Friday, 24 November 2017

That's telling them

Hello. There's no point in me telling you all how to be frugal and money saving, you all know what you have to do, earn more and spend less, and only buy what you need rather than what you want. That's my mantra and I'm sticking to it.

This post is aimed at the younger generation who have not yet got a grasp of budgeting their finances, and find themselves in a heck of a mess. This is your mum speaking, so sit down and listen. You know that silly tradition that we seem to have inherited from across the pond, Black Friday I believe they are calling it. Well, it isn't just black, it is a stinking cesspit of multinational businesses bullying you to hand over your money. It's all trickery, it's all lies, they dangle these shiny gadgets with lots of buttons and knobs on, in front of your face and say come on, you know you want one. If you get one of these your life is going to be full of sunshine from now on.

Only it isn't, You will play with it for a while, and six months later, the bogey men will pester you again, with a brand new soopadoopa all bells and whistles version. Aha, the one you spent a fortune on is now obsolete, and to keep up with all your friends, who will all have the new one, you have to follow suit and fork out another few hundred quid to stay in the game.

For goodness sake, what are you? Some kind of dumb sheep. Sorry sheep, you are not really dumb, you just follow each other. Have you not got a mind of your own? So, you get sucked in, you are desperate to keep up with your pals. They invite you to parties, you buy new clothes because you don't want to appear the odd one out. I know all about that, I did the same when I was a teenager, only I didn't buy my clothes, I made them. I found pictures in magazines, bought cheap fabric, and copied the designs. The best thing you can do is learn how to sew.

It's a big bad world out there, and now we have the internet we can see the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. There are lots of influences, that want a piece of our lives. Close your mind to it all, buying something nice to make us feel good is a short term fix, leading to long term pain. Do you really want years of having debt around your neck, dragging you down, chasing every penny, being in your overdraft every month, relying on the plastic? No, neither do I. I have never had an overdraft, wouldn't know how to apply for one.

Sleepless nights, worrying how you are going to pay for everything, running out of cash in the middle of the month, it's an eternal circle, a downward spiral, that takes ages to get out of. Best not to go there in the first place, will save you a load of hassle.

So, GET YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT. Ok, I'm shouting now. You don't need to buy lunch out every day, make a pack up from home. You don't need Sky TV and all the other packages that you pay for, you don't even need to have a TV at all, get rid of it, stop paying the licence and watch legal catch up on your computer.

You don't need to get your hair cut every month, leave it for six weeks, and ladies, never get a shampoo and set at the hairdressers, that's just lazy. Wash your own hair in your own bathroom.

You don't need to buy new clothes every month, you've probably got loads of clothes lurking in your wardrobe anyway, wear them. Or buy from a car boot sale or charity shop. You can save a fortune buying second hand.

You don't need a flash car on finance which is going to be worthless when you have eventually paid the astronomical interest rates. Start by squirreling some money away and buying an old banger. I had a battered old van as my first car, then after saving a bit more money, another van, not quite so battered, and eventually a car, still old, but a bit better. I would never buy a new car, it depreciates at a rapid rate as soon as you drive it off the forecourt.

Ditch the takeaways, the coffee in cardboard cups, the magazines, the choccy bars, and anything else that is an impulse buy. Tell yourself that everything you buy from now on will be something you have given a lot of consideration to. You have thought carefully, worked out all the pro's and con's, and found the best price you can, then if you really need it, and you have the money to pay for it, then I give you permission to buy it.

If your life is pretty crap there is the temptation to treat yourself to something nice, to make yourself feel better. The answer is not to spend money you haven't got, because then you'll feel worse, You need to look inside yourself and ask why am I feeling like this. What can I do to make some changes. Don't be blinkered, don't think the road you are on at the moment is the only one. It isn't.

So my younger readers, to sum up. Know your own mind, don't follow others, make your own way in life. Be responsible for your own actions, you make a mistake say, ok I messed up, but I won't do it again. Anyway, I haven't got time to tap away all day on this computer, I'm off out for my walk, before it gets dark.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

36 comments:

  1. I agree with every single word. Well said.
    J x

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  2. Ilona I wish I dare send this post to my Grand daughter, Just married they have just put down the deposit on a new build house, she does not want to live in someone else's crappy house, her words not mine. They were married with all the bells and whistles in October, still go out for meals, coffee etc, and I guess they will be up to their eyes in debt in 12 months time. She is having to go back to work full time to ensure they get a mortgage, no effort been made to save any money, although she did tell me that the money I gave her for her wedding is being saved for solicitors fees. I will believe that when I see it!!

