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A better standard of living #thrifty

The latest inflation figures suggest that CPI is now close to 3% and food prices are rising even faster than that. In certain parts of the country the housing shortage is past critical and so house prices are now beyond the reach of ordinary people. Food and housing are essentials, as is keeping warm in winter. Taxes aren’t essential but we have to pay them anyway. The money left over after paying for all these essential costs is our discretionary income. That is the money we have left to enjoy ourselves and have days out and holidays. The more thrifty and frugal we are the higher our discretionary income becomes. In fact, if we are thrifty and frugal as well as saving and investing our money; that discretionary income can be as much as double what it might otherwise have been. That means we can essentially have double the standard of living and double the luxuries in life. We can have a better standard of living despite inflation.

A better standard of living

I want it today

Many people have a “I want it today” mind-set that is encouraged by advertisers. I have a ‘squeeze a little more out of it’ mind-set. I always delay buying new things because I know it saves money. My car depreciated much slower than most people’s because I looked after it and made it last. My neighbour changed his car four times and I stuck with the same car and kept it maintained. I have changed it now and have a newer car which will be looked after and serviced and I won’t change it just because my friends have one newer. Keeping up with the Joneses is an extravagance I can ill-afford. The ‘want it today’ culture impoverishes many people as does the desire for instant gratification. Instead of cooking a meal many people find it ‘easier’ to simply send for a takeaway which is less nutritious and doesn’t taste as good.

Cooking

You can save a huge amount of money on that ever rising food bill by learning how to cook properly. Cooking doesn’t need to be laborious if you have the right equipment. I use my air-fryer a lot which makes cooking chips easy. The chips are lower fat and much healthier too. You can also steal ideas from your favourite takeaway. My air fryer cooks the fries from Aldi perfectly and they taste much better than the ones in MacDonald’s. If you want a better standard of living why not cook a great meal? It is cheaper than buying takeaway.

Interest

It isn’t practicable to save up to buy a house. Most people struggle to save the deposit and houses rise in value. It is better to save up to buy most other things and you then avoid wasting money on interest. Car loans in particular have relatively high interest rates and many people buy a late-model car on credit for vanity reasons. Older cars aren’t quite as reliable but for many people who don’t go far they tend to do the job if maintained well. I would never buy a luxury like a cell phone on credit. Some cell phone contracts are really expensive too. Always beware of ‘interest free credit’ because it is not free.

Discount

Besides using discount supermarkets and shops, I also tend to go to trade suppliers where possible. I choose Screwfix rather than B & Q because you get better value. Being thrifty and frugal doesn’t mean being mean like Scrooge. I have put the heating on this month when I was cold but I make sure windows and doors are shut first!

A better standard of living

It is true that you can have a better standard of living by habitually being careful with money. You can enjoy better holidays and if you want, you can enjoy the occasional luxury. Many people endure a life of continuous mediocrity because they habitually enjoy junk food and quite often too much alcohol and even tobacco as well. Saving for a special event or holiday gives you a memory that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

That is all my ideas for this week. If you would like to follow my blog just enter your email address at the top of the sidebar or follow me on Twitter for updates. You can find more ideas and pictures on my Facebook page.

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