Continued from page 1
Clothes. Do you need to buy fashionable clothes, so you can look like everyone else? If you need to blend in, fine. You can be sure leaders of fashion don't. They head to charity shops and buy Harris tweed and old lace for pennies. They get suits made to measure by sweated labour in Thailand. That's how they get that 'unique' look. What's that, you don't like idea of sweat-shops? Guess what, that's where a lot of fashionable clothes get made anyway. It's called 'outsourcing' and 'offshoreing'.
Automobiles. Running a car in UK costs about £5000 ($9000 USD) a year, all-in. Save, by buying a second-hand auto. Save, by buying a less powerful, more fuel efficient model. Save further by thereby getting lower insurance and road-tax.
Personal foibles: I used to buy a lot of internet magazines. These cost up to £5 each, or about $10 in USD. I found a lot of information about internet, was already on internet, so I stopped buying magazines. There are very few papers or magazines worth reading. Find few that inform, rather than titillate, waffle or distract. Visit local library, it's free. Drop in to a 'Borders' bookshop, and have a free read.
Debt. Don't buy what you can't afford with someone else's money. Credit cards are an expensive way of getting a loan. Try your friends or relatives first. Your local credit union is a good option; better rates, better terms, friendlier faces. Better yet, don't borrow. Live free. Keep away from loan-sharks. You can manage without that holiday.
Put your saved money in a high interest, 180-day notice account. Put it in a bank different to your current one, in case latter goes bust. Make a mental note that it's for emergencies only, then contrive to live 'safely'.
Save up enough to last you a year and a day off work, and notice how much calmer and confident you feel!
T. O' Donnell (http://www.tigertom.com) is an ecommerce consultant in London, UK. His latest project is a loan and mortgage calculator, available at http://www.tigertom.com/mortgages-uk.shtml.