Brits are housing a staggering £30BILLION worth of useless purchases – many of which are unused, according to new research.
A study of 2,000 people shows the average house contains £1,120.53 worth of items such as sandwich toasters, shoes which only match one outfit and ice cream makers.
Other purchases include water filters, crockery bought for ‘best’ and exercise bikes. Almost half of adults admit their extravagant spending means they often buy things they don’t need when shopping, just because the items are close to the till.
In addition to the larger items, three quarters of Brits are frittering cash on purchases they don’t need on a daily basis, from takeaway coffees to nail varnishes.
These unnecessary spends cost around £32.66 a month, leaving people almost £400 out of pocket every year, money which they could be saving instead of wasting.
Kris Brewster, Head of Products for Skipton Building Society, who commissioned the research, said:
“It’s surprising to see how much all of these little, everyday expenses can add up to, and how avoidable they can be. And if we’re honest, those ‘one-off’ bigger purchases are probably much more regular than we think as we sleepwalk into spending our money.
“It’s important that people stop and make the time to pause and think about their finances, considering how their spending habits big and small could have an impact on their personal savings. Without taking this time, we can all be led into to wasting money, just because bargains look too good to refuse!”
The study also revealed snacks we don’t want but can’t resist, special offers on food and sale items we can’t refuse are the top three impulse spends.
A quarter of those polled admit to regularly wasting our money on scratch cards, clothes we only wear once and impulse sweets when queuing at checkouts.
People are also guilty of buying shoes which don’t fit properly and clothes which then sit in the wardrobe unworn – with no intention of returning the items.
Make-up, flowers for the house, pre-chopped vegetables and magazines all appear in the top 20 list of unnecessary purchases.
Being a sucker for a bargain, being easily swayed and food shopping when we’re hungry are the top triggers for these pointless purchases.
One in five respondents admit to blowing their money just because they have spare income, while one in 10 forget what they already own.
And despite 80 per cent of people regretting these wasted spends, only five per cent will always take them back for a refund.
One in five couples have fallen out over wild purchases, while a third of people admit their partner has criticised them for their spending habits.
When it comes to spending money wisely, four out of 10 people would prefer to put their wasted spends into a savings account, while a quarter would prefer to invest the cash in home improvements.
And nearly half of those polled said that if they had the choice, they’d rather save that money for a holiday.
Kris Brewster added: “It’s clear from the research that people would much rather be putting money away into savings than spending, whether it’s saving for their life ahead, putting funds away for rainy days, dream holidays or home improvements, even small amounts put away regularly can have a big impact on your savings.
“We recognise that it’s not easy to ditch the daily takeaway coffee habit even if it could save a surprising amount over the course of a year. What could be easier though is to be more mindful when making bigger purchases, taking a bit more time to consider if it’s really something you need and will use on a regular basis.”
TOP 20 DAILY FRIVOLOUS PURCHASES
1. Snacks you don’t really want but can’t resist the temptation
2. Special offers on food
3. Sale items you just can’t refuse
4. Impulse checkout sweets when queuing
5. Buying clothes you only wear once
6. Scratch cards
7. Buying clothes which then sit in the wardrobe, without being worn once
8. Lottery tickets
9. Lunch out instead of taking a packed lunch to work
10. Takeaway tea and coffee
11. Flowers for the house
12. Buying pre-chopped vegetables because you’re too lazy to cut your own
13. Nail varnishes when you have 20+ pots at home
15. Useless kitchen gadgets
16. Magazines you don’t end up reading
17. Brand new notebooks even though you have several unused at home
18. Vitamin pills which you only remember to take for a couple of days
19. Shoes which don’t fit properly and you can’t be bothered to take back
20. Paying for subscription TV and then only watching a couple of channels
TOP 20 ‘BOX FRESH’ PURCHASES
1. Sandwich toaster
2. Shoes to match an outfit you’ll only wear once
3. Bread maker
4. Smoothie maker
5. Slow cooker
6. Exercise bike
7. Crockery / cutlery for ‘best’ which you don’t end up using
8. Ice cream maker
9. An expensive face cream in response to an article online
10. Mobile phone upgrade
11. A water filter you haven’t time to re-fill
12. Designer handbag
13. New watch
14. Games console
16. De humidifier
18. New television
19. Remote control car
20. Surround sound