With George Osborne championing the message of a country “spending within its means”, saving money is at the forefront of our minds these days.
Evaluating and cutting back on spending can be a daunting prospect, so we asked a range of bloggers for their top money mantras and sayings to inspire you to spend effectively.
Tip from the Fat Dad in Leeds.
It can be tempting to borrow money, but it’s vital that you think of the long-term implications and ensure the debt is sustainable. Payday loans and high interest rates can easily have the adverse effect of making your financial situation worse, rather than offering a helping hand.
Keep calm on payday
Everyone loves to treat themselves on payday: a meal, a new shirt, an extra bottle of wine. And why not, when you’ve just got some extra cash? The problem is that this can engrain the bad habit of spending more as soon as you get money – which will never help your long-term saving!
Emma, blogger at Mums Savvy Savings, contributed this tip.
You’d be surprised at the savings you can get if you spread your shopping out between stores (both physical and online)! This is especially useful with larger purchases.
This is an important distinction – acting cheap won’t win you any friends, but people are often sympathetic to frugality. Rather than leaving without tips or holding back your share of a taxi fare, try to be frugal in other ways: make your own lunches, cut down your luxuries and go for cheaper alternatives. You’ll notice huge differences.
Value your spend
There’s a moment of pride when you find a good bottle of wine for £5, and you’d rightly hesitate to pay £10 for the same bottle.
When it comes to buying a new washing machine though, people wouldn’t flinch at paying £350 instead of £345. In both cases, the saving is £5, regardless of the total cost of the product!
Use what you have
For practical purchases like power tools, it’s often the case that you could borrow one from a friend and save yourself a large chunk of money. Or when you’re tempted by a new utensil or piece of furniture, why not try to upcycle something you already have and save the money instead?
This is a great mantra to have for all purchases. Asking yourself “do I really need it?” will make you examine your motivations for buying, and you’d be surprised how often the answer is “no”.
Tips 6 and 7 come from Jen who blogs over at A Thrifty Mum.
Ask yourself if it is a want or a need
Is it something you can do without?
These are similar in essence to some of the other mantras on the list, but we included them to highlight the importance of finding a way of phrasing it that best helps you remember.
Thanks to Cass Bailey of The Diary of a Frugal Family for number 8, and Fat Dad in Leeds for number 9.
Cut down your gadgets
Resisting temptations to splash out on expensive gadgets is tough, but the financial implications can make it worthwhile. Why not swap your £35 per month smartphone for a £10 phone with £5 credit per month (you don’t need to spend on data if your phone can’t use it!). This would cut your annual phone costs from £420 to £60.
If you allocate a chunk of your income to savings and transfer it to a dedicated savings account as soon as it arrives in your bank, it’s often easier to save than if you aim to save what’s left over at the end of the month. You could choose a fixed amount or a percentage of your income to save money, depending on what works best for you.
Plan down to the penny
This is sound advice on how to spread your money out to make sure you’ve got enough to last you until the next payday. Thanks to Fat Dad in Leeds for this tip!
Other people’s money mantras are a good starting point, but to really get where you want to be financially you need to establish (and live by!) your own rules. Tell us what your rules or money mantras are in the comments below.