Is penny pinching worth it?

(47 Posts)
rayn Fri 12-Jun-20 20:56:25

We are trying to save. My hours just been cut due to current circumstances. We are not great with money but been reading a lot of threads about cutting back.

Tips such as cut the toothpaste tube, reuse teabags, reuse wrapping paper, envelopes etc
Maybe this is why we are poor! It all just seems abit too extreme. Do little things really make a difference?

I know pennies make pounds but walking half a mile to save 20p on a cheaper product doesn't make sense. Maybe that's where I am going wrong. I don't see the odd pound or 50p as meaning much. Over 12 months though I suppose it adds up!

OP’s posts: |
Nsky Fri 12-Jun-20 21:05:14

Depends on what you do, personally I’d never re use a teabag,I do save the change which on average yields about £35 a month ( I suspect it’s gone down in lockdown), it’s all pence and yes adds up.
If you were to put the pence by using the tube you scraped out , and the like , you could save .
I’ve been saving my travel money in lockdown, £25 a month adds up.
Off course the bigger stuff adds up, start with the pennies

ODFOx Fri 12-Jun-20 21:21:36

Whether such efforts make an appreciable difference depends entirely on how you live know.
Why not try all the slightly bonkers/possibly over-zealous thrifty tips for a month and see how it works out for you?

RyanBergarasTeeth Fri 12-Jun-20 21:24:16

Depends on your perspective. If you penny pince and save say £20 a month would that be a beneficial ammount to your life that month or would it be squandered with no thought? There lies the answer.

SailingAwayIntoSunrise Sat 13-Jun-20 04:10:16

I think yes, it can be worth it as it changes your mindset.

And then of course it all adds up.

rayn Sat 13-Jun-20 11:09:18

You are right about that. The mindset. My parents have a thrifty mindset but still splash out on important things. Shame I did not learn from them. hmm

OP’s posts: |
BuzzShitbagBobbly Sat 13-Jun-20 11:13:28

Why not try all the slightly bonkers/possibly over-zealous thrifty tips for a month and see how it works out for you?

This is a good idea. Go full-bore cheapskate for a while, then review what's worth it and what isn't. You may surprise yourself with the results, or not - but at least you'll know.

And the mindset is key too. All the things you mention come quite naturally to me, and it makes me wince when I see pointless waste.


BuzzShitbagBobbly Sat 13-Jun-20 11:17:13

By very minor example, I have just been opening bills from this week. I use a letter opener and then the neatly opened envelopes will be reused as scrap paper/shopping lists etc.

One of those bills was from the water co, telling me my DD was being reduced from £13/month to £9 grin

I use water as much as I need to, but I don't waste it. I recycle dishwater on plants, I don't leave taps running, I have water butts connected to the gutters etc.

Sweetlikecoca Sat 13-Jun-20 11:22:24

I suppose it’s all relative to each person. I’m quite a good saver but I think some of things you have mentioned wouldn’t save that much money overall.

Work out what you have left after bills and transfer some of it into another account.

I think it’s things such as internet, Sky, what supermarket you go to, mobile contracts that can make a huge difference to what you can save each month.

JollyOldJune Sat 13-Jun-20 11:23:43

Following. Yes, it's most definitely worth it. However, I seem to fall off the bandwagon on a regular basis.

As my DC get older, they're costing A LOT more to feed, clothe and entertain. And that doesn't include essential extra-curricular either.

Financially I struggle to keep my head afloat. It doesn't help that DC are constantly asking for things, which has only worsened during lockdown.

Things I've done in the past:
- rely on hand me downs.
- turn off heating/use only when essential.
- strict no spend days, low spend days.
- holding on to things until they're tatty and threadbare.
- buy from charity shops.
- secondhand furniture only.

I'm interested to know how others are able to penny punch effectively.

BuzzShitbagBobbly Sat 13-Jun-20 11:36:20

I'm interested to know how others are able to penny punch effectively.

I have always been careful with money. I live alone/am single so have always been acutely aware that every financial responsibility in life boils down to me and me alone.

I find pleasure in getting good value for money rather than wasteful or pointless spending. I like knowing I have a financial security blanket. I don't think of shopping as a leisure activity, it's an annoying boredom of life. I do spend quite large sums of money on things I value, but I can do that because of how I live the rest of my life. I couldn't have it both ways.

It's just who I am. If you are not wired like that you can learn, but it won't come as easily.

BuzzShitbagBobbly Sat 13-Jun-20 11:45:54

Practical applications of my thriftiness:

My sofa is 12 years old. Was only an SCS job, not fancy. Some people would replace it just for age, but it's fine so why would I?

Ditto TV and decorating in general. I choose what I like carefully, so I don't feel the need to "cosmetically" replace it a few years later.

My car is a16yo old diesel tank. I don't drive much now but when I do it's long motorway trips so it's very efficient for that (along with insurance, tax, servicing etc). I sometimes regret it in the height of summer because the AC is long gone...wink

I shop round for things I need (insurance, pet supplies, household items). I buy off season when things are cheaper; and/or I look at the cost of things per kilo or equivalent to get the best value.

I have an impeccable credit rating because I have made sure to manage credit responsibly over the years, which means I qualify for all the best deals and offers in that regard.

It's kind of a holistic attitude.

JollyOldJune Sat 13-Jun-20 12:22:30

@BuzzShitbagBobbly the general attitude to thriftiness has to holistic, or it just doesn't work. That may be where I'm going wrong.

