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How did you learn to manage money?

(9 Posts)
NoMoreNagging Thu 11-Jun-09 12:45:44

I've recently been able to compare what we earned as a family with another family and what sort of life we and they have managed to make. My h has been earning more than the other family for about 4 years now but we always seemed to be hard up. We went on one big holiday (our first and last as have now split) and it just took all our savings. Other familiy manages a holiday every year, runs 2 cars, pay mortgage and have expensive hobbies on slightly less than we had.

Now I'm depending on h sending some maintenance but the way he goes about with his money, I feel as if he will soon plead poverty anyway and his bank will be empty. I know different people have different ways of spending/saving but we never seemed to throw our money about, I have nothing to show for it and didn't even indulge in expensive food shopping or going out.

Mousey84 Thu 11-Jun-09 12:59:22

I learnt from observing my parents. They both worked full time and had a very comfortable income. On the surface I guess it looked like they could afford what they wanted when they wanted it, however, I know that they saved hard for things - never bought things on credit (though obv had a mortgage) I know now that they struggled to afford a house when they first got married, but they were very determined and now they are in a very good position.

I have never been in debt, or had an empty bank account. I do have a credit card, but its a reward card that is paid off in full each month.

Theres a great budget planner on that may help you see where you are financially - maybe when you start to track it, you will be able to make better decisions. Are you getting the best deals for insurance / utilities etc? Are your bank accounts paying decent interest?

Im doing a course with the OU on personal finance, but so far, I havent learnt anything new cause I spend so much time on moneysavingexpert that I already know it all. (so far...may get tougher!) I love trying to save money - bit of a challenge, but I see it as a penny saved is a penny earned, and pennies add up.

A good book that Im reading now is Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. Suze Orman does some good books too, but make sure you get an english version or you will be reading about the american market.

SolidGoldBrass Thu 11-Jun-09 13:01:33

My main problem with money is people paying me late and lying to me. I don't yet think there is a cure for that... sad.

Mousey84 Thu 11-Jun-09 13:04:00

What do you do SGB? Can you organize a contract re payment - like witholding services until payment is settled?

TrillianAstra Thu 11-Jun-09 13:11:53

I learned by seeing how my dad was crap with money and vowing not to be like that at a young age.

weebump Thu 11-Jun-09 13:13:24

NMN, have you thought that maybe the other family are in debt? I know some people who wanted the 2 cars, the house, the holidays, and just took out loans to get them. I can't do that. I hate being in debt.

I rent a flat and save my money, so I have spending money and can go on holiday/buy what I need when I need. The thing is I don't feel the urge to buy lots of stuff, and I think it's also from watching my parents. They divorced when I was 11, and I remember my mum counting the pennies, rationing biscuits (2 a day) and fruit (1 a day). I still got pocket money, but had to save it up if I wanted anything expensive. Clothes, shoes and food were bought for me, everything else (outside of birthdays & xmas) I had to save for. That's what taught me financial discipline. I always think twice/three times before buying anything!

SolidGoldBrass Thu 11-Jun-09 14:14:27

Mousey: well I threatened them with legal action, they paid me and fired me.
Still I think they are going bust now. Mind you that doesn;t help me with the mounting debts...
SOrry, iwll scoot off thread now, not v rational about this at the moment.

NoMoreNagging Thu 11-Jun-09 14:22:24

Yes, I suppose the other family have taken out loans to get some of the things for their house and their cars but they still live comfortably and have plenty of spending money for the hobbies and nights out, even weekends a way which go on credit cards but they still pay those off at the end of the month.

I think I and h missed out on learning about using credit to make life better, I mean all credit isn't bad, there must be a healthy amount that you can slowly pay back according to what you earn. Right now h has 6k in debt but only a fairly old car to show for it. On the positive side, ds is very good at saving and using his money wisely as he's seen how I've had to be so careful with my budget just to get food and clothes for us all.

nannynick Thu 11-Jun-09 15:21:40

I read a book by Alvin Hall "Your Money Or Your Life". Alvin has some podcasts on which you can download. The book is available from your local library (I expect most will be able to order it from group stock) or bookstore.

Having read that book, I concentrated on sorting out debts, such as paying off credit cards (Bad Debt)... and now my only debt is my Mortgage (which Alvin considers is Good Debt).

I am careful about what I spend money on... I used to buy lots of DVD's, these days I rent two a month and avoid buying any. It's the small things that can add up... I don't buy magazines or newspapers now - the Internet is now my source for news on every topic imaginable.

I used credit cards to pay for things and pay off the bill each month... that way I get the benefits of a credit card, without the cost.

I aim to save some money each month into a savings account. It's my rainy day fund. Once you start putting money aside each month, you get used to not having it.

Set yourself goals and give yourself rewards. Start off with mini-goals, so you can see how you can achieve small savings, then as you get into it, increase your goal amount.

I care for two children under 5 and at work I have a weekly budget for activities/outings/misc supplies. We don't always stick to the budget, but by having a budget you do get used to finding lower cost activities. So setting up budgets for various things can help.

Never got shopping without a shopping list. It's my biggest problem... I keep forgetting and end up getting lots of things I want, rather than things I need!

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