Money, money, money. Must be funny. In the rich man’s world. But it’s not so for the common people like us. Managing money is one of the hardest things that households face (only after changing diapers and tolerating teenage tantrums). And so we have a guest post specifically designed to tell you where you might be going wrong when it comes to saving that extra penny. So please welcome, Jenny Hart, our latest guest author, who has written an interesting piece on the same. Continue Jenny…
Who isn’t familiar with this one? We always start out with the best intentions when it comes to budgeting and saving money but somewhere along the way to the end of the month we manage to go off-track.
Looking back it’s not rocket science to see where we went wrong, but while we might promise ourselves that this will be the last month of spending, guess what? Yes, that’s right, we end up the following month spending more than we intended and not saving enough.
If that deposit for the house isn’t mounting up quickly enough, perhaps you can identify with at least some of the following five situations:-
1. We need more money to live than we think.
Sick of pulling those moths from your wallet at the end of the month? We all know how much the essentials in life cost, but somehow our earnings never seem to stretch much further.
What we forget is that we’re not just content to exist; we don’t want to spend all day at work only to come home to watch TV, we want to live a little.
So we’ll pop for the occasional drink after work, we sign up to receive a few DVDs through the post each month to entertain ourselves and we’ll treat ourselves to more than just the basic food items when we do our weekly shop.
There’s nothing wrong with that in the slightest, we just need to be honest with ourselves to set a more realistic budget to factor these small pleasures in.
2. We’re good at making excuses – it was only a “one-off”.
We all know this one – your car breaks down when it was previously running like clockwork; there was a leaving to attend where the food and wine was flowing but work wasn’t paying; you just had to buy that dress which was half price even though you’d never normally dream of paying that amount for clothing that would probably only see daylight once a year.
An exact same situation isn’t going to arise again but another “one off” will. Either you need to budget for these not infrequent extras or you have to learn to be strict with yourself and ask whether you really need something.
If you can’t justify it, leave it on the shelf or hanger, or avoid the situation.
3. We don’t get the best deals.
Sick of doing the food shop at 1.00 a.m. to grab those reduced food bargains or eating at a restaurant you don’t really like only to get 10% off your food bill?
Think less along the lines of false economy and instead look to getting the best interest on your savings or the best price for your insurance or utility bills.
The problem is a lot of us can’t be bothered to sit down for an hour or so to look around and compare what different providers offer. To be honest with price comparison sites, we really have no excuse.
For what you can save it’s worth tearing yourself away from the TV or phone or whatever other device you’re glued to, to find the best deals on your finances and household bills.
4. We’re seduced by special offers.
While it’s one thing to pick up good offers on something you’re going to use, it’s another thing buying for offer’s sake.
We’ve all done it, gone shopping and seen a great deal, only to get home and realise we’ve seen the same great deal for the last 3 weeks and have finally run out of room for more pickled onions.
Fair enough to make use of special offers on non-perishable goods, a family favourite or something new that catches your eye – after all, there’s less wastage if you do – but if you’re not that fond of Battenberg cake, then three for the price of two is a no-no.
5. We’re happy to put it off till tomorrow.
Why do it today when there’s tomorrow?
We’ll look at changing electricity supplier tomorrow, we’ll be more careful when we do our food shop next week, next month we’ll not spend money on all those non-essential extras.
However, somehow tomorrow, next week or next month never really come when it boils down to biting the bullet and doing what we said we would with our money.
Laziness affects us all, some more than others. Plus taking charge of your finances isn’t the most exciting thing is it? Who wants to be the bore down that pub telling everybody how they saved £20 on their gas bill?
However, all these little savings add up, like they say, look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.
About the Author:-
Jenny writes on behalf of one of the UK’s biggest landlord advice and mortgage information sites. She has spoken to many clients who started off with these good intentions and were halfway to hell before they called in for help.