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Living below your means

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
195 replies 43.5K views
jazzyjustlawjazzyjustlaw Forumite
1.4K posts
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
Do you live below your means if so how do you do this. Do you cook from scratch, make your own cleaning products, go to more than one supermarket to do your shopping, walk to work. What won't you do. What do your family and friends think?

I cannot seem to manage it I avoid spending them somehow the money I saved gets used up. I try to cook from scratch, I havent bought clothes for months. I try to mend things. On the plus side I do not use my overdraft and I can pay off my credit card in full each month if I have to use it.
All my views are just that and do not constitute legal advice in any way, shape or form.£2.00 savers club - £20.00 saved and banked (got a £2.00 pig and not counted the rest)Joined Store Cupboard Challenge]
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Replies

  • culpepperculpepper Forumite
    4.1K posts
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    We pay all our bills by DD so they are spread out over the year.
    If we have had a loan in the past we have kept paying the savings account the same amount once the loan is paid(this is so useful if you have an emergency and need unexpected money).
    Wherever I can, I use cash as once its gone from your purse,thats it.
    We only have a small car so it doesnt guzzle petrol and the tax is lower.
    We walk nearly everywhere.
    Weve gone camping for years which is a cheap holiday(take your food too,tourist areas have expensive food shops).
    We do mend things when they break or need mending.
    When the kids were little we used to grow our own veg which makes a lot of difference to the food bill.
    We dont have any credit cards.
  • Eliza252Eliza252 Forumite
    449 posts
    Hello Jazzy!
    Are you definately writing down EVERYTHING that you are spending (down to the last penny) - its quite tedious at first and means you have to carry a little pocket notebook around with you or keep all your reciepts but if money is falling through little gaps somewhere you will only find out if you know where all the pennies go!
    - what is your budget like, youve been around for quite a while I can tell by the stars! mybe you need to post it as a refresher though
    - do you need an additional income? My part time job (in addition to my full time job) is a lifesaver - the majority of it goes on helping repayments but when necessary it covers expenses - for instance, this month I had to replace my printer (I tried so hard to fix it first!) and on some desperately needed new shoes and summer clothes (and I mean desperately!). This money came from my part time job so my main income was not affected at all.
    I have quite a good full time job and I live on about 50% of my actual income every month (including rent) - all the rest goes towards repayments - so I guess I really do live below my means.
    Things I do: Walk everywhere (as much as possible) or take the cheapest form of transport possible
    Buy all my food and clothes from markets
    cook from scratch and make my own cleaning products
    I socialise alot, but I tend to invite people over to my house for dinner, go over to theirs, I hardly ever go out to eat and I would rather hang out in a coffee bar than a pub (less temptations!) - I go to the theatre etc alot - get cheap tickets from friends/special offers
    hmm. your post is quite general! Hope that helps though! :D
    I've made my debts bite-size too depressing to look at all at once so am handling them one at a time - first up Graduate Loan £1720 paid off! only £280 to go!!!
    Money to raise for tuition fees: £3000
    When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!!
  • mah_jongmah_jong Forumite
    1.3K posts
    Mortgage-free Glee!
    I have been told I am careful !!! Oh yeah!

    The truth is I am a low wage earner, I have a mortage and bills and I have very very little disposable income. So I dont choose to live below my means, I have to, just to survive!

    I dont buy a lot of things others take for granted...cds books..clothes make up magazines, newspapers ...there are no impulsive purchases ..well...very few :-) unless I need then !

    No car, no hols you name it I do it on the cheap or I dont bother!! But to be honest I am happy enough! I hope I dont sound like a an old misery guts!

    My latest cost saver was buying my spes from hong kong ! ;-). i could list them all but you would be bored !!!!
    ma

  • lswwonglswwong Forumite
    407 posts
    Hmmmm ......

    1. Only buy things that you really need, at the best price that you can find;
    2. Recognise the value of things - some things don't need money, like true love ....; and
    3. Don't get addict to shopping!

