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Keeping tabs on your money


Thrifty Thursday

I read this week that people forget where they spent their money. You look in your wallet or purse and suddenly it’s all gone and payday is still some way off. Many people can’t last until payday and even then, if disaster strikes they can’t last long without money

My disaster this week was when the freezer stopped working. It was really old and so it was obviously time to buy a new one. Not only was I losing the freezer but the food too. I tried to use or save the most expensive food. I think I have managed to save about half of it. I filled a baking tray with chicken drumsticks with bacon on top and cooked those in the oven, then refroze them yesterday.

I put the new freezer on my credit card for the extra legal protection and it gives me until about September to pay for it. The bill should come around the 14th of August and then I’ll have a few weeks to pay it. I avoid paying interest payments like the plague! I like banks to pay me interest not the other way around.

I recently got my first bad payment with Zopa, which ate into my returns a little; but I’m still getting a far better return than with the bank. Zopa is peer to peer lending. People like me lend to people who need to borrow for a car or something sensible and can afford the repayments over 3 years or 5 years. At the moment I’m getting a return of about 4.5% and I’m considering putting even more money into it. Under the new lending scheme, returns are a little lower but there is now a fund to cover bad debts. There is also rapid return to sell on loan books to other lenders to get your money back. It seems likely that lending through Zopa will be covered by the government compensation scheme too. That will put it on a more level playing field with the banks. The banks have competition now, maybe someone can bring about some competition for pay day loans?

I am a creature of habit. I never think about eating or drinking when I’m out. If it’s hot, I usually have drinks in the car. In fact one can seems to have split open in the back of the car with the heat recently. I do sometimes forget to take a drink with me when I go to the hospital and have to buy a drink. Last time, I had to choose between buying Coke in the cafe or buying some from the supermarket near by. I chose the latter, saved 80p and it tasted just as good…

We buy those little luxuries out of that surplus income we have left over when we have paid for housing, food, energy, water and essential transport. I suppose communication is an essential these days too, at least a landline is, I’m not sure about a smart phone. Many people don’t have that much surplus income to spare. Why waste it on interest payments, tattoos, Starbucks coffee, cigarettes or the latest trend? Try to look for value for money. A television is usually value for money, you get hours of entertainment from it. It can be poor value if you subscribe to all the latest channels on cable though. Cell phones can save lives, but do you need to pay monthly for the top of the range trendy one? Games consoles are quite good because they can provide a lot of entertainment for the money as long as you’re not seduced into buying new games and blue ray movies all the time.

That’s it for today. What do you waste your money on? Please share those thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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