Found this brilliant image [below] on the finance pages…money can so easily slip through your fingers before you know it. I like cash usually, If it crosses my palm I generally have an idea of what I’ve spent. When paying by card its so easy to spend a few pounds here there and everywhere… and before you know it… you’ve got nothing left.
Frittering, as my mother used to say, is where your money goes. If you’re serious about saving money and reigning in spending, you’ll have to have a long hard think about what you REALLY need and what’s just being frittered away.
Its harder than you think actually to be 100% honest about your own spending… but its genuinely the first step… Accounting and accountability… write it all down… EVERY PENNY. If you say leave out all purchases under a pound or don’t count snacks or fail to list treats or cigarettes (the non-declarables) … it WONT WORK. #DeclareThem!
BE HONEST and face your spending/ debts in black and white…
Its hard but we did it for a while.. we kept every receipt (wrote ones out where we didn’t receive them) and kept a log of our spending for a month. MrC’s downfall was his ‘non-declarables ‘ (cigarettes, the odd couple of pints, TV magazines we didn’t read, sweets for the kids, tool sets that sat in the shed unused), mine was buying endless its and bits for the kids, from clothing they didn’t need to toys, sweets etc.
I’d go to the pound shop every day and buy each child a few items conning myself into the mindset of “Its not allot of money because I bought it in the pound shop”… but if I buy each child (3 of) 3 items that’s £9…. over a 5 day week that’s £45. Thats £45 I didn’t need to spend… did the kids need the junk NO, did they ask for it NO, as small children did they appreciate it NO! Why spend it… like the old saying, YOU CANT BUY LOVE. I wasn’t a better mother to them for spending money we didn’t have. Getting into debt buying unnecessary cr@p did not make me parent of the year. It made me a pillock!
Noun pillock – a person who is not very bright
Debt doesn’t just effect your bank account and credit. As anyone with debt/ or has had it will know, the stress and worry seeps into every part of your life. It depresses parents, splits partnerships breaks up friendships and that stressful atmosphere can have adverse effects on the children in the house.
When small, our kiddies had no idea what debt was, they had no idea about the value of money. When they wanted something, they got it. NOT a good lesson to teach a child!!! Sudden debt up to our ears meant they, all of a sudden, didn’t get what they wanted STRESS. They didn’t get sweets and gifts everyday STRESS, they weren’t entertained by new toys and £300 a month movies & TV channels STRESS. But… they got over it, slow and painful .. but it needed to happen, for us as parents as much as them as children. At 9, 7 and almost 4 they’re understanding and learning… like we had to… that money has a value, it means something, its earned. A spoilt child does not materialize from nowhere. Its a product of its parents.
I cannot describe the pride I have in my children today, and in MrC and myself. We have all evolved over the last few years, the children are happier, healthier and more confident. The try and attack opportunities in life rather than waiting for things to come to them (which as you know rarely happens as an adult).
Our children aren’t deprived because they don’t have a TV in their rooms, or an Xbox or mobile phones, were not poor because the kids didn’t have limo or pamper parties… I worry for those parents. All the stress of store cards, credit cards, loans, hire purchases. Was it all worth it? Is a person better off for things that will break down, tear, get to small, wear out? Are they worth getting into debt over?
Is a child set and prepared for life with an iPad and a Nintendo? Will they spontaneously combust without them? The hardest lesson is for parents more than children and I’m still working on it… give time not tat! An hour with a book means more long and short term than an hour on a video game, 10 minutes asking about your child’s day will save you nights of stress later when you realise you don’t know your child well enough to trust them. Give time not tat!