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£10 trap

April 12th, 2006 at 05:20 am

This is a handy name my sister and I use for a trap we’ve both fallen into at one time or another. It describes a situation where you might be out shopping, not actually on purpose, but because you’re passing the shops on the way to somewhere else or killing time while waiting for someone. Whatever the reason, you’re browsing aimlessly when you see something, say a pair of shoes or a CD priced at £9.99 or £7.99 and you think “Oh, that’s less than a tenner, that’s not a lot of money!” and before you know it you’ve spent £30 on stuff you never knew you wanted.
Well, since this time last year, when I started my budget I’ve managed to avoid the £10 trap mostly, by only buying things I’ve budgeted for, but I think I’ve discovered the frugal version of the £10 trap – and it’s the £1 trap! I don’t tend to go into £1 shops all that often, but just occasionally I will get some things for the Guides in there – large packs of candles in particular tend to be cheap, as do colouring pens and paintbrushes. While I was in there recently, I found myself standing at the counter with the stuff for Guides, and also a pack of cleaning cloths and some clothes pegs. I looked at these last 2 items again and realised that I could easily find them for cheaper than £1 elsewhere in the same shopping centre. They weren’t a bargain – I just thought they were a bargain because, hey they were only £1, and I was in a shop where the atmosphere said “everything in here is a bargain! Look at it all stacked on the floor and improperly labelled, with bad lighting! Bargain!” Needless to say, I put the merchandise down and headed out of the shop!

5 Responses to “£10 trap”

  1. contrary1 Says:

    scary to think we're all so easily "trained" by the stores, huh??

    Congrats for catching yourself & walking out!

  2. Thrifty Ray Says:

    They key thing is that you are staying frugally focused..... and NOT SPENDING. Good for you...and you are so right about those $1...$5...$10 traps...but they all do add up!!! Great post!

  3. HouseHopeful Says:

    I find myself falling into that trap too! I will only go to the Dollar store with a list in hand and will only purchase something if I know its "real price" (at regular stores) is more than the $1.00 it would cost there. Great job on putting a name on the problem!

  4. carol Says:

    I have been in that trap for a long time, and the only way out of it for me was to do like the above poster. Make a list and stick to it. Also I keep a set of `10 small envelopes in my backpack along with my wallet. When I cash my check, I pay the savings envelope first, then divvy up the remaining cash into the other envelopes and seal them, leaving NO cash in my wallet. Then I go to the places I need to go to, spend only what is in the envelopes for groceries or family house supplies and come straight home. Where I shop at is like a small town mini mall. A grocery store right next to a dollar store, another dollar store across the street, with a Chinese restarunt right next to it. Talk about temptation!

  5. loubilou Says:

    Thanks for all the comments - I can't take the credit for coining the name though. Either my sister thought of it, or she heard it somewhere else.

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