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Old Fashioned Money Advice

Old Fashioned advice that can help you save you money

Making a cup of tea for my gran the other day, in her preferred fashion of dipping her tea bag in the mug for just a few seconds so you can make two cups with one bag, I was reminded of the curious wisdom of our nans. It’s easy to scoff at that kind of extreme frugality, but it reveals a worldview focused on saving and getting the most mileage you can out of your things. Today, when it’s so easy to be distracted by the endless barrage of lovely things, is a better time than ever to turn to our nans for financial wisdom. As they say, look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.

There are a ton of budgeting apps out there designed to streamline your online banking to help budget, but nothing beats the tried and tested envelope system used by many of our grandparents. It’s practical, but basically a super simple budgeting system. After covering bills and expenses, set aside your spending money for the week in different corresponding envelopes, for example, food shops, clothes and entertainment. If like our grandparents, you literally stick your cash in an envelope, you can’t go over budget and spend more than you need to if you’re diligent.

Moreover, it might seem contradictory but broadly speaking there are huge benefits to following in our nan's footsteps, and abandoning the Monzo card in favour of going cash only when possible. Cynthia Meyer, a financial planner at financial finesse makes the case that “There's no substitute for the awareness that comes with paying in cash.” For expenses that aren’t online, take out your cash for your spending. By using cash, you have a real, material sense of what you’re spending as opposed to the casual quality of endlessly beeping your card over and over again.

Moreover, our elder’s hesitation towards embracing new online models of banking may be doing them some favours. According to data released by the US Federal Trade Commission, 40 per cent of millennials aged 20-29 had fallen victim to cybercrime as opposed to only 17 per cent of those over 70. Going against the conventional idea that seniors are constantly falling for scams, it seems that Millenials over-reliance on online banking may be costing us money.

Alongside the dryer, financial advice we can emulate, our elders our constantly dropping pearls of wisdom that we’d do well to listen to. Cultivating a sense of practicality and diligence can massively improve your spending situation, as you learn to make the most whenever you can, even if you don’t go as far as 2 mugs of tea with one tea bag. Giffgaff has even designed a ‘nan wisdom’ generator that dispenses these crucial nuggets. Sites such as Silversurfers and Saga are also very useful when looking for advice from the older generation. 

What advice was given to you by your nan that you remember? Let us know below or our social channels.


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