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Revealed: the top 20 false economies

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Despite the thrill of bagging a bargain, over half of UK adults have been caught out by a false economy, says a new report.

Paying the minimum amount off a credit card bill each month tops the nation’s list of false economies, according to comparison site

Buying counterfeit goods and lying on insurance applications to get a cheaper premium completed the top three.

Holidaying abroad without insurance (47%), buying cheap shoes (41%), and cheap paint (41%) also ranked high in the table of ‘bad buys’ that Brits make.

While over half 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 at, said: “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 insurance and make it harder for you to get cover in the future.”



Rank 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
  source: gocompare













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