One of the key techniques to managing your finances in these difficult times is to clearly identify your ‘needs’ versus your ‘wants’. In a fascinating interview on BBC Radio, five times British archery champion Jackie Wilkinson explains how she tackled being skint herself.
You can listen to the interview on BBC iPlayer – fast forward to 2hrs 8minutes 50 seconds.
Jackie Wilkinson has been skint and has survived and her book ‘Survival Guide For The Skint‘ has been welcomed as a money management book with a difference as it is jargon free, simple advice from someone who has been there.
Some of the areas covered in the interview:
- Be honest with yourself on what your needs and wants really are
- Buy real food – buy fresh ingredients and cook real food
- Always go shopping after you have eaten – if you go to the shops on an empty stomach you are much more likely to impulse buy bad (and more expensive) foods you don’t really need
- Use a shopping list – you know what you need in the house and you have to have the basics
- Bills – Turn the central heating down a couple of degrees if you are able
- Clothing – fashion is the easiest way in the world to waste money. Look for value for money – weigh up between quality and fashion – buy cheap high fashion items if they are likely to go out of fashion, but things that you can keep ongoing its worth buying quality
- Try and make lunches rather than ‘paying for your own private chef’ by buying ready-made sandwiches and getting things from vending machines
- If its ‘every day’ then even a few pounds saved can add up to hundreds over the year
Knowledge is power – when people estimate they get it wrong. When she was skint Jackie kept an exact record for 4-6 weeks what she was spending money on, and it was a real surprise – she had got her guesses wrong. Understanding where the money went meant that Jackie could start to control her finances.