    (3) above is very important to me as my sister, mother and aunts are all shopaholics and in denial!!! Particularly in my sister's case, she shops to assuage her loneliness in her marriage and I also suspect, a low self-esteem. But she is as stubborn as my mother and father combined and would not entertain any advice or listen to reason.

    I won't be surprised if I end up supporting her in her old age; she will have spent everything by then, and then some. :-( Sorry, going off-thread.

    Really, I think Jazzy is doing pretty well already not being in debt. Don't lose heart if you are not managing to save yet; keep trying and surely it will happen one day and it will really take off from there.
  • lswwonglswwong Forumite
    407 posts
    Eliza252 wrote:
    Are you definately writing down EVERYTHING that you are spending (down to the last penny) - its quite tedious at first and means you have to carry a little pocket notebook around with you ....

    Hi Eliza

    I really fancy doing what you suggest for myself, though instead of a notebook, I rather fancy using a PDA!! Unfortunately, of the competitions that I have entered recently in an effort to try and win one, none came off.

    Must return to the Competitions board again to look for new opportunities :D
  • jazzyjustlawjazzyjustlaw Forumite
    1.4K posts
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    The main reason I posted this is that although I am doing quite well I needed some more motivation and a fresh approach. I have saved some money and did so before being an mser. As I said I just wanted some fresh ideas that perhaps I had not yet considered.
    All my views are just that and do not constitute legal advice in any way, shape or form.£2.00 savers club - £20.00 saved and banked (got a £2.00 pig and not counted the rest)Joined Store Cupboard Challenge]
  • Eliza252Eliza252 Forumite
    449 posts
    lswwong wrote:
    I rather fancy using a PDA!!

    Whats a PDA? I ban myself from buying any expensive pocket accessories because I am notorious for losing things! (I have two sets of house keys on me at all times!) - however I openly admit too having an obsession with googling for competitions to win an ipod!

    Nb. this is a completely random point - but the other day I was in a newsagent and saw a well known mag which had an article antitled 'The fifty pocket gadgets you shouldnt leave home with out!'
    Cripes! 50 pocket gadgets! :eek:
    y'know there is some poor shopping fool somewhere trucking that lot around with him!! :D
    I've made my debts bite-size too depressing to look at all at once so am handling them one at a time - first up Graduate Loan £1720 paid off! only £280 to go!!!
    Money to raise for tuition fees: £3000
    When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!!
  • lswwonglswwong Forumite
    407 posts
    Jazzy - here's a suggestion:

    1. At the end of each day, empty your purse of all coppers and 5p pieces and save them up in separate jars.

    2. When you have saved up enough, pay the money into a savings account that is damned hard to draw money out from. You don't need to put in a big sum, just in case you need the cash later on. The idea here really is to save a little bit at a time but making sure that the saved money stay saved.

    Hope this helps ;D
  • ChocClareChocClare Forumite
    1.5K posts
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lswwong
    I rather fancy using a PDA!!


    Eliza - a PDA is a Personal Digital Assistant. My DH can't live without them and has had practically every different type on the market (helps that he sells them...).

    Trust me - you DON'T NEED ONE!!!! A pen that works and the back of an envelope works just as well - OK, it doesn't beep to remind you about things, but you can use Outlook for that...
  • QueenieQueenie Forumite
    8.8K posts
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    Pay yourself FIRST! If you wait to put those savings away each week/month they have a tendancy to be gobbled up; so be strict with yourself and once you've worked out your budget and *know* that you should theoretically have X amount left over - pay it by DD into a savings account.
    Second - give yourself an allowance (pocket money) so you don't feel deprived.

    The above works for us. Even if all you can afford to "pay" yourself in savings is £10 per month and your allowance is only £5 pm it gets you into the discipline.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PMS Pot: £57.53 Pigsback Pot: £23.00
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