Change Spending Habits With
My Tuck Shop Budgeting System
In the summer of 1988, I was enjoying myself in the school playground, occupying my time with a very nice three wheeler (a trike, if you will) that I managed to procure from the school shed.
Already ‘Winning’, I didn’t think my day could get any better.
But it did.
A bell rang, signalling the grand opening of the Tuck Shop. More than this – I actually had 20p on my person.
I secured the trike against a small fence obscured by a bush, and ran to take my place in line.
(Interesting fact: Did you know that the phase “Tuck Shop” comes from the phrase “to tuck into a meal” – From the Australian word “Tucker”, meaning food? Source.)
Disclosure: Based on personal opinion, not to be taken as advice. Seek a professional if required.
If You Don’t Have,
There were days when I didn’t have that 20p piece.
And on those days, I’d have stayed on my trike.
I wouldn’t of had a choice, because as a child, my parents were my only source of income.
Viewing the world in such a clear-cut manner can help change spending habits.
It’s a simple rule to apply to personal finances, and a good starting point: If you don’t have it, don’t spend it!
Look For Value When You Do Spend
Due to my introverted tendencies, I was normally at the far end of the playground when that bell rang. So I was normally at the back of the line.
But this worked in my favour as I could look through the window at the sweets in their Tupperware containers, on the fold-up table, behind the shop keeper.
There were lots of sweets to consider:
I could get 4 giant Cola Bottles, or maybe a few Strawberry Gums, and a couple of Foam Bananas.
In-fact, I’d probably go for as many Sweet Peanuts as I could get.
But I’m sure a sherbet Dust Straw would be a good investment. They last for ages.
Hold up, what about Refresher Chews?
There were some sweets which I had no interest in. Mainly because they were gone before you even started, like Jelly Beans.
And stuff I didn’t like, like Sherbet Fountains.
When we were kids we did a good job of prioritising our purchases. Again, this was because we had little choice.
We can do the same thing as adults.
If you are spending, consider all of your options and look for great value.
Don’t Borrow To Buy Flying Saucers
I never tried to get a loan from the shop keeper.
Partly because the line was always so busy…
There were those late kids, the ones who strolled up after the main rush. -Now they’re in the queue.
There were those other kids, the ones with money burning a hole in their pockets. They’ve already had a bag of sweets, but now they’re back for more.
But also, I didn’t think the Tuck Shop did lay-aways.
It’s a great way of thinking about personal finance: Don’t take out loans to pay for luxury items, like Flying Saucers.
Pocket Change For Another Day
Once you’ve been handed your bag of sweets, open it up.
Check that everything’s in there.
I would advise that you do this before relinquishing your position in the queue.
Take your change.
Offer the shopkeeper a polite exchange, such as “You have you good day now”.
Then, put your money in your pocket and walk away.
See, if you purchased what you wanted and still have money left, well -you really are Winning.
-Make sure you get back to your trike, assuming you have one.
I hope you enjoyed your stay. Please take a moment to pin an image below. Thank you.