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Welcome to beating your Lean Times

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We all have times in our lives when we have the need to save money whether it is for a deposit on a property, reeling in our over extended credit cards or just a new pair of designer shoes that we have decided will make our life perfect.

We should be able to live thriftily but with style. Our penny pinching should not be openly obvious to our peers and colleagues, we should just look like we are going through our life normally or actually living a wee bit better. This blog will help you live thriftily but with panache.

The first step to living Lean is finding out exactly where your money is going. The first thing to look at is called the ‘latte factor’, which are those small expenditures that burn right through your purse. How many times do you think, “oh it is just a couple of quid” when buying a magazine, a latte or even that Diet Coke with your lunch? These types of expenditures add up and quick! My grandfather used to use the old saying watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves which is why I want to watch the pennies add up.

The best way to figure out exactly where all your hard earn money is going is to keep a very strict financial diary. You need to note each and every expenditure without exception then at the end of a month take a look at where your money is going. I think a month is a better measure than a week because then you will get to look at all your spending from going out for drinks to your monthly Boots shop.

There are a few things I have cut out or substituted without really noticing such as my weekly Grazia addiction. Grazia is a fabulous magazine but it always made me feel like I needed to go shopping so in the end it is an anti-Lean Times indulgence.

The other Lean thing, I do is take a can of pop from a multi-pack at home to work for lunch – that can mean the difference of 20p a can versus 70p. That is £10 per month which in a year adds up to £120, by just a little planning ahead.

pencil box HOMEWORK – yes there will be homework but I promise it will help and maybe even fun.
Start your own DAILY financial diary, at the end of each week tally up your expenditures and figure what you REALLY need and what you can change. It is shocking how much money we spend on what we think are small purchases.

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