Am I very wasteful with my money or is it the norm these days

Soldato
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3 Jan 2006
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Chadderton, Oldham
I wonder if I'm quite reserved with my money or actually blowing it ridiculously on daily things.

I spliy my bills, savings and give my bank account exactly £500 to last me the full month to the next payday.

This is for things like shopping, going out, coffee, greggs, bits and bobs through the month maybe the odd game, travel expenses.

I find that I easily hit the 500 and have to dip into savings and feel I'm really going overboard, or is this just the norm with most people?
 
Associate
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Loogabarooga
I have a simple excel spreadsheet which keeps a track of my outgoings, direct debits and credit cards etc also recorded all my salary and expenses for the past 7 years on it.
 
Soldato
Joined
24 Nov 2006
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4,706
To be fair money doesn't go that far these days. However, try cutting down on spending eating out or drinking coffee etc out, as if you do that you waste a ton of money, especially if you dip into savings often.
 
Permabanned
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UK
500/month sounds pretty normal to me.
Stuff isn't cheap, and if ur out and about doing things it's gonna add up. The alternative is to live in a dumpster and eat cardboard but yeah...
It's defo worth having a spreadsheet of your typical outgoings, just so you know you're living within your means and meeting your saving goals.
Plenty of people are dipping into savings because their income isn't going up but their costs are, so you aren't alone on that.
 
Man of Honour
Joined
21 Feb 2006
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The world is expensive. I bought a double vodka and a Guinness last night in That London.

£16.50

It took my breath away. I still (foolishly) have the fact I paid 95p for a Guinness and 1.50 for a double vodka as a youth in my head :D
 
Man of Honour
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Essex
The world is expensive. I bought a double vodka and a Guinness last night in That London.

£16.50

It took my breath away. I still (foolishly) have the fact I paid 95p for a Guinness and 1.50 for a double vodka as a youth in my head :D

Same double JD and coke last night in town £11, I don't remember last time I paid £11 for a drink.
 
Permabanned
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scotland
£16 per day, if you're getting an overpriced paper cup of hot brown water and a Gregg's sticky stodgy sausage roll every other day then
it's bound to eat in to your finances.

It's the age old quandary, are we here to be frugal and miserable, or to have fun and spend, spend, spend ?
 
Soldato
Joined
5 Apr 2009
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22,656
It's all relative. If you're living alone and spending £100 a week on food shopping, you're probably being wasteful or extravagant. If you're spending £10 a day on takeaway coffees etc.

There's usually always somewhere you can cut back if you feel uncomfortable with your spending levels. Maybe a travel mug and a cheap coffee machine on offer, could pay for itself fairly quickly if you're routinely buying expensive coffees. Review your food shopping spend and see whether you're perhaps losing out on branded stuff that doesn't really warrant it.
 
Associate
Joined
9 Aug 2004
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Sea of Dirac
The below changed my finances for the better:

1. Bulk cook dinners with enough to last 2-3 days.
2. Pack a lunch
3. Get used to drinking the free work tea and coffee (No matter how nasty it is)
4. Always have a breakfast!!!
5. Soft drinks are bad, chilled water from the cooler is good.

I must be spending less then £6 a day now on food. A costa toasty and coffee is what £7 now? madness..
 
Caporegime
Joined
9 May 2004
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Leafy outskirts of London
The below changed my finances for the better:

1. Bulk cook dinners with enough to last 2-3 days.
2. Pack a lunch
3. Get used to drinking the free work tea and coffee (No matter how nasty it is)
4. Always have a breakfast!!!
5. Soft drinks are bad, chilled water from the cooler is good.

I must be spending less then £6 a day now on food. A costa toasty and coffee is what £7 now? madness..
You'd save even more skipping breakfast ;)
 
Soldato
Joined
25 Mar 2004
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10,639
Location
Fareham
The below changed my finances for the better:

1. Bulk cook dinners with enough to last 2-3 days.
2. Pack a lunch
3. Get used to drinking the free work tea and coffee (No matter how nasty it is)
4. Always have a breakfast!!!
5. Soft drinks are bad, chilled water from the cooler is good.

I must be spending less then £6 a day now on food. A costa toasty and coffee is what £7 now? madness..

I can't abide the work tea bags, I have to buy Twinings English Breakfast myself and use that. Still it can be had for around £3.50 for 80 tea bags, which is less than 5p each :)
 
Caporegime
Joined
24 Dec 2005
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39,866
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Autonomy
  • Pack up
  • Kettle in office for Coffee

These two things will dramatically lower your weekly spend. I have also over the past 4 months just had a protein shake for breakfast with almond milk. Quick and easy and fills you up so you're mot tempted to hit the work canteen at break (or Greggs) for some fatty bacon white bread butty....

I hate spending money in work. Now I just dont do it. I have no money on me and my wallet in my bag just in case...
 
Soldato
Joined
21 Apr 2003
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South North West
Whatever your circumstances there is nothing like keeping a 100% accurate record of your spending for a few months to help you find out what's important to you. You can then decide whether the pleasure you get from each chunk of spending is greater than the pain of earning that money in the first place. It helps put things in perspective when added up over a period, because we only reach life goals one step, one day, one pound at a time.

Fortunately I don't need to do much recording any more, because working out how to spend 64 quid a week Carer's Allowance doesn't take long. The answer is almost always... er, no! ;-) But my ability to survive now is based on the foundation I laid in earlier years, putting money away for the rainy days which are always out there waiting to catch you without an umbrella. Because if a big bill arrives now, it's coming from savings or fresh air! So I'd say that if you're dipping into your reserves before the rain comes, that's probably a sign that you're skating a bit close to the edge.

And that's your edge, not anyone else's edge. It doesn't matter what choices others make, only how you feel about your choices.

Life is certainly for living, as my mother's dementia has taught me painfully late in life, but never judge yourself by 'the norm', whatever that is. So much of modern life is rented from car loan or credit card companies, making it hard to know who's living a financially 'honest' life any more. So judge yourself by what you feel comfortable with. And the fact you wrote your post tells me you're not entirely comfortable.

Good luck getting more comfortable, whatever you decide.
 
Man of Honour
Joined
19 Oct 2002
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27,596
Location
Surrey
Stop buying overpriced coffee. I used to get at least one a day on the way to work. But a while ago I decided to have a jar of instant at work. It's just as nice and it saves me about £50 a month. I also changed where I bought my lunch from and saved about £20 a month (could save even more if I bothered to make it at home).
 
Soldato
Joined
16 Aug 2009
Posts
6,493
Even if you're buying sandwiches thats what, £2,£3,£4 a shot @ 5 days a week, that really adds up whereas a loaf of bread is a quid and that'll last all week. Make your own.
 
Soldato
Joined
5 Aug 2013
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5,440
Location
Shropshire
This spending habit has only been around (mainly) since cards and phones - In the old day when we were paid in cash on a Friday morning and you had to divvy it up into separate pots and you ended up with 20 quid in your pocket to last as week you could see instantly it wasn't going to last the week if you had a few beers to many.

So try giving yourself £100 a week and see how you get on. - looking at figures on a spread sheet means sod all - you just move a few figures from one column to another and everything looks OK - but it isn't. Cash is King when your hard up - when it's gone it's gone
 
Man of Honour
Joined
21 Feb 2006
Posts
28,549
I have always tracked my spending, back in the day with MS Money and these days with a spreadsheet month on month. It is the only way I have to manage my spending.
 
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