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What is 'being MSE'

edited 10 July 2013 at 7:28PM in How much have you saved?
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  • vikingaerovikingaero Forumite
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    Being MSE is someone who uses the site to find the best deals, best information and your rights for your particular income level.

    It doesn't matter whether you are someone who is on a six figure income looking for the best way to find the best place to deposit £x, or someone on benefits looking to make their money go further.
    The man without a signature.
  • A penny saved is a penny earned twice!

    I like to save money wherever possible - it's precious stuff!!

    I always remember being taught 'product selection' in college - a fancy way of saying you can use less than perfect tomatoes in a soup and save the nicest ones for salads!

    MSE is about getting the most value for my squids -making them go as far as possible so ultimately I will only have to work and worry about the bare minimum!
  • JimmyTheWigJimmyTheWig Forumite
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    The "checking around for the cheapest price" is an interesting one. I think people can be too hung up on that. For small things, the time taken to find the cheapest is rarely worth the actual savings. According to the mantra, that's not very MSE, yet for me my saved time has its own value, even if its not measured in pounds and pennies.
    I think that does sort of fit in with the mantras, though you have to apply them for a second itteration.

    E.g...
    You can buy something [that you will use and is worth it] for £20.
    Or by shopping around for an hour you could buy the same thing for £19.

    The mantras, on first inspection, say you should do the second.

    By doing the first you are, in effect, spending £1 to avoid the hour shopping around.
    By applying the mantras to that £1 spend you could decide that it is worth spending that £1 to get an hour of your time. [In effect you need to ask yourself could I spend that £1 to get something more enjoyable than an hour of my time.]

    The trouble is, you won't necessarily know how much you can save and how long it will take you to look until you do it. And once done you can't get that time back. So it's hard to make the judgement on whether to shop around - I guess you just have to go by experience.
    This is why it is important to know the price you generally pay for things. Then you can spot whether something is good value or not without constantly shopping around.
  • SUE_1SUE_1 Forumite
    1 posts
    Only just became a member of the forum because I thought the question 'What is being MSE?' is such a good one. I have been using the site for years and picked up a huge number of tips on how to save money.

    Life being a compromise, being MSE means being able to have the greatest possible choice and using this site enables you to make those choices in an informed way.

    A good friend of mine came to me in bits recently. He was in debt and didn't know where to turn. I helped him out with a particularly fierce creditor and then pointed him to MSE. He has since made arrangements through Payplan and is on the road to recovery. His choices are, however, fairly limited.

    From my perspective, I think it's ironic that in the boom times of the 80s and 90s, I really struggled. I never once defaulted in whole or in part on my mortgage or any other credit agreement, but it did mean that my choices in life were very restricted.

    I have now retired at a relatively early age, not because I wanted to, but because of A19 (certain people will know what that means). I am still very busy doing about four or five part-time jobs, some of which even pay! My OH still works and will be for a few years yet.

    We have spent time and money reducing our costs. My lecky bill is now half of what it was. Money spent on replacement windows and loft insulation has reduced my gas bill significantly. We still look for bargains in our local supermarket and do a lot of cooking from scratch rather than pre-prepared. Going onto a water meter has halved my water rates. I am an enthusiastic de-clutterer via ebay selling and the amount of money 'earned' through getting rid of stuff we no longer need is phenomenal.

    Amongst my friends, I was famous for spending virtually nothing on cars. My last one was 14 years old when I bought it for £1500, nine years ago. It had 173,000 on the clock when I got rid of it for £350.

    But this post is about choice. I needed a car. I looked around and got a little run-around city car that does 60mpg. I bought new because my professional association belongs to a scheme for this manufacturer and I got a huge discount approaching £3k. All very 'eco' and economical. The issue was, that I wanted a particular car and it wasn't a run-around.

    I freely admit that I had become obsessed with this car. There aren't many about, it's a classic marque and most people consider them ruinously expensive. Of those for sale at any one time, about half-a-dozen are 'projects', half-a-dozen are low mileage less then three years old and, therefore, vastly too expensive, leaving a few in he middle. I visited many places across the country looking at these few and none were right. Of course, the one I eventually bought was only about seven miles away! It was as near perfect as one could wish for, in virtually concours condition and some way under the maximum that I was prepared to pay. Thanks to MSE, shopping around for insurance took it from a headline figure of £1,200 down to just over £300.

    Lots of people will, I know, consider me profligate. What made me commit ultimately, was my friend who has a narrow boat on the canal and my neighbour who has a caravan in Hereford. How so?

    The narrow boat costs the thick end of £5k every year just to keep in at its mooring; the caravan costs in excess of £7k every year. Like I said, its about choices. I could have four new tyres and a new gearbox every year for that kind of money and still have change. What I actually spent on the car, which is six years old, was about the same as the cost of a new family hatchback - the difference being that my car will be worth much the same next year as now, whereas the family hatchback won't.

