''What is it that makes someone good with money? blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • mattytun
    mattytun Posts: 13,920
    Rampant Recycler Xmas Saver! Savvy Shopper! Energy Saving Champion
    edited 17 January 2011 at 1:34PM
    I left school in 1987 & all the years i was there i never once got any info on how to "save/banks/intrest rates/" etc but it was a case of who cares anyway at that age you think money grows on trees and mum&dad will always pay the way for me.Th4en i got a job & started to put so much away each week in a tin under my bed then after a few months i had a few hundred pound. but my mum and dad was always saying get in in the bank then i got myself down to local bank (easy accses) & i just started to learn about saving but i think being on here has helped..anyways i must be doing something right as i now have 4 fixed rate accounts thanks martin........:rotfl:

    PS..........when food shopping i shop from day-to-day (bargins)
    clothes etc...........i never buy full amount i buy stuff on sale or reduced.:D
    Can't sleep, quit counting sheep and talk directly to the shepherd :cool:
  • Ken68
    Ken68 Posts: 6,825
    First Anniversary First Post Energy Saving Champion Home Insurance Hacker!
    People need to see IMMEDIATE savings or profit to get the bug.
    Digging your garden, for example, will give you free food for life, but it takes upwards of a year to get it off the ground.
    Definately an attitude thing too, like flushing the loo with rainwater is FREE and
    some people wouldn't be seen dead in an auction house or boot sale or Freecycle., yet stuff costs next to nothing.
    As for MAKING money someone else best answer. Every share I ever had went bad.
    If I had a son, I would pay him to grow food in my garden as long as he ate it too.
    I would sub him to buy cheap items in a boot sale that he could sell at a profit.
    I would pay him a percentage of any savings he makes for me on gas electric etc.
    It's a learning process .
    After a while, I would expect him to say such as "we got a spare room dad, let's get a lodger".
  • Interesting one this, I've always been good with money, a lot of what I read on MSE albeit good advice doesn't help me a lot because I see it as common sense (don't get me wrong I'm not knocking it is very useful for a lot of people)

    While I'm unusually good with money, my brother is unusually bad, he is always asking me to lend him money and always in debt (and he earns a lot more than me!) we both went to the same schools, same parents and upbringing obviously, we are also both fairly good at maths, his grades were actually better than mine but mine weren't bad.

    The only explanation I can think of in this case is that my mum is good with money and my dad is bad. We both take after a different parent perhaps?
    If you don't like what I say slap me around with a large trout and PM me to tell me why.

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  • In my own situation I know I have never been very good with money as I have always (previously) taken the Ostrich stance! That, coupled with 'Im too busy to look for the best deals' (for 'busy' read 'lazy') attitude has left me with not a lot!

    I went to a good school, had financially savvy parents & sibling, worked in Accounts for 18 years, was married, but we still had our house & car repossessed 4 years ago & were in terrible debt (all cleared now though!! :j).

    This year though Ive decided that as im now 38, I need to do something to change my financial situation. So I have used Martins site to change my Gas & Elec (cheaper & £20- cashback) providers, My Broadband & phone line provider (£40 per month cheaper!), searched for the cheapest Freeview box, used the budgeting tool and as such will now be better off by £200 per month!
    Now admittedly I am getting rid of my car as Ive realised its a luxury, not a necessity, but even so i think im finally getting there. :D
  • Rainmaker_uk
    Rainmaker_uk Posts: 531 Forumite
    edited 17 January 2011 at 3:30PM
    I think it is a mixture of things:

    Environment: Was money and finance discussed at home or was it considered 'rude' to talk about money? If you have a low financial IQ then you are at a disadvantage from the start.

    Temprement: What is your attitude to saving, risk and life? This is often inbuilt in to each of us. Also as Grey Queen says - the ability to defer gratification.

    Experience: Life's experiences may have changed your outlook to money. For me it changed when I got out of debt after a failed company many years ago. I am now much more interested in saving for the future.

    Personal drive: For many people it takes effort to be 'good with money' - I am one of these people myself. I have raised my financial IQ by reading books and forums (like MSE) and generally taking an interest in the world and what makes it tick (usually money...)

    1 vs the financial service industry is not fair

    Above all I feel very strongly that we are doing our children a massive dis-service by not teaching them about personal finance at school.

    From the age of 16 + they are getting offers of bank cards, credit cards and loans. We are expecting children to be able to ward off the combined might of the financial services industry - they have already wrecked many of our lives do we really have to let them destroy our children's as well???
  • GreyQueen
    GreyQueen Posts: 13,008
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Photogenic
    The big thing that I've become aware of is the ability to defer gratification, which I've noticed is far more important than family upbringing, general levels of intelligence, ability with maths etc. The people who can't do this are constantly at the whim of their impulses and money bleeds out of their lives with little or nothing to show for it. If you can sit back and look at yourself, analyse your weak spots and control (to a degree, anyway) your impulses, you'll be a better money manager if not exactly the life and soul of the party. ;)
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)
  • Casanova
    Casanova Posts: 49 Forumite
    I wouldn't say I was "good with money" - in fact I have an only partially deserved reputation amongst those who know me as being not very good with money. I am highly numerate (being a member of Mensa and a maths graduate) and since finding MSE am quite good at getting the best deal/maximising cashback etc. I keep a detailed account of every penny I spend by area, but it is the self-discipline aspect, making decisions on what I can and can't afford, that I fall down on. The devil on my shoulder always cries carpe diem!
  • MrsTinks
    MrsTinks Posts: 15,241
    First Post Combo Breaker Name Dropper First Anniversary
    SO many factors!
    For me it was part pride, part naivity, part wanting something NOW.
    My mum is good-ish with money, my father... not. My stepsiblings are rubbish with money, my youngest half siblings have thankfully seen the error of the "spend spend spend" ways before coming to my level... I wasn't so much rubbish with money as I was uneducated... then I found MSE and things have been heading the right way for both me and my husband ever since! I know almost to the penny where my money is - he's getting used to the pop quizzes on his own finances (although I've learnt not to ask at birthday and christmas time lol he won't tell me ;) ) and we're hammering our debts :)
    For me it was realizing how much a debt really cost in real terms... 15%apr... well that's not too bad... right? How soon I changed my views when I worked it out! I still buy certain things on "credit" - but only if it's 0% for the term of the payments :) And I triple check my budget to make sure we have more than enough leeway to manage any repayments :)
    DFW Nerd #025
    DFW no more! Officially debt free 2017 - now joining the MFW's! :)

    My DFW Diary - blah- mildly funny stuff about my journey
  • I have always been "good with money" in the sense that I have never had an overdraft or any debt, I have always lived well within my means and had some savings to fall back on when needed. I sometimes buy things that I don't strictly need (rather too many pairs of shoes....) but I don't find it difficult to cut back if I think I am running a bit low on money near the end of the month.

    I think the main reason is because when I was quite young, my mum got REALLY angry with me borrowing money off a friend when I didn't have anything to pay it back, and she taught me that you can't spend money you don't have (or, there are consequences if you do!). Other than that, I think it helps that I am happy to cook things from scratch, I cycle everywhere so I don't spend money on transport, and I've never had luxuries like Sky TV etc - so I don't miss them!
  • tessie_bear
    tessie_bear Posts: 4,898
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Mortgage-free Glee!
    i think being good with money is being able to live with in your means...some can some cant....i can (mostly)
    onwards and upwards
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