Do some 'money-saving' tactics actually end up costing money?

Many consumers across the country seem to always be on a quest to reduce their household's expenditures as a means of saving more money, but it's often easier said than done. Another problem often arises during these efforts as well: Things that people think are saving them money might actually not be doing so, and some could even be detrimental.

One of the biggest issues that many consumers face is that they go bargain hunting at their local stores and get drawn in by sale items, according to a report from MarketWatch. This isn't to say that buying items that go on sale is a bad thing in and of itself, it's that people will often overspend on these products, or buy things they don't need or use regularly, just because they're on sale. This may happen less at the grocery store, because food is often relatively inexpensive and can be eaten even if it's not a household favorite, and more of an issue with other items, like clothes.

Another issue that often comes up when consumers buy clothing, and other larger-ticket items, is that they are often offered a store-branded credit card for the chance to save some money, usually in the area of 20 or 30 percent, the report said. However, this is typically not advisable, because the interest rates on these accounts are often far higher than those on traditional credit cards, and as such the few dollars saved might quickly be erased by accrued interest if the balance isn't paid off quickly.

Other common mistakes
Further, when consumers are shopping online, they might be enticed to reach that famous "free shipping" threshold advertised across the top of many retail sites, the report said. But in doing so, they may go well beyond that level and instead end up paying far more for their total purchase than they would have if they'd just bitten the bullet and paid for the relatively small shipping costs, instead of adding new items to their orders.

Consumers should also try to determine exactly how much they're spending every month, and how much they can actually afford to spend while still building a safety net of substantial savings. Having enough money put away to cover unexpected costs will also help borrowers avoid costly credit card debt and other issues that can seriously hinder their household finances.

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