Going to spend an hour or two today scrutinizing my spending habits, and wants vs needs. Something I haven't done in a while and it shows.

Also think I need to invest in a pair of comfortable shoes for work. Spend on my garden more (which I love) which will provide greater sanctuary and less need for enjoyment outside of the home. Hopefully.

DDIJ Sat 13-Jun-20 12:29:49

It is worth it but you need to throw yourself into it fully and not think of it as a hardship. Like when you cut tubes open you need to be the sort of person who is delighted when they see how much is left in the tube, rather than the sort of person who things what am I cutting tubes in half for. You need to find a sense of joy or satisfaction in what you are doing or you will feel deprived. Most minor money saving tricks are also very environmentally sound so you could perhaps think of it like that.

YaWeeSkitter Sat 13-Jun-20 12:50:05

When I have less money to spend day to day I used to only ever pay by cash. So I was forced to add up as I went round a shop and make substitutions accordingly.
Now I would probably use my Mondo card exclusively for food shopping . That way you can see exactly what was spent as you get the spending report before you've left the shop so you can know how much is left for the next shop.
I only really shop in low cost shops anyway. Im lucky that I can choose Aldi or Lidl for most food shopping but also have a good local greengrocer that has a 20p box which often contains items that are better quality and last longer than fruit from Aldi or Lidl. I buy almost all of my clothes from Charity shops . Well, I did as they were places I used to like to drift around and would maybe spend 2-3 pounds on a top or whatever most weeks.
Ive found that since I cant do that recently Ive not missed the drifting around and quite like the extra time I have to relax at home. I work out of the home full time though so understand its not for everyone.

MikeUniformMike Sat 13-Jun-20 13:40:13

The penny pinching won't make a huge difference but it will make some. By being careful, your money will go further.

The Money Saving Expert site is good for ideas.

The main thing is to not be so mean that it makes life miserable. You can do things like buy the standard not the luxury brand, use slightly less of something each time, not use things that aren't necessary, buy wiser.

Expensive items like sofa, fridge etc, get a lot of consideration before buying, but things like media subscriptions can be costing you more than you think.

Michaelbaubles Sat 13-Jun-20 13:44:10

It all boils down to the fact you can only spend each pound once. If you cut open toothpaste tube and get another week’s worth out of it (I’m always amazed how much is in there!), you’ve put off spending that pound or so for a few days. If I’m buying a branded product and it’s cheaper somewhere else (that’s easily accessible) why wouldn’t I rather the spare money was in my pocket than someone’s till?

magicmallow Sat 13-Jun-20 13:46:00

definitely worth it, depending on your aims of course, but there are benefits for all (and the environment!). I for example as a single parent am very money conscious. This allows me to stretch what others would term as a meagre budget fantastically and always have savings for if something goes wrong etc. I am saving for a house and making good progress! I shop second hand clothes, switch utilities, take advantage of bank switching bonuses, buy in bulk to save money, reuse etc. There are some things that I find more difficult to save on, for example making your own oat milk can be very economical but is it worth the time and clean up!? Make savings everywhere you possibly can within reason, but also have some luxuries or time saving spending. It is great to have financial power through being careful and having savings to back you up. Makes you realise how much money people throw away. It doesn't mean getting rid of all your luxuries. But it feels great to have money in the bank. It is a form of empowerment vs the disempowerment of being a slave to poor financial planning / spending habits.

WowLucky Sat 13-Jun-20 13:47:04

Personally, it think it's these kinds of things that are worthwhile, then you don't have to scrimp of the important things.

The main thing that makes a difference is the bad habits that mean you waste money without noticing how it adds up. For me it used to be magazines and chocolate bars on my way home from work. Now I suppose it would be a latte habit or TV subscriptions.

Look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves really is true. My Dad's favourite saying is "you can only spend it once". It may "only" be £5 but once it's gone it's gone. And those £5s add up very quickly.

I never scrimp on purchases though. If I'm going to buy something, I buy quality. E.g I'd rather wear an old coat than a new cheap coat. Our Sofas were ££££ but they're 20+ yo and still look like new, same with carpets. I don't buy things unless I need them but I do spend a lot to make sure they'll last when I do.

letsjustallbenice Sat 13-Jun-20 14:28:24

watch dave ramsey, hes american so his advice is aimed at the laws of americans but some of his tips are good, hes ruthless but says what people need to hear

Nsky Sat 13-Jun-20 15:20:06

An interesting idea, that I’ve just started using is buying fabric kitchen towels, I have enough in case I don’t wash every day.
Short term outlay, long term gain.
Soap nuts are fab too, work best if made into liquid, very cheap too ( prob nearer eco egg in cost) not too much hassle either.
I buy a fair bit of clothing from eBay, excluding under wear.
Get a water saving showerhead, saves loads too ( about 6 litres a minute)

term they require

Lightsabre Sat 13-Jun-20 17:01:00

If you check out the money saving expert mortgage overpayments calculator, it's astonishing how overpaying by even £50 a month can save interest on an average mortgage and reduce the term.

BuzzShitbagBobbly Sat 13-Jun-20 17:51:25

While on the MSE site, have a look at the Demotivator tool to see how much little unnecessary things cost you.

EmpressJewel Sat 13-Jun-20 17:54:18

Penny pinching sounds negative and tight. I focus on 'stretching my money', which sounds more positive to me. So if I can reduced my food shop by £10 a week, then at the end of the month, I have £40,to spend on treats.

OhioOhioOhio Sat 13-Jun-20 18:02:16

I love that saying, 'you can only spend each pound once'.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in