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The age of falling incomes #thrifty

There was more evidence this week that people are less well off. In the public sector, there is a pay freeze and while the incomes of the highest paid seem to continue to grow. So for many people being thrifty and frugal is not a choice it is a necessity. We are in an age of falling incomes because when inflation is taking into account many incomes are falling leaving families struggling.

falling incomes

Supermarket wars

The supermarket wars are more evidence of people struggling to maintain their standard of living. Discounters like Aldi continue to take market share and have improved service and the range of their products. Many shoppers like me shop at Aldi and then shop in the bigger name supermarkets to pick up the odd items that Aldi doesn’t stock.

Online

The rise of online shopping is also changing our shopping habits as we search online for bargains. This is putting pressure on the smaller shops that find it hard to find suppliers that will offer them the supplies at a price that will allow them to stay in business. There is also a north – south divide with people in the north of England tending to struggle more than those in the prosperous south east.

Strategy

A strategy can help us maintain our discretionary income, that money left over when we have paid for all the essentials, at the current level or even get better value for money when we spend on the little luxuries in life. We have to look beyond the marketing gimmicks and beyond famous names. The latest fashion might look great on someone ten years younger than us but we have to consider and face reality. That tattoo might not be appropriate and a complete waste of money that we will regret.

Money for nothing

People often spend money and see nothing in return. Money spent on interest on loans and money spent on gambling doesn’t improve our standard of living it depletes it. Smokers don’t like to admit that their money is going up in smoke. We cannot only make sure we are getting something, rather than nothing for our money, we can also ensure we get value for money. The marketing people will appeal to our egos and exploits our fears we have to be aware of the marketing of all the products that we buy.

Falling incomes

Falling incomes in the public sector and elsewhere has seen people trying to maintain their status and failing. They then fall into the trap of spending on their credit cards and a downward spiral follows. If you are at the stage where debts are beginning to pile up or your savings have been depleted and you have nothing for a rainy day then now is the time to take action. Putting bills in a drawer and forgetting them isn’t a good option.

A good test of whether you are managing your money well is to see how long you could last if you lost your income entirely. Some financial experts say it should be 3 months but I would consider it to be much longer than that.

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