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Stop This Money Saving Madness

It was the cheapest flight I could find. But as I waited in the check-in line (I would say queue, but I was in New York) for over an hour (from 6.30am!) yesterday morning, the glee of having saved symbol(pound)40 was beginning to wear just a little thin. To have dodged the dodgy line- and the next seven hours craning for a glimpse of the rubbish communal telly - I would happily have paid double.

I want to blame the airline (it was Delta, by the way), but really I could only blame myself - over the years I've wasted a fortune trying to strike a bargain. I've taken flights so early, the only sure way of getting to the airport was a very expensive taxi. I've chosen ridiculous routes (London to Tokyo via Bombay-Delhi-Bombay-Hong Kong, anyone?). I've booked myself into hotels with soiled sheets, next-door - or actually home to - crack dens and brothels. I've bought $8 shoes (a bargain!) for my cousin's wedding, only to spend the entire ceremony in agony. And that was before the heel fell off. I've travelled India, growing out a ludicrous ten-rupee hair cut. I've slept under (yes, rather than with) the stars at Glastonbury, after my jumble-sale bought tent ripped down the seams, when we tried to squeeze in just one more camper. And what did I do to cheer myself up after each ill-thought out adventure? I threw money at the situation.

At the moment, you can hardly move for handy tips on how to save during these uncertain financial times. But learn from my mistakes, dear reader - credit crunch or no credit crunch, sometimes taking the cheapest option is simply not worth the money.

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