Sunday, 15 October 2017

Small habits

Small habits.  We've all got 'em.  You know, the little things you do which save money but they're so much part of your nature that you don't even think about them.  I haven't always been a thrifty gal but since I've retired I've acquired new habits which are now second nature.  

Small habit number one has to be budgetting and tracking.  I use budgetting software (which I won!) and every purchase is recorded.  At the end of each month I do my personal financial report, telling myself what I have spent on the house, the car, treats etc.  Just being aware of what I spend has a restraining effect on spending.  I set goals each month, some of which I share on this blog, and review my success or failure and why I got the result that I did.  I also keep a spreadsheet called "Essential budgetting information" on which I predict cashflow so I can move money into the current account if needed.

Small habit number two again involves this laptop quite a lot.  Many people can save money by growing things, using public transport etc. but disability means I can't.  However, when I sit down for necessary breaks I always pick up the laptop and do a survey or maybe a few competitions.  Neither brings in a huge income but together they make a small but significant contribution to the budget.

Habit number three involves not a laptop but a good old fashioned notebook.  In it I note my shopping needs thus avoiding unnecessary trips to the shops.  I also note guide prices so that I can stock up when I see a staple (eg laundry powder) at a good price.  I also write down things to research before I buy.  Yesterday, for example, I was looking at plants in a garden centre and almost bought a skimmia but noticed that there were several different varieties available.  I don't trust the glowing terms which growers use to try and get me to buy so I noted the varieties available and will check before I invest my garden tokens.  Hurrah for notebooks of the use-with-a-pencil kind.


  1. Great tips. Knowledge is power, only by knowing your income and spending can you begin to save. So many people have no idea of what things cost.

  2. We recorded our spending for three months, it was a true eye opener, we are more careful, we always take a shopping list, if you forget something a quick trip to the shops always cost too much.

  3. I use a notebook, too, the kind you use with a pencil. I make lists and write down things to research, including sites I hear about. In the notebooks I write anything I want to remember that doctors offices tell me when I call--like when I called and the fact I am told they will call me back.

  4. I used to use an excellent programme for budgeting called simply 'Money', and I really miss it since it was discontinued by Microsoft. It was easy to use and a straight-forward, accurate way of seeing how much money would be needed for future expenses, what had been spent and how to economise. It sounds as though your current programme is working well, so please can you tell me the name of it? I'd love to have a look and see if I can download it for my own use. xx

    1. I use YNAB say why-nab. You Need A Budget. I think it is absolutely brilliant as it helps me integrate all my accounts (including cash) for both budgetting and tracking. The downside is that it isn't cheap although you can get a decent free trial period. I won my software. It's pretty intuitive to use.

    2. You could go on to YouTube and have a look at the system as they do weekly pep talks. I have heard it said that they treat their clients like gold and I have to say that I have been very impressed with the support. They do webinars to help you get started and to help you with various aspects.