    When I look back to the 80s and 90s and remember that icy fear clutching at my chest when I sat down to work out my finances I think I've come a long way. I hung in there and I am now debt free and have been for some years.

    If you are in debt, it's about priorities; if you're not in debt, it's about choices.
  • ashleyriotashleyriot Forumite
    89 posts
    Ninth Anniversary Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    For me, being MSE is no longer being scared of money and finances; it's knowing confidently where money goes month after month.







    (And it's a tiny bit of pride in helping others who want to be helped and smiling inwardly at those who don't)
  • To me being mse is living to your means, if u earn more then you will ultimately spend more. It's also finding ways to get the most out of what you have.

    If i have paid my bills, and have some money behind me for emergencies than why not have a treat now and again. I wont deprive myself of the odd take away if i fancy it, but will only have it when i can afford it.

    One day, far away I WILL be debt free and have more financial freedom, but that doesnt mean I'll swap aldis for m&s, it means I'll have more money in my savings account, I wont need finance when i have a newer car, or a credit card to get me to the end of the month. but I'll never stop looking for the best deal....

    I think everyones perception of mse will be different to the next, our circumstances are all different and priorities, but it's about making informed decisions at the time that are right for you and your family.

    Well that's what I think....
    Still here..... but working on that!
  • ErrataErrata Forumite
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    What do you feel is 'being MSE' ?
    The ability to turn c£500 into £87million within a few years.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • Ken68Ken68 Forumite
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    MSE to me means, using the fish and chips analogy, is it the best value protein and calories.
    I suppose taste and what you want comes into it, but if you really want to moneysave this has to be considered.
  • TrowTrow Forumite
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    For me, MSE is simply doing the best you can with the money you've got.

    For those that have little, that might mean homemade fish and chips instead of takeaway.
    For those that have a bit more it might mean a takeaway every now and again as a treat.
    For those that have a lot it might mean going to a top restaurant instead - but using a 2 for 1 voucher to reduce the cost.

    MSE isn't 'one size fits all' - it's a pick and mix of ideas that you can choose from to make your money stretch a bit further.
  • edited 10 July 2013 at 7:25PM
    ErmeErme Forumite
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    edited 10 July 2013 at 7:25PM
    ashleyriot wrote: »
    For me, being MSE is no longer being scared of money and finances; it's knowing confidently where money goes month after month.







    (And it's a tiny bit of pride in helping others who want to be helped and smiling inwardly at those who don't)
    To me being mse is living to your means, if u earn more then you will ultimately spend more. It's also finding ways to get the most out of what you have.

    If i have paid my bills, and have some money behind me for emergencies than why not have a treat now and again. I wont deprive myself of the odd take away if i fancy it, but will only have it when i can afford it.

    One day, far away I WILL be debt free and have more financial freedom, but that doesnt mean I'll swap aldis for m&s, it means I'll have more money in my savings account, I wont need finance when i have a newer car, or a credit card to get me to the end of the month. but I'll never stop looking for the best deal....

    I think everyones perception of mse will be different to the next, our circumstances are all different and priorities, but it's about making informed decisions at the time that are right for you and your family.

    Well that's what I think....


    there are so many threads though if one doesn't fit try another. I finally (a couple of years ago) found my debt remedy thread and settled in quite nicely...needless to say not long after I was debt free (despite investing in a few expensive disability aids which some folk would deem luxuries but for me are essentials now).

    Debt free for 9 months and now on a savings mission c/o last social worker. It's not a long stint and I know I will spend a lot in August and September. Fully understanding my weaknesses I vow to save as and when I can to allow for my 'crazy spend times'...

    Unlike my disabled neighbour who has the bank of Dad and still thinks 'if it's on credit it's still a good idea if I want it and it's got to be new and of the best quality'...my clothes are mostly second hand...most of my furniture is second hand. I don't have much stuff I've bought new. That's okay. It works and I like it....

    Right now I'm making sacrifices whilst in saving mode......sacrifices I'd have never made for years whilst in debt...such is the change in me. I'm back to taking out the housekeeping out of the cashpoint every week and just paying by cash. It's liberating...

    MSE will not wave a magic wand and it can be scary...what's MSE for one person might not apply to you. Have a cheap bar of german chocolate and remember tomorrow is another day.

    MSE is about recovery and taking charge for me. It's about getting your finances and your life in gear. Yes it's made ML a lot of money. Good on him. It's gotten me debt free which is something I thought I'd never see :)
    :dance:
    I believe in the power of PAD
    Come and join us on the Payment a Day thread
    :dance:
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