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Finance Friday: New Year financial resolutions

If you want to be better off in 2014 then you need to make a few financial New Year’s resolutions. David Cameron says we need to do more, with less. Maybe, that is the right idea. Maybe, in our personal finances we can look for better value – value for money. Perhaps, we can also cut waste and be more forward looking.

Cutting waste

Do you ever leave the door open when it’s cold or stand chatting to callers on the door step, wasting precious energy. Cutting down on that would be a good idea or even ‘investing’ in a porch. Do you ever leave the hot water tap running, wasting hot water? We can all find ways to cut down the waste. Do you cook too much food, just to be sure there will be enough? Would it be a disaster if everyone in your family ate a little less sometimes?

Value for money

Do you think the lottery is value for money? When it first started, the TV programme on a Saturday night was fun with Mystic Meg and the whole exciting format. Buying a lottery ticket added to the excitement and the fun. Now it’s all about greed and making their chief executive rich every year. She makes a million a year running a fancy raffle. It would be sensible to just stop playing, but you can at least look at it as entertainment. Buy one ticket and watch the televised draw. No televised draw? Don’t buy a ticket. The same principle can be applied to other forms of gambling. Bingo can be fun, but it can also be a rip off. A day at the races can be entertaining and a little bet adds to the excitement. Buy entertainment not false hopes of fortunes… 

There are other things that can be value for money. Is a pub meal value for money compared to a meal in an expensive restaurant? Show off after you’ve got rich, not before. Maybe not even then…

Keeping up with the Joneses

It’s human nature to want a little prestige. If your neighbours have a new car, do you really need to keep up? Prestige can come from a good education and culture. Which gives more prestige? A imported car on the driveway or a work of art on the living room wall?  Do you enhance your prestige and your place in the world by watching the latest soaps and reality television? Do you stand out from the crowd or do you copy what you see in the adverts and on the telly? Following the crowd can be expensive. The designer trainers and latest trendy tee shirt, is more East Enders than Downton Abbey. Is the common look all that you aspire to? Maybe you can develop an individual and prestigious style without spending a fortune?

Making excuses

We all make excuses. Do you find yourself saying, “It was only a pound!” or worse, it was only a fiver! We make excuses to spend small amounts and they build up to large amounts. The kids must have presents and a cheap present isn’t good enough for your little precious. You have to celebrate Christmas and New Year, you have to have Easter eggs, you have to have a pet, you have to have a holiday. You have to have it all. Do you get value for money or are you being a dumb sheep doing exactly what you’re told to do by the advertisers?

Thinking differently

These days, anyone can take an interest in the arts. Anyone can walk through parkland and enjoy nature. Anyone can invest on the stock market and have a bank account. You might not have a mansion with a 100 acres of land, but you have the park and nature reserves. You might not be able to afford a Renoir, but you can get a frame from Poundland and create your own art. You can get pleasure without copying your friends or copying what you see on television. You can have views of your own. You don’t have to share the views of the Sun Newspaper or the Daily Mail. I’m not saying you should start reading the Times, that’s owned by News Corp. too and brainwashes just the same. You don’t have to become a Hyacinth Bucket type snob either. You can just be yourself and not be led by others.

Please comment if you are able to think independently. If  not you can always follow me on Twitter

One Response

  1. Pingback: Britain needs a little luck | Mike10613's Blog

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