Does money matter?
I’ve always been money conscious. I guess it comes from my parents. They may have moved to the UK for different reasons and at different times but they were starting again and had nothing. And so, my childhood definitely included learning and understanding the value of money.
Being a child whose parents owned a seaside restaurant meant that my weekend job, afterschool job and summer job was working in the restaurant. And it was no easy ride. All of us worked in the family business, that included my brother and sister. We didn’t have pocket money. We had wages. It was my money and I worked hard for it. So, I was very protective of what I did with it.
This is the same today. When it comes to money, for me, it’s a serious matter. I want to know that I’m in control of the here and now as well as the future. I don’t want to worry about money. It’s true what they say. Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.
Don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean I don’t spend money. Life is not free. Living is not free. Experiencing life is not free. And I love life. So I do spend. I simply ensure that I’m organised and I look for smart ways to use my money.
Let me show you.
The here and now
Budgeting. Yes, I know not the most exciting subject but it’s the key to our daily living. If you don’t know how much your basic cost of living is then how do you know you’re getting the most value from your pennies. How do you know that you’re not wasting money?
Think of yourself as a mini business. You are the director of your household. In an ideal world money coming in would be more than money going out. Giving you space to save and invest in the future.
Personally, I don’t like borrowing money unless it’s for a mortgage. So we live within our means. I know the cost of all our household bills. Yes, I like to be in control. Which means I know what surplus we have in a month. Which means I know how much we have to spend on the nice things like holidays, meals out and day trips.
Doing things differently
This is about minimising unnecessary costs and looking for alternative ways of getting the most from our money. Let me give you a few examples.
- Meals out versus a packed lunch – When we go on a day trip I’ll make up a simple picnic instead of eating out.
- Annual membership – We are members of the National Trust and so we have plenty of day trip opportunities which work out as being a lot cheaper.
- Vouchers and discount codes – I try where possible to find a voucher or discount code when I need to buy something.
- Buying things in the sale – Taking advantage of the sales may be tedious but you can find a bargain.
It may seem like a long way off but it’s closer than you think. For me, it’s about peace of mind. I want to know that I’m able to give my family what they need in the future. The sooner I start planning for it the more likely that it will be possible.
I don’t know what will happen in the future but I know what I want to make allowances for.
- My children wanting to go to university
- My children wanting to get married
- My children wanting to buy a house
- Travelling around the world with hubby
- Funding my retirement.
- Ensuring I have the relevant documentation in place for when I’m no longer here.
It’s amazing what a little bit of planning can achieve. Unless you’re just putting it off and hoping that at that point in the future when you need money miracles will happen.
That’s money matters according to Mummy on a Break
Is your house in order?
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