We love them. We argue with them. We receive advice from them.
And at some point, we’ve probably taken money from them…
So, to honour our Dad’s and the role they play in our lives, we’ve written 8 invaluable money-saving tips that we should have used (and probably ignored!) growing up.
1. “Cheapest is not always best”
We all love a bargain, whether it’s splurging on a holiday package or buying the latest clothes.
Yet our Dad’s all said that cheapest is not always best.
What they meant was that if you buy the cheapest clothes or some bargain bucket screwdrivers – they are cheap for a reason, because they are poor quality and are likely to break down due to some wear and tear.
It’s far better to pay £50 for something that will last you a few years than £10 that would last a few months, meaning you’ll need to buy another one (or two) to replace it in half the time.
2. “Match your buying habits with what you can afford”
We all want to live the high life – drink champagne, eat out at restaurants, go on holiday with our friends and family. But, can our finances cope with it?
Instead of champagne, our Dad’s told us to drink the house wine, or if you must go on another holiday, take a holiday somewhere within the UK or closer to these shores.
No need for an expensive petrol-guzzling car, get one that is more functional than stylish, as it will help you save more in the long-term.
Living within our salaries means that we do not apply for credit on things we really cannot afford, thus reducing our need to max out overdrafts and short term loans. These should only be considered in emergencies.
3. “Start saving when you’re young”
Our Dads stated as soon as you start earning, begin paying into a pension.
Admittedly, not many of us did this but saving for your retirement at a younger age means you’ll avoid any nasty shocks when it comes to retirement planning later in life.
Crucially, our Dad’s pointed out that if you put aside a little from your salary each month from your very first pay check – you will never miss it and you can budget your monthly finances around the remainder of your salary.
Whether or pension or savings account, the compound interest on your savings from 20 plus years of saving will turn into a nice nest egg, whether you need it for retirement of buying a property.
No need to save everything you have left over from your salary but placing a small sum each month leads to more in the long-term. Trust us, you’ll need it later on in life!
4. “Nothing wrong with second-hand shops”
A lot of our friends growing up had the latest toys, clothes, gadgets, clothes and so on. (Remember those people?)
Our Dad’s highlighted there is no shame in going to second-hand shops and getting what you need there at seriously reduced prices. Yes, they may not look like new, but they did the job that was required.
In the UK today, there are a plethora of charity shops now that people donate their unwanted items to which you can buy clothes from and simultaneously support a good charity.
There are even second-hand mobile phone shops who can sell you a one or two-year-old phone for as little as half the original retail price if you don’t mind not having the latest iPhone or Android smartphone.
If you are not a high street shopper for second-hand items, then even browsing on Amazon and eBay you can purchase quality second-hand goods for a fraction of the price they were initially bought for.
5. “Get using coupons”
Coupon and discount websites like Groupon have really caught on due to the recent credit crunch.
When we were younger, we remember our Dad’s using McDonald’s coupons to get us a free hamburger with our meals or scouring the daily national newspapers for hotel and restaurant offers to take us on cheap holidays and days out.
Yet, with websites like Groupon, there are discounts on makeup, furniture, kitchen appliances, plus restaurants and hotels. Just sign up and view the deals that appeal to you. Don’t stop going out, mix it up a bit and find something new by using a coupon!
6. “If you want to buy, can you sell first?”
If we were lucky or did our chores, most of us would have received pocket money when we grew up, yet it was always never enough to get the latest CD Walkman or video game.
Our Dad’s told us rather than accumulate more items, why not sell what you have and put the money towards the item we want?
Many of us took part-time jobs like paper rounds and working in supermarkets but if that is not enough, why not clear your old junk and sell it instead?
Once again you could use eBay or Amazon or set up your own car boot sale. Selling unwanted products will help you obtain some needed funds to purchase what we need, whether the latest smartphone or money towards this year’s summer holiday.
7. “Never do your food shopping on an empty stomach”
When you begin the food shop on an empty stomach every bit of food seems almost irresistible to buy. You end up buying food like pre-made sandwiches, sweets and crisps that you want to eat NOW and not when you get home.
Our Dad’s insisted on writing a shopping list based on meals to be cooked, so that if the food item is not on the list, you don’t buy it!
Furthermore, our Dad’s would make us a snack or eat a sandwich before we left to go shopping so that those hunger pangs don’t resurface, ensuring that we only purchase what we needed, and not stick junk food in the trolley.
8. “Teach yourself how to fix things”
We remember our Dad’s always fixing the car when it broke down or doing DIY jobs around the house – or even redecorating the home, rather than hire a professional painter or plumber.
The same with broken coffee tables, furniture and even computers and televisions. Today, we tend to take them to a professional to fix but with so much information now available online today, why not find a “how to” video on YouTube and learn yourself?
Yes, it will probably take longer to work it out, but you’ll save pounds on the labour costs it requires to fix. Obviously, you may need to buy additional parts from a respected supplier, but if you can get them yourself, you’ll be saving big time!
If you are a father yourself, then you’re most likely telling your kids similar advice.
And just like you did when you were young, they will probably ignore it!
But, that shouldn’t stop you from trying – because, our dad’s must have saved thousands of pounds by using these time-tested money-saving tips.
Maybe you’re unable to do all of them, but it’s worth giving it a try and grudgingly accept that actually, our Dads were right after all!