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  3. Great advice Ilona. I go ten weeks between hair cuts now and I go local too, much cheaper than a high street posh shop. Confession time, I bought fabric in a Black Friday sale, yes I am ashamed. However it was a planned purchase I have been putting off as I won't need it for another month, I brought it forward as it was exactly what I had been looking at at 30% off, I paid cash too. I didn't buy any of the other 30% off fabrics though, I don't need them and hadn't planned on buying any. I am not buying anything else either. Am I forgiven?

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  4. Every word you've just written is bang on point! Well done. I hope you have younger followers to spread the word. I shall be reading this our to everyone I bumped into. As for Black Friday; I have never purchased anything on this day. I hate to be a "sheep "
    So; in defiance Black Friday can do one. Much love x

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  5. You use the same words as i do when Im talking to the grandkids...Its a big bad world out there..I also tell them that everyone is trying to get as much out of you as they can.Thing is,although they appear to be listening,you dont know if they are really taking it in.Its so different from when i was growing up and i really wish that we could go back to the way things were then!..Gosh,that makes me sound old,my Gran used to say that!..But it was a far better world then...Debi,xx

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  6. Well said! Young people now generally have different priorities. The latest phone and socialising comes before saving. It is so hard for them with rents and house prices out of reach for most. Radical frugality is sometimes the only option to move forward. As my gran would say. After your bills are paid spend half (disposable income) and save half. Always worked for me. Another saying of hers was. Waste not want not. She was my frugal heroine who lived well and comfortably until the age of 89. She always had enough for treats and days out when she chose to.

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  7. I remember a hilarious post you did on 'Black Friday': stamp and shove your way through the scrum etc. Seriously, not me, I am not going to get into this nonsense. Boringly, I suppose to some people, between Christmas and New Year 'the lull time' I got through the outgoings (bills etc) and plan how to spend less for the coming year. Amanda

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  8. truly wise words

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  9. what a great deal of common sense

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  10. I love this post. It should be on every school's IT server and shared with the pupils and they should all talk about it. It's the Mr Micawber philosophy and it is absolutely brilliant.xx

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  11. Absolutely brilliant post Ilona. It's a pity they don't teach finance, household management and debt in schools. That would help a lot of kids avoid the pitfalls of credit. All the best xx

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  12. I never thought about the future when I was young-I just lived for the day.I really never believed I would get older.No one prepared me for life .I have learnt by my mistal<es sadly and I'm still learning x

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  13. I have taken advantage of one of the Black Friday deals.....I haven't abandoned my gnat bottomed principles don't worry! I just decided to order our usual cat food with the extra 10% off this week rather than pay the normal price I'd have needed to pay next week anyway.
    Arilx

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  14. Always good advice!

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  15. One minor point - if you're watching any of your catch up TV on BBC iPlayer then you're breaking the law if you don't have a licence.

    http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/topics/watching-online-and-on-mobile-devices-TOP14

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    1. Note I used the word LEGAL catchup in my post.

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    2. Cool - I've just seen quite a few people caught out assuming that it they're watching catch they're OK and not realising the rules changed a while back.

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    3. The rules changed in September 2016, I haven't watched it since then, even though there has been some programmes I would have liked to have seen. Yoootooob is my friend now.

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  16. Hello. I'm from America and I've never been one to get my feathers ruffled over Black Friday; ignore it, plain and simple. This is very good advice you have given to your young readers. My additions would be to have your money work for you. Invest in a whole life insurance policy. By the time you've retired, you will have a nice little nest egg. Also, save your money and try and invest it in either real property or investments (conversative, of course). It's a long and hard process but the proceeds will pay off big in the long run. Your retirement lifestyle will be enhanced from your investments along with your social security/pension/IRA. But, you need to plan to do this while you are still young. My best to everyone, Pat

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  17. Hi Ilona. Sorry to hear that our stupid habits are slithering into other countries. Over here, people camp outside stores just to be the first in for the "bargains". One family put a tent up on Monday! It's like an addiction!! My Grandparent's lived through the Depression and were forced to make do. It rubbed off on my Mother and she taught me frugality from a very early age. It paid off too, because when I was in High School in the 90's, they'd done away with Home Economics class, so kids weren't taught basic cooking, sewing, budgeting, etc. Same goes for Auto Shop, so my husband taught all our kids basic car maintenance and repair. We could "vent" about this all day, but few youngsters ( or their parents ) will listen. But as my Dad said, "Act irresponsibly, and you'll pay the piper sooner or later". Vera in Sheboygan

