Whenever I see a blog post with a title like “9 tips for saving more money”, or “7 tips for finding the extra cash you didn’t think you had”, or anything along those lines, I like to check if there’s anything new and revolutionary being offered; that top tip that I’d missed and that will change my life. Usually I’m disappointed.
I definitely see the purpose of these posts – there is research stating that people have to take in information a certain number of times before it sticks and they actually take action, and the same message from one person might not work for you as well as it does from another person, depending on how they express it and what resonates with you. So I’m in no way saying that these posts aren’t useful – I’m only talking about why they don’t work for me.
So after reading lots and lots of these posts, and often feeling a little bit disappointed, I realised the mistake I was making: they were all written by American (or occasionally Canadian) bloggers.
Often the information in money blogs is relevant no matter where you and the blogger are based – the principles of budgeting, getting out of debt and money mindset are pretty much the same wherever you are, and we all get that a pension is called something different and works in slightly different ways in the US, the UK and South Africa. But turns out, money saving tips are often very much culture-specific as well!Money saving tips are actually culture specific, so not all of them will be useful for you! Click To Tweet
In the past I have often been scoffing at tips like “only eat out twice a week”, “use public transport” or “stop buying bottled water”. I only eat out as a special treat, I don’t own or need a car (I actually walk more often than I take the bus), and the only reason I would ever buy bottled water was if I’m out and about and can’t get access to tap water. These tips have nothing to do with my life at all.
But having thought about this, I realised that just because these tips don’t apply to me, that doesn’t mean they don’t apply to some people – otherwise they wouldn’t have been included in those blog posts! It might seem insane to me that some people are eating out most days a week, just as it might seem insane to other people that I spend money on a cleaner when we could do it ourselves for free, or that we spend quite a large chunk of our income on rent, when we could save a lot by moving a bit further out of town. It all depends on your culture, your situation and your priorities. In some parts of the world it’s normal (and more affordable) to eat out a lot – and to be honest, I’d love to eat out more often, too!
If you’re like me, and you have read lots of money saving posts that don’t apply to you at all, remember this: those tips weren’t meant for you, but there will be a post out there from someone in your situation, who can help you save money. So don’t write them all off just because saving tips from the other side of the world don’t apply to you – just because you cook most of your meals at home and always walk to work, that doesn’t mean you can’t make savings!