Is money too tight to mention?



When someone introduces the term ‘financial planning’ or ‘budgeting’ into a lively conversation, they’re almost always guaranteed to lose the attention of most people in the room. I mean, it stands to reason that if one wants to keep the banter upbeat, then dropping the words ‘scrimping,’ ‘saving’ and ‘doing without,’ into the mix is hardly the way to set people’s pulses racing. Nevertheless, by placing just a little effort into making sensible decisions with our money, we can clearly realise how this type of preparation, boring though it may seem, can give us all a better opportunity to reach our goals.

  Easier said than done, but here are some of our suggestions.

  It may sound obvious, but, grab a pen and paper, (and a homemade coffee) and make a list of goals you’d like to reach. These can be whatever you want them to be, but do look at them under the headings of their short, medium and long-term possibilities. Then ask yourself this question…How am I going to reach these goals in a way that’s both affordable and sustainable?

  Well, first of all, try morphing into Miss Marple and scrutinise your bank/credit card statements to find out exactly where every euro you earn has gone. Include mortgage/rent, food bills, your twice-daily lattes, your newspaper, (bear in mind the Roscommon People is free, so no outlay on this high-quality publication), car tax, car and home insurance, and socialising, etc. We’re no experts, but we bet this exercise will expose any splurging leaks you have, and by that we mean, impulse buys, or, God forbid, that sudden itch for a Friday night drink with the girls/lads!

  Okay, so you’ve identified your bender binges, and now it’s time to try and find out ways where you can curb them. Here’s an example. While writing this piece, I realised I spend an average of €3.00 per day on a coffee. If I do this five days a week, this adds up to €15. Multiply that by four weeks and that’s a spending of €60 a month! Multiply that again by twelve months and I’m spending €720 a year on takeaway coffee. Now, if I deprived myself of that one luxurious daily cuppa, I reckon I’d have enough to either book myself on a mini-break away, or pay for my annual car insurance! Certainly worth thinking about!

  Look, while we know that saving a few bob isn’t easy, we also know it’s essential! And, perhaps one of the ways in which to make things easier is to contact your local credit union, your bank or your post office, and find out how they can help you set aside an affordable amount each week/month to help you achieve your target in a measurable and realistic timeframe.

  When that’s done, we’ll bet in no time at all you’ll have your holiday or your new car paid for. Then again, you may want to plan for your possible later life medical bills, your pet’s veterinary bills, your kids’ education or, indeed, your own retirement years. Either way, give your local financial institution/advisor a call today; we’re sure they’ll be thrilled to help you futureproof your savings.