I’m a planner. I like to get ahead and do my best to stay ahead. If and when you’re up against it, the best you might be able to do is hang on.
In twenty years, DB has faced redundancy three times and was made redundant once. We have been affected by that and constantly make financial plans and don’t let down our guard. In plain speak, we don’t spend money without planning to do so and when we do make sure it’s in the budget.
If you’ve been glued to the news, watched sterling slide to its lowest worth in a very long time and been aware of the economic jitters and like me, if you’ve seen it all before then you can feel that economic rumbling gathering out to sea and know that it’s going to be rough.
So, what can any of us do, not just now, but as a way of life that can help us along life’s bumpy way. I’m going to share what I do, it’s by now means a one size fits all, that could suit some but not for others.
So, here goes.
1. Get used to deferred gratification. I’m not saying go without but save up and go without until you can.
2. Prioritise between what you need and what you want. I don’t go without. I have all I need.
3. Live well beneath your means. Even though I can afford the premium brand ketchup (just as an example) I still buy Aldi’s own brand.
4. If I can buy second hand or ‘new to me’ then I do, even though I can afford new. If I need a ‘new’ pair of jeans, I buy them from eBay.
5. If it can be fixed, fix it, make it last. Our boiler limped along, being repressured and topped up almost daily until we put enough money aside to pay for a replacement.
6. Fill your time with hobbies and not shopping, even regular trips to charity shops will deplete your savings. Keeping busy is also really therapeutic.
7. Get out more for a walk. If you ever shop because you’re bored or down, then you’d be amazed how regular exercise can improve your well being. If you’re happier, it might help curb any impulsive spending.
8. We gave up eating out, that means now that a coffee and bag of chips is a real treat.
9. We switched to wood heating, that means I can pay for my heating and clothes drying in advance. I’ve now amassed wood for a year both in Cornwall and Brittany.
10. We over pay our mortgage. The less overheads we have in the future, the better we will weather financial difficulties.
11. I keep our bills to the minimum and check my energy usage along with water usage, I keep on top of costs by paying by direct debit every month and regularly get those debit payments.
12. I don’t do this but have done it. Grow as much food as you can. It’s a great hobby, it’s healthy and saves a heap too.
13. I don’t do this either but have done it. Have a month’s supply of long life food, pasta, rice, tinned food, UHT milk and keep that supply topped up. Likewise, build up a good supply of toiletries and household cleaning products. In difficult times, just having a month without major shopping can get you out of occasional difficulties.
14. Save money on a regular basis. I move money as soon as I get paid. I then can’t spend what I haven’t got as it’s in a savings account.
15. If I buy anything, I always ask if I need it and if I need it, can I buy it at a discounted price or can I get cash back if I do.
Now, these are far from rules and we’re a way through our journey and now it’s just a way of life that we’re comfortable with and it’s not for everyone.
Now, over to you. What advice can you share, either as advice or something you do to prepare for a looming financial storm?
Love Froogs xxxx