EVERYONE likes handy little money-saving tips, but getting control of your finances sometimes takes much bigger ideas.
Why not take these ten inspirational quotes and apply them to your finances?
“Worry, like a rocking chair will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” – Vance Havner
Most of us are guilty of worrying about money, and whilst it might be justified in some circumstances, the actual worrying won’t solve any problems – and worse still, it can be bad for your physical and mental health.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein
When it comes to your finances, it’s important to learn from your mistakes. It means you will find yourself better off and more able to ‘live for today’ and have ‘hope for tomorrow’.
“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.” – Tyler Durden, Fight Club (via author Chuck Phalanuick)
Anti-consumerist and anarchist Tyler Durden’s methods might have been extreme in the novel/movie Fight Club, but the nihilist offered some wise words on mass-consumerism.
Think carefully about what you spend your money on – do you really need it?
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – William Arthur Ward
The causes of your financial problems and the chances of them improving are both academic unless you do something to improve the situation yourself.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy
Tolstoy’s sentiments are similar to William Arthur Ward’s. If you have money troubles you can get bogged down in what caused them. You can’t change the economy and you can’t change the way finance works, but you can change the way you spend and save.
“Have patience, and endure” – Shakespeare, Much Ado
If you apply Shakespeare’s advice to your finances, and realise that things are not going to change overnight, you can alleviate some of the stress you put upon yourself.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao-tzu
Combine the logic of Tolstoy and Shakespeare, and you get something resembling this quote from sixth Century philosopher Lao-tzu. Start by changing your own habits, like Tolstoy says, but think small.
Even if it’s only something like opening a savings account like a cash Isa and putting a small amount of money in it, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’
“Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute.” – Gil Stern
Of course it’s important to stay positive, but don’t let a rose-tinted view of your finances stop you from preparing for difficulties. If you’re going to fly a plane, you’d want to know there was a parachute on board wouldn’t you?
“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.” – Alfred Sheinwold
Listen to your friends and family if they have experience in any of the financial areas you’re thinking about. Ask your parents about their first mortgage, ask your grandma how she used to save money and make use of their advice.
“Go forward without fear.” – Abraham Lincoln
Don’t bury your head in the sand! Tackling financial problems requires action, and things won’t get fixed if you try to ignore them. Don’t let fear hold you back.
Glossary of terms
This stands for Annual Percentage Rate. Any firm that lends money is required by law to quote the APR. Introductory rates do not include arrangement fees you may be charged and also don’t reflect any higher rate of interest that your borrowings will ultimately revert to. The APR takes into account the interest on a loan plus and additional charges making it easier for you to compare products. In general, the lower the APR the better the deal.
Balance transfer rates are applied to existing card debt that is being moved from one issuer to another or a consolidation of other debts. These rates tend to be lower than standard rates and apply to the debt transferred or consolidated for a specified term or until it is repaid in full.
Credit cards are a form of borrowing used to purchase goods and services, to obtain cash advances and for consolidating debt.
This allows an organization to take money directly from a persons bank account
The amount you must pay each month to keep your account in order
The time between when you buy something on the card and the date when you must pay your monthly bill. This can be 50 days or more and is interest-free. So if you settle your bill in full every month, it’s free borrowing.
A rate that is applied to your account until a given expiry date. Thereafter it will revert to the rate applicable to your account at that time.
[Mark Hooson writes for Moneysupermarket.com about money-saving, consumer issues and personal finance.]