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  18. Hello Ilona... YAY I'm waving the Anti Black Friday banner with you! ..what saddens me is that smaller local shops feel that they also need to entice customers through their doors by holding a Black Friday Event too ! *angry face emoji*

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  19. Well said Ilona, couldn't have put it better myself. We don't need to be sucked in by all the commercialism and mindless tat that's shoved in our faces everywhere. I am looking forward to my first Christmas as a Grandmother and have chosen only to buy gifts that my Granddaughter can treasure when she is older. My own daughter is as frugal as I am and that is a direct result of my parents. We grew up on very little but we never felt as if we were left out, we always had good food, warm clothes, a roof over our head and were content with what little we had. So hear, hear Ilona, well said and as always love your blog, Carol from the Wirral

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  20. Brilliant post! I agree with every word and wish this post could be read out in every school in the country! I ignore Black Friday too...

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  21. I don't think it's exclusively young people who live in the way you describe. What you have written could be applied across the generations, but 'young people' seem to be an easy target and come in for a lot of stick these days. My daughters are 29 and 22. I thought my generation had been well and truly shafted but it's nothing compared to what they are facing and will continue to face.

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  22. I just wish someone could make frugality more sense to young people and get through to them. This is a little off topic but I visited a new baby in my extended family recently. The parents are determined to have everything brand new and are being told by their health visitor and midwife not to use any blankets or covers on the baby but to keep the room temperature at 18 degrees 24/7. They are renting and cannot save for a mortgage. We oldies have advised them they are living beyond their means and suggest they can do things differently, but they will only listen to the professionals. I feel very sorry for these young parents but common sense seems to have gone out the window.

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  23. Yes, Black Friday is a big deal here in the United States. To the best of my memory, at age 62, I have never participated in the Black Friday craze. I don't see the point in risking my well-being to "save" a few bucks. I am way too frugal for that. Nowadays you can get the same deals online. I don't need to add to my already overflowing home of "stuff", no matter how cheap it is. Your words of wisdom, I hope, will fall on young ears so they don't end up like so many of us seniors who have nothing to live on but Social Security. Oh! The money I threw away in non-essentials to satisfy the never-ending hunger of an emptiness in me. All the "stuff" I bought never fulfilled that need. Thank you for sharing your knowledge ...you are right on in every way.

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  24. Superb post. I am telling my nieces. One is listening. The other doesn't.

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  25. Just caught up with this post. I don't have children so am probably very out of touch with how young people think these days. I do remember how important it was to me to be keeping up with the in crowd etc when I was young. The big difference I find now I'm so much older is that most of the time I don't give a stuff what people think of me or my life or what I wear and so on, whereas as a young woman I didn't have that confidence. I think the internet must pile a whole load of pressure onto youngsters that wasn't there in my day. However they do need to wise up and consider why they are struggling to get on the housing ladder and so on when they are spending thousands on weddings, foreign holidays, iPhones and goodness knows what. (A generalisation I know, I'm sure not all of them do so).

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    1. Oh dear Kate, if only those were the reasons young people have been priced out of the housing market.

      avg. house price in 1997: 3.6 times workers salary.
      avg. house price in 2017: 7.6 times workers salary.

      Still, at least the baby boomers are cushty with their property investments.

      You might want to read this: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/mar/17/average-house-price-times-annual-salary-official-figures-ons

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  26. Hi I bought my Kindle Fire on black Friday a few years ago I asked my daughter to get me one ,she is on Amazon Prime, she asked if I was in s hurry no I said so a month later it arrived on s black Friday deal. If used sensibly it ids good

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  27. I enjoy a good rant myself, and enjoyed this one on Black Friday. I was very distressed to see Black Friday ads in Australia this year. We don't have a Thanksgiving (and if we did it would be in the first half of the year), and it makes absolutely no sense for us- it's just advertising gone crazy. My mother had no idea what the term Black Friday meant. It took a marriage breakdown and all the expense that goes with that for me to begin my (semi) frugal journey. When you're young you do think you're invisible in all matters- housing here is crazy- the average house price in most of Sydney is a million dollars! I have no idea how young people can afford to live there. I couldn't afford to live there.

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  28. Feel free to correct me if wrong: I thought the original thinking behind black friday was that you saved up all year and then after thanksgiving, you start off the next year 'in the black' financially?? As usual though, the celebration has been hi-jacked by the retailers and fed by people's greed.

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  29. I'd also never heard of an overdraft until I saw a few of my classmates relying on them.

    Of course, their banks happily accommodated their loose money habits because they would likely retain them as customers after they graduated and found jobs.

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  30. Thank you, Miss Ilona. I feel properly told off and promise to behave better in future! Nathan x

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