Archive for survivor’s guide

Credit Crunch: A Survivor’s Guide – Overuse

Posted in Life..., Personal Finance, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2010 by stanleyriiks

Do you wonder who recommends you change your toothbrush every three months? It’s the manufacturers. Those who would benefit most from you changing your toothbrush four times a year. Do you believe them? Until I see scientific evidence to the contrary I am happy to use my toothbrush for a year, or more if it’s still looking good. I use an electric toothbrush and I do take care of it, when you have a £150.00 top of the range Oral B, you look after it! It actually gets treated better than my girlfriend! (She didn’t cost so much!)

Water filters are another thing that can be used more than the manufacturers recommend. Of course they say four weeks will use up the goodness contained in their little filters. Well, that’s based on the filter being used by an average family of four. I’m certainly not average, and I’m definitely not a family of four. I’ll use those filters (instead of bottle water which is about twenty times as much!), for at least six weeks, depending on actual consumption.

Try to overuse things and squeeze the value from every product you use and save those pennies.

Credit Crunch: A Survivor’s Guide – Downgrade your expenditure

Posted in Life..., Personal Finance, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2010 by stanleyriiks

There are two simple ways downgrade your grocery shopping.

The first is by downgrading your supermarket. If you shop at Waitrose (you rich bastards!), you need to start shopping at Marks and Spencer. If you shop at Marks you need to start shopping at Sainsbury. If Sainsbury then Tesco. If Tesco then Asda. If Asda then move to Morrisons. Morrisons to Iceland, Iceland to Lidl/Aldi/Netto. If you have the misfortunate to shop at Lidl/Aldi/Netto you need to get a big stick and start mugging homeless people!

Ok, Morrisons might be above Asda, and its unlikely you’ll have all of those options in your area, but remember online shopping.

If you haven’t got the choice of which supermarket you can go to then you can always downgrade your label. A store-branded product can replace a brand name product. All the major supermarkets are getting in on the store value-brand now, even Waitrose. Both Tesco and Sainsbury have three levels of products, Tesco Finest and Taste the Difference being the top level, and the nicest, although sometimes only slightly. But also the most expensive.

The thing to remember when purchasing your food if that no matter how nice and yummy and delicious it is when you put it in your mouth, it all comes out the same at the other end. If that doesn’t induce you to purchase a Tesco’s value lasagne for 89p than I doubt anything will.

But seriously, downgrading your shopping should be taken slowly. Dropping down from a regular Tesco’s Finest menu to the value range will leave you feeling hard-down-by. Ease yourself down the range in small easily manageable increments.

Also, look at other things that can be downgraded. Your mobile contract can be downgraded as long as you are far enough into it, normally about 9 months. If you’re not using your current allowance give your mobile company a ring and reduce your contract.

Insurance can be downgraded, although check carefully that you are still covered for the things that you want to be covered for.

Downgrade your car. Sometimes this can work the opposite way too. A friend of mine purchased a newer car that had a slightly smaller diesel engine, the lower cost of insurance, lower tax and lower fuel meant that it cost £14.00 a month less to run than the older car. That’s including the more expensive hire-purchase costs. Obviously I cannot recommend getting into higher levels of debt, but in this case I can see the advantage. But debt is still bad.

Start downgrading now.