We’ve all fallen for special offers, one time only promotions and other persuasive sales techniques. It often turns out that the offer you thought you were getting wasn’t a great deal after all. Clever wording, hidden charges and other caveats can all bite the wallet very hard. It’s time to stop those bad habits and take a look behind the money saving myth curtain.

saving money

Free Shipping

We all love to have items shipped for free, but often free shipping comes with a cost. For example, many websites offer free shipping if you order over a certain threshold. This is a clever way of enticing us to spend more just so we can get something for free. You might start out with one product in your basket, but before you know it you’ve spent double what you intended to just so you can get your item dispatched to you free of charge. It’s a false economy, but one that many of us fall into.

Do the free shipping maths before you checkout. Many websites are also offering delivery saver options where you pay for your shipping across the year at a fixed price. No matter how many items you order across the year, your shipping will be covered by that one price – perfect if you shop with one particular online store regularly.

Also – Watch out for additional Customs duty charges

Free Trial Periods

It’s so tempting to sign up for free trials for services online, but it’s also easy to get caught out. More often than not you will need to enter your credit card details to gain access to the free trial and this is where companies get their money. Our busy lives often lead us to forget about cancelling these subscriptions and this results in a charge being made when the free trial offer expires.

If you do sign up for a free trial and you are not sure whether you will agree to a paid subscription at the end of that trial, simply set up a reminder in your smartphone. Set the reminder to alert you a few days prior to the end of the trial so you can make the decision whether to switch over to a paid agreement.

Cheap Clothing

Clothing has dropped in price dramatically over the years and you may be tempted to go and stock up at some of the discount chains. But a low price tag usually means low quality. If you are prepared for your clothes to only make it through a few washes, that’s fine, but if you are looking for clothing that lasts for years you may be disappointed.

If money is tight, you might want to consider charity or thrift shops or why not arrange a clothing swap with friends? You could pick up some good quality items for the same price that is offered by the discount clothing stores.

0% Commission on Foreign Currency

This is a huge money saving myth, but one millions of us fall for year after year. It might sound like you are getting your money exchanged for free, but would foreign exchange companies really offer a free service? The way they make their money is to buy foreign currency at a lower rate than which it is sold to customers. Profits are pocketing the difference. It’s clever marketing at its best…or should that be worst? Mystery shop data from MyTravelMoney shows you can save up to 10% on euro travel money orders by buying currency online.

You can fix this myth by shopping around for your currency and buying from the company offering the best exchange rate. This should be the rate you focus on whenever you purchase your currency. The good news is that there are many currency comparison sites that can help you to find the best deal in moments.

Free Mobile Phone Apps

How many times have you downloaded a mobile phone app only to find that it flashes up in-app purchase prompts constantly? These are dangerous and could cost you dearly especially if you let the kids play on your phone or tablet.

You can fix this by setting a password prompt for in-app purchases. That way you won’t purchase what you don’t want by mistake or be faced with a huge bill and a sheepish look from your children!

Aviva Tabachnik is a currency expert & partnerships manager at MyCurrencyTransfer.com & MyTravelMoney, the OPP award winning comparison websites.