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Look after the pennies #thrifty

The old adage, look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves was true when there were 240 pennies to the pound and it is still true today. Those small savings add up and add to the discretionary income that you have left after buying all the essentials. That is the money you have to spend on luxuries and a little penny-pinching can mean you have twice as much to spend on enjoying yourself.

Thrifty Thursday - look after the pennies

Look after the pennies

I’ve enjoyed a couple of community events this week. There was a jazz band in the park on Sunday and live music in a local library. You can’t get better than free, but I was still aware of the cost of the petrol to get there. Nothing is entirely free. It is also important when you’re considering entertainment to get value for money and recognise what you really enjoy and what you don’t enjoy. Often we go to the pub, just because we need company, we are, after all, social animals. Is there a better option than the pub, which can be quite expensive?

The supermarket

There are always offers on in supermarkets, but look for value for money and make sure the offer really does offer good value. I shopped at Aldi this week but several items I wanted weren’t in stock and so that means another trip and then I use more petrol getting there. There were no less than 6 items that I’ve bought at Aldi before that they didn’t have. This problem of stocking a wide choice and keeping the shelves stocked is costing Aldi sales and losing them market share. Tesco pulled back market share from the discounters in the past six months by cutting some prices and offers and offering better service to customers. We the customers keep the supermarkets competitive by being thrifty and frugal and checking the offers and prices.

Clothing

There can be a big difference in the quality of clothing between the top end and the discounted bottom end. Do we really want clothes that will last and last? I don’t think we do, we are all at least a little fashion conscious. A well-tailored suit might be an expensive item we would wear again and again for special occasions or even for work and we might go to a more traditional store to buy a suit. Other fashion items tend to be made in low wage countries and can be picked up more cheaply at discount stores. If you must have a brand name on your clothing then you might have to pay a premium for that. A brand name can signify quality, but not always. Look for value and save those pennies, those savings all add up.

Bills

You can save a lot of money on bills by shopping around for energy and your phone supplier. You can also save money by having an unlocked phone and using a cheap service like GiffGaff but you have to buy the phone. You can save on things like car tax by taxing your car for 12 months instead of six. These savings add up and even online billing can be worth a few quid off your phone bill.

Being aware

Saving money and having a ‘look after the pennies’ attitude to finance is about awareness of how much things really cost. I use about 60p in petrol when I go to the supermarket but that will rise to 80 or 90p if I am in a hurry. If I drive slowly and carefully, it’s not only safer but also cheaper. You might say I only save 20p, but then I save a few pounds by shopping at a discounter and my journey is cheaper because I pay my car tax yearly. The journey is also cheaper because I not only shopped around for car insurance but I save by paying that annually instead of monthly too.  All those pennies add up and can be used for a better holiday or a better Christmas or whatever.

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