying cheap paint

41

8

Buying cheap loo roll

40

9

Saving money by not having your boiler serviced

39

10

Comparing only price, not quality

38

11

Not having breakdown cover for your car

33

12

Gym memberships

31

13

Buying a cheap car

27

14

Buying a cheap bra

25

15

Mobile phone contracts

19

16

Buying cheap moisturiser

17

17

Shopping at £1 shops

14

18

Doing-it-yourself rather than employing a tradesman

14

19

Trying to avoid baggage charges on budget flights 

13

20

Multi-buy or 3 for 2 offers

13



While over half (53%) of those surveyed said they have been caught out by buying cheap products, wasting both time and money, many admitted that a bad experience in the past hadn't put them off trying to bag a bargain, with 49% admitting that they still look out for the cheap and cheerful option. 

Claire Peate, customer insight manager from Gocompare.com, commented: "No-one wants to waste money paying out more of their hard earned cash than they need to.  While most people will be able to quickly recover the money lost on buying fake goods, a cheap pair of shoes or bra, other false economies can have more far reaching financial consequences.

"Making the minimum repayment on a credit card bill justifiably tops the list of false economies and can be a very expensive mistake.  Credit card issuers add interest to any outstanding balance so the longer you take to repay the debt, the more money you will owe them.  For example, it could take up to 37 years** to repay a debt of £5,000 if you only make the minimum repayment each month.

"In order to get a cheaper deal, it may be tempting to provide incorrect or misleading information to insurance companies.  But, this false economy can leave you seriously out of pocket, invalidate your car insurance and make it harder for you to get cover in the future."

Claire Peate continued: "Skimping on regular servicing for your car or central heating can also prove to be an expensive mistake.  In addition to checking the safety of your car or boiler, regular services can help you to save money over the long-term by identifying minor faults before they become costly repairs as well as helping to ensure that your car or boiler runs efficiently, thus saving on fuel costs." 

-ends-

Notes to editors:

On 9th to 12th August 2013, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,001 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

*Ranking based on number of votes received for each ‘false economy' provided as a list for survey participants to choose from.

**37 year figure is based on 18.9% interest rate with a minimum monthly repayment of 2.25% of the balance of £5,000.