I like to pride myself on being good with money. I can make a small amount go quite far when it ids required. I can prioritise what is desperate and what I can leave for just that little bit longer. This includes making the food bill stretch, when necessary and paying all the necessary extras, such as the kids after school clubs and finding alternative ways to entertain the boys without spending a fortune!
I have had to become like this since it was necessary to give up work after being diagnosed with M.E 4 years ago. Going back to one wage, with a hefty mortgage and two growing boys meant a real cut back on almost everything. The last time we had a credit card was when we were going through our major house renovation when we slightly overspent and ended up with around £1500 left to pay off on the card after our loan was used up. This took us a long while to eventually pay off, but we managed it by severely cutting back, doing without a lot of things. It was a sacrifice I’m glad we made as I haven’t got that depth of money worries keeping me awake a night. Since then we have never taken out another as it was too easy to keep adding £30 here and £50 there when we felt like it.
Now the only things we owe on is our mortgage and our car. Other than that we live on a ‘if we haven’t got the money we don’t buy it’ basis. This can be much easier said than done to be honest, there are times when watching every penny can grind you down and you think I just need a blow out of some sort. We are very lucky as both my mum and my in-laws are VERY generous when it comes to helping us out if we find ourselves in a tight financial spot but I can imagine that this is not the case for everyone and therefore a credit card with all the low interests rates becomes an attractive alternative. In that respect I consider myself extremely lucky.
We are a family that does not care about big brand/ designer names in clothes or our house. I am a firm believer in not paying over the odds for anything and there is nothing better than a good old shop around, especially online, to find a bargain and still look nice and have a nice home without the designer price tag. My kids always come first so if they need clothes, shoes, clubs paid for, then I will sort that first. Neither of my boys have gone on a secondary school trip and my eldest is in yr10. However, they are jsut completely out of our reach. As a family we go camping as a cheap way of affording a holiday. When away we don’t tend to eat out and I will take all the necessary food and treats with us. My boys who are now 12 and 15 are very understanding and have become bargain hunters themselves ( never paying full price for a console game and buying pre owned) again being careful with their money.
However, for some people they just cannot resist and rely solely on their flexible friends to get the what they want. This can quickly build up over several cards and before they know it they really are in VERY deep. For others, it could be the situation they find themselves in, for example, a relationship break up, a loss of a job or partner and literally having no one else to turn to for help, they become reliant on credit because they need to feed themselves and their kids.I have noticed lots of money lending and quick money adverts on the TV recently and for some this can be the quick solution instead of finding a long term one.
A persons debt can be an extremely stressful thing to acknowledge without the proper advice could be difficult to face alone. Sometimes the right advice can be all that’s needed to get a persons financial status back on track. Like I say I’m fortunate enough to have family help if needed but some people have no one and get locked in a downward spiral of borrowing more and more to get them through. So get the proper debt management information for your situation in order to make the changes you may need.
HOW DO YOU PRORITISE YOUR FINANCES?
ARE YOU A BARGAIN HUNTER OR A DESIGNER ADDICT?
**DISCLAIMER: this post comes to you in collaboration with Debt free Direct.