Money: Playing The Numbers Game


Money, it’s all people talk about nowadays!

It sounds like the gripes of somebody’s grandparent, but it’s true. And it’s not really that surprising anymore.

We all have financial woes, everything costs a lot more than it ever used to, and even the prospect of owning your own home is a pipe dream, reserved for either the super-rich or someone who has come into a huge wad of money!

It seems that, whatever your age, when it comes to saving money for a nest egg or for the future, we are running to stand still.

By the time we’ve recouped our outgoings for the month, it’s time for the money to come back out again, and the whole cycle begins. And it’s this treadmill that we can never get ourselves untangled from, which is why payday loan organizations are raking in the cash.

They offer such an enticing prospect, to get yourself out of debt with a sharp cash injection, but the interest is so steep that you find yourself refinancing the loan with another loan, and before you know it you are in another cycle of debt.

What is the solution?

It’s something that can’t really be done with a short and sharp solution I’m afraid. That’s not to say it’s a slow burn either, but it’s all to do with one simple thing, attitude.


It all Starts with Attitude

Permit me to explain… Your attitude towards your money is what influences the way you spend it.

The difference between someone who earns $5000 in a year to someone who earns $50,000 seems glaring to someone who earns nowhere near 50K, but that is because they are looking at it from the pauper’s perspective.

The person who earns 50K and the earner of 5K a year are both likely to complain of the same financial hardships.


Because they both live within their means. The person who earns next to nothing shops for bargain items and items they are able to afford lives in a modest or cheap house and drives a cheap car.

The person who earns 50K shops in the high-end stores lives in a mini-mansion and drives a top of the range car. They just live within their financial capabilities; it’s just that the quality of the items differs.

Why am I saying this? Well, if you alter your perspective on how you spend your money and what items you buy, you can make a big saving on your outgoings.


Reduce Your OutGoings

The next thing that is a big difference in how you can reduce your outgoings is to look at your ability to spot a bargain. We all think that we can pride ourselves on our ability to spot something that is half price, which is why things like January sales are so popular.

But that is really only half the equation. There are many instances that an item on offer looks like it is cheaper, but the same brand is actually cheaper when you weigh up the quantities.

The price tags usually say how much something is based on “per kg.” So if a large bag of flour works out as more expensive than 3 bags of flour, although that large bag is on offer, it makes sense to get the smaller bags to equal that large bag.


Go with Cheaper Brands

The other approach you can take is just to get a cheaper brand. This can cause issues in a household reliant on high-quality goods, especially when it comes to food.

A way around this is to bulk buy in the manner just mentioned, or you can go to stores that sell big brands for cheaper.

The trick to shopping is to find the places that sell the brands for the cheapest, and it is much easier to find out where your favorite pasta is the cheapest now because we can check online.

It was much harder to spot a bargain before. We would have had to travel between each store and meticulously noting the price in each one.

Thanks to the internet we can do some research before we go shopping and find the places with the most bargains!


Prioritize Your Payments


We buy our household goods in the manner of hand to mouth, as and when we need. The fact of the matter is that when we look for ways to save money, we are very likely to look over our monthly outgoings.

Things like the phone bill and bulkier costs, like rent, take priority. However, these payments, for the most part, are fixed. There is no point in asking your landlord to reduce the rent, they won’t do it!

So we need to be more detailed when we are combing our bank balance, and the way to do this goes down to how we spend our money on a weekly basis.

This is where we will be able to make the best changes in our spending habits. The best way to look at it is to get an idea of how much money you are spending on one item during the course of a year.

Day to day, one simple item isn’t that much because you are looking at it in the context of a much bigger budget.

To use the example of buying food on your lunch break, you go out every day for lunch to the nearest store, and you go for a sandwich, a snack and a drink, and that comes to $5.10.

That isn’t much of a dent in your overall earnings, is it? Well, actually, it is. Most of us work five days a week, so your lunch is costing you £25.50 a week. Multiply that by the 47 weeks a year when you are in work, and the total is $1,198.50, just on your lunch!

This is clearly something that can have a major impact on your outgoings, and these are things that will be taken into account when making a big purchase, in addition to your credit score.

Your Credit will Save You

When you are trying to make a big purchase like a house or a car, your credit scores will be a deciding factor, and you would benefit by having an acute awareness of the state of your score, which is something that many people don’t have a grasp on.

When you are looking to make a big purchase, this is what you will be judged on.

It is an official benchmark of how reliable you can be, and while it is easy to say that you won’t take out credit cards and things that can cause you debt, your credit score can be impacted negatively because you are not actively using credit.

If you are looking to buy a house in the near future, and you’ve never had a credit card in your life, the best approach is just to get one, lock it away, and use it once in a blue moon on your shopping.

But make sure you pay it off instantly! That way you are active in your credit, and it looks good when it comes to making the larger purchases.

Stay Out of the Savings Funk

With all the saving and constant double-checking of prices can mean you would get into a type of funk, and it is not a very nice way to live really.

Constantly looking for the bargains can get really tiresome, very quickly, and you may just have a “to heck with it” moment, and do a big financial splurge!

This is why it’s a good idea to have a “spontaneity fund.” When planning your budget for the week, month, or year, and you know that there are funds left for just spending; this saves you using other funds that are for important things.

It’s a simple, yet effective way of compartmentalizing your money. Sometimes if everything is in one place, it is very easy to spend it, so by using different accounts for different things, this means you have a lot more to keep track of, but at least it is a stricter discipline on your spending.

Again, it is the attitude you have to your money. If you have one account that is for bills and one is for spontaneity, it means you will be less inclined to use your bills account for spur of the moment purchases.

And the best way to make sure that you don’t dip into the bills account is to make sure that the amount you need to pay for those bills are exactly the amount you need.

That way you won’t be tempted to take an extra 10 here or 20 there, which will add up! And if you do cave and use that account, it will be a lot of effort to go and put money back into the bills account to cover the outgoings.


Finally Thoughts…

While the practicalities can have a major bearing on how you spend money, it is your attitude towards the act of spending that has the best impact on how you will save the pennies.

By having a better attitude towards your finances and the way you spend, it means you can better prepare for the future and use the funds for things that you really need.

By having a better attitude towards your finances and the way you spend, it means you can better prepare for the future and use the funds for things that you really need.

So are you playing the numbers game?  If so how is that working for you?  Share your thoughts and comments below.



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