Tune in and have yet another laugh at me hanging my pants out to dry on the washing line.
I'm going to bring up the subject of money, I know, you'd rather not think about it, but tough. You either let it rule your life or you knuckle down and take control, the choice is yours.
It is the beginning of the year, cards and bank accounts have taken a hammering over the Christmas period, people are asking how to get back on track, build up their kitty and put a bit by for a summer holiday. Now is the time to start talking about it, and not to brush it under the carpet, because it will never go away. The best way is to approach it full on, and get to grips now.
There is a lot of pressure on us to spend money these days, we get bombarded by advertising on all levels, from a small newspaper ad, to a massive billboard on the corner of a busy road junction. We cannot get away from it, it is always there in our face. What we have to do is learn to ignore all these attempts to get us to open our purse. The only advertising we should be looking at is that which we seek out ourselves. When we need to buy something we need to know our options, so we can make informed choices to get the best our money can buy.
When I go into a shop other than a supermarket, I know what I am looking for and go straight to the relevant shelves to make my choice. I go in the discount stores to look for cheap food. I walk straight past the toiletries, I don't want any toys, stationary, cushions, (cushions bloody cushions, why are they everywhere? grrr), household utensils, table lamps, cleaning products, or household textiles. Just a quick note here about Pound Shops, they aren't always the cheapest. I have found bleach and washing up liquid cheaper elsewhere. Admittedly only saved 15 or 20p, but it mounts up over the year.
Then when I am in the food aisles I narrow my search down even further. I don't want cakes, biscuits, jumbo bags of crisps, fizzy drinks, and sweets. All these things are impulse buys, and to save money I need to curb my impulses. My mind is focused as I march through, and I scan the shelves for prices. I want Nescafe and Coffee Mate, (whitener - cheaper than fresh milk but tastes ok), then I check the prices of a few other items to see if they are cheaper than the supermarket. I might pick up a food item that is a good buy and I know I will eat it.
I am like a horse with blinkers on, don't look sideways, in my own bubble and ignore everything going on around me. I have come into the store for a purpose, and I intend to leave when my mission is accomplished.
Next I take a look at the pet food shelves. At the moment they have four tins of Feline Fayre tuna in jelly for £1, a good price and my cats like it. Best to get it now while I am here, how many can I carry to the bus station? Pay and exit shop.
Will power plays a big part in shopping sensibly. Dont go food shopping when you are hungry. You will put all sorts of rubbish food in your trolley, and the moment you get out into the car park you will be frantically ripping bags open to stuff something delicious into your mouth. I know I have done it. Confession time.......I can get through six small bags of crisps out of a multipack bag, while I drive home. Then of course I am full so I skip my meal. Big mistake, my will power went out the window and I am disgusted with myself. Crisps are my weakness so now I don't venture into the snack food aisle. Shop just after you have eaten a meal, then the crisps and cream cakes won't look so tempting.
I hang on to my money untill I want to spend it. No one can pull the wool over my eyes, no one can talk me into buying something I don't need. What I spend it on is my choice. I'm not saying I haven't made a few mistakes along the way, that's human nature, but I always manage to get back on track. What's done is done, move on. Good luck, and keep a tight grip on your purse.