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Frugal Friday | Saving for a better future


Money - Seeing the future

I think most people in the UK could manage to save £100 a month but struggle to do so and struggle to make it to the end of the month because they waste money. You can live for today, but if you are thrifty and frugal now and save for the future, you can have extra money to spend for a few decades.

According to the AA the average amount of interest paid for a car loan or credit is £234 a year and the depreciation on a small car is over £1,200. On top of that is tax and insurance of £850. I run a larger car and pay just over £700 tax and insurance and my depreciation is around £300 a year because I look after my car. I paid cash for the car so don’t have to pay interest on  a loan. I get interest by investing my money!

If you can save £100 a month and at the end of the year invest it in Zopa getting over 5% interest at the end of 5 years you would have £6,000 plus interest. For a non taxpayer the interest would be over £1,000.

I save money on most things and have no large bills for a few months. All the bills for my car are at the end of the year. I have been saving around 40% on food just lately because I stock up on things from Lidl and Aldi, when I’m passing there. I get annoyed about all these buy three for £10 offers in Asda. I still buy a few things from there but even fruit now is buy two to get the reduced price. I was reminded how expensive Asda can be when I bought a lot of fruit and salad for Christmas; I left that until nearly Christmas so it would be fresh.

Other things I save money on is clothing, I don’t buy designer labels normally. The only thing I do like, that has a designer label, is boxer shorts! I also bought a pair of jeans by a particular maker recently but generally the 4 pairs for £10 jeans I got from Asda are good enough. I have a Matalan card now and they sent me a voucher for 20% off so I can use that to pick up bargains in the sale. I want more tee shirts for the summer, all mine look faded now I have bought a few new ones! 

Many people spend a lot on entertainment, renting DVD’s and socialising. I do get DVD’s for free from my family sometimes and rarely socialise now. I had guests at Christmas and all the food I got by shopping around and the drinks didn’t cost very much. The cheap chocolate liqueurs from Lidl went down well with my guests! Many people waste food at Christmas, I don’t; I eat any food that’s left. I might have to  throw away some spring onions, I think they don’t agree with me but I will eat everything else. My leftovers are yummy though!

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You can save money easier if you simply buy what you need and not everything that you want. Try not to compete with other people, trying to keep up with the Joneses can be very expensive. I don’t need a late model car or the latest gadget. If I won the lottery I might buy a smart phone and even a smart TV; but I don’t need them. I want a sat nav for my car, but do I need it? I will probably buy one before I go travelling next summer but I shall research it first and buy one in the sale; I can easily afford it and it will make for safer driving.

Finally, I intend to buy more shares on the stock market. They appear to be under priced at the moment but I watch the movements and try to pick ones that I think are really cheap. To buy shares someone has to sell, it’s a market and there appears to be more people selling than buying at the moment so there are bargains to be had. If the economy starts to pick up then investors will start to buy and buyers will exceed sellers, prices will then go up. I think companies will also get credit from banks easier and that will promote growth and again share prices will go up. If you have money to invest, you could make a fortune in the next few years. If you have wasted money on fancy gadgets, designer clothes and paying interest to the banks; the future may not be so rosy.

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3 responses

  1. Hi Michael, as I’m in Australia my versions of thrifty are different to yours but we agree completely on the principle!

    My parents and I came to Australia as refugees in 1957 so I grew up with frugal. My parents never owned a car but they did own their house outright. They also owned some truly lovely antique furniture that was getting thrown out in the early 60’s and would have cost a fortune by the 80’s. We all wore opportunity shop clothes long before it became fashionable and retro.

    Thanks to my parents’ thrifty lifestyle they had enough money to give me an excellent education including extras like piano, ballet and singing lessons.

    I’m not quite as thrifty as my parents but I do prioritize my spending, so although I have a nice house [and a mortgage of course] I drive a 23 year old car. Last year I finally bought a new tv [on special] because the old one was over ten years old and failing.

    Like you I rarely buy designer label clothes but when I do they last for a very long time [as in ten years and counting]. Food is always fresh – never tinned, frozen or so processed that you’d need a degree in chemistry to know what you’re eating.

    I probably am a bit too fussy about food but that’s because I’m a foodie when it comes to flavour and I also believe that you are what you eat. Cost also plays a part in what I buy. Not sure if things are the same over there but here in Australia fresh food is significantly cheaper so if you’re prepared to actually peel your own potatoes and shell your own peas then you can eat top quality food at a very low price. Another trick I’ve learned is to buy only enough to last two days. Yes, I go to the shops more often this way but I rarely discover nasty, fuzzy grey food tucked away in the back of my ‘fridge.

    We live and eat very well but that’s because, like my parents, we prioritize what is important and what is just a ‘nice to have’. Going out is a ‘nice to have’ but books are a necessity 😀 Cakes, biscuits and ice-cream are also nice to have and we do have them as a treat but everyday dessert is fruit.

    Not such a bad lifestyle when you think about it!

    6, January 2012 at 1:56 am

    • Hi,

      Thanks for a great comment. Things are a little different in the UK. I buy fresh food but today I’m running short of food because I haven’t done any shopping since before Christmas and I’m worried it could snow. I want to stock up on food at any cost today! That includes tinned and frozen food. I’ve save money over the next two months just because i don’t like going out in the cold! My car battery was dead yesterday, partly due to the cold and me not driving it through Christmas so I’ve charged it up and I’ll do some shopping on Sunday. My car isn’t quite as old as yours, only a baby at 14 years old! I did buy a new TV last year, just so I can watch TV in bed! I had one given me for my living room!

      We will never go short of money if we prioritise though and buy what we need. Please comment again if you have any thrifty or frugal tips! 🙂

      6, January 2012 at 8:41 am

  2. Pingback: Finance Friday | Living for tomorrow « Mike10613's Blog

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