Hello. I've been reading a lot just lately on the different methods people use to save money, on web sites, newspaper articles, forums, and blogs. It strikes me that there are a myriad of different ways to approach this living frugally lark, and no one has all the answers, me included. As a single person pensioner with a small income and no savings my ways are going to be different to those who are younger with a family. There isn't a one size fits all.
I know quite a few people who have no need to watch the pennies. Although no one likes to talk about their financial status it is obvious that they have managed to plan for the future and live in houses a lot nicer, bigger, and newer, than mine. I am assuming that as they drive around in brand new Chelsea Tractors, they must have been in good jobs to be able to splash the cash. I bet you are thinking that there is a touch of jealousy creeping in here, you'd be wrong. Anyone who has the cash to buy what they want can do so. It's when people spend money they haven't got and go into debt for it when the trouble starts. It's a downward spiral from there.
Money saving among the well off is different to the way I do it. I see wealth as a ball and chain around my neck. Ok, imagine you have accumulated £50,000 throughout your working life. What do you do with it? If you have won it or been given it, you wouldn't look on it in the same way as if you had earned it by sweating your nuts off in a job that bored the pants off you. There are thousands of crooks out there who are waiting to get their grubby hands on your nest egg, and I don't just mean scamming individuals as if that isn't bad enough, I mean the legitimate financial institutions who aim to confuse the hell out of you with their predictions, offers, accounts, investments, and personal finance advice. They tell you to put it in this account, invest in that company, buy an ISA or bonds, shift it around several bank accounts. What a load of faff just to hold onto your cash. Phew, I couldn't get my head round that, maths was never my strong point, in fact I am chuffin useless at it. I'm glad I don't have to worry about all that, my personal finances are a lot easier to work out. Juggling money about is one kind of money saving I don't have to bother with.
Extreme couponing has been in the news again. I was asked the question by a journalist, 'Do I collect coupons? My reply, no. Those who have a family to look after and buy a far wider range of products than I do, might save a few bob, but you have to remember, the only reason that companies give out coupons, is to make you buy more. The pictures you see of coupon shoppers pushing trolley loads of stuff back to their cars, then stockpiling it in their garage, makes me wonder if it is more of an obsession rather than an effort to save money. What I want to know is once they have accumulated all this stuff, at what point do they then stop spending altogether, and use up what they have? How do they decide when they have enough? The amount of time and effort they put into searching for the coupons would possibly make it pay less than the minimum wage. Another kind of money saving I don't want to bother with.
Cash back sites seem quite popular, whenever you want to buy something if you go through one of these sites eg, Quidco, they give you money back when you make purchases through their web site. I don't want to sign up to any more sites, and I don't want to do internet shopping because I don't trust the security of it. And what about that Groupon thing, is it still going? Sign up and get all these special offers. If I wanted something I would go out and look for it, I don't need another marketing ploy to get me to part with my cash.
Comparison sites, well they confuse the hell out of me. I want an easy life, if I am happy with what I am paying for goods and services I leave well alone. If I want to change and look for a cheaper deal I will first read Money Saving Expert, then go to the web sites of possible companies, and choose one for myself. Don't tell me to go to a comparison site, I can't be bothered.
So, I have my own methods of managing my money, and although some may say I go to extreme lengths to save a few pennies here and there, I have proved that over a period of time, those pennies mount up and make £'s. My simple way of thinking means that I buy what I need, and if there is anything left over, I can then move on to spend what's left on what I want. I will continue to search out cheap shops to buy food. I will not switch the heating on until I am cold, it's lucky that I spent years working outdoors which got me acclimatized to lower temperatures. I will continue taking food and drink out with me and not buy it out. When I want or need something I will first see if I can make it, recycled materials are best, or look in a charity shop, or go to a car boot sale, and look in skips. I don't care if people think I am odd, I don't have to keep up with anyone, I do my own thing.
Right, off out to do three miles. There is a howling wind, should be fun.
Thanks for popping in. Catch up soon. Toodle pip.