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How to save money

I used my credit card last month, when the bill arrives I’ll pay it off. If you pay interest to the bank that’s money you can’t spend on those little luxuries that make life more bearable. Paying extra for goods so you can get ‘interest free’ credit is the same or paying extra for monthly instalments.

Lots of debt is dressed up to sound acceptable. Payday loan adverts on TV feature cute characters to hide the extortionate interest rates. Many people could become millionaires by the time they reach middle age if they didn’t waste money.

In the UK people seem to have an inferiority complex as they are put down by such derogatory terms as ‘chav’. Many people try, to not only keep up with the Joneses, but outdo the Joneses. They are encouraged to do this by business and even by government. I saw an auction this week of ‘personalised’ number plates appealing to people’s desire to get one up on their neighbours. Even the year letter on the vehicle number plate appears to be important to many people. My car is 16 years old and has been thoroughly tested. Depreciation works out to less than £300 a year.  I don’t pay an extra £50 to pay my car insurance by instalments either.

I was told about a good film this week, made in 2012. I said it’ll be on TV next year! You pay to see the latest films. It’s good if you want a night out, but if it’s just so you can brag to your friends then it seems a waste of money.

Obviously shopping around can save you money and now with the internet, you can just search for what you want and find the best price. Before you buy anything, ask why you’re buying it. Ask yourself if you really need it! These days it costs money to get rid of your junk. So why collect lots of it in the first place?

Knowledge and skills can save you money. I watch the stock market and one company’s shares I’ve been watching have gone up 20% this week. It’s an oil company. Imagine how much the shares would go up if they actually struck oil! The shares cost less than a penny. At the time of writing you can buy 100,000 for less than £400. It is a big risk buying such shares, but imagine the excitement if they stuck oil. I like the death or glory nature of such investments. It’s not for everyone though.

I also save with Zopa, which is a much more modest return, but still close on 5% now; so much more than the banks. The interest I make adds the that surplus income that I save for those little luxuries. Well it would if I didn’t keep reinvesting it.

Do you have any ideas for saving money? Please use the comments box to share your ideas. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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