Attitudes to finance – are you a saver or a borrower?

They say ‘neither a borrower nor a lender be’.

My first question though – who exactly is ‘they’? ‘They’ implies some sort of panel of wise old men with beards and women who look a bit like Judi Dench, all nodding earnestly as they decide on the important rules for life. I suspect, not without some sense of disappointment, that that may not actually be the case.

Some people I know do get panicky about all things financial, and while I’m not especially keen on lending money, I’m quite happy to borrow it, so long as it’s done sensibly. This week for example I had to buy a new car. Ex Boyfriend had very kindly let me hang on to his for a few months but now he needs it back – quite rightly – and so I have had to get one of my very own.

It was weird having to choose a car without someone in the background muttering about cam belts and track rod ends, and in the end I opted for that tried and tested approach of buying the very first thing I saw, taking into consideration all the most important aspects of choosing a car:

Seat altea

To finance it I did have to get a personal loan. I shopped around a bit, talked to my own bank, and in the end got a decent rate of 5.9%. I used part of the money to pay off the tail end of an existing loan so my monthly outgoings remain unchanged; it’s all very sensible.  I did borrow a little bit more than I needed to to qualify for a much better rate, so then I started thinking about what I should do with the rest. It IS a flexible loan, so I could just pay back the extra straight away, or save it for an emergency. I could do something more fun though like spend it all on books and red boots.

I won’t do this of course, because I am a Very Sensible Girl. While I’m not scared to borrow money for emergencies or things I really need – like a car or house – I don’t agree with borrowing money just for fun. Where really is the fun in going on a fantastic holiday and then having the cost of it hanging over your head for the next two years? Surely the holiday would be much more enjoyable knowing you had saved up and paid for it outright?

A loan for a car I feel comfortable with. If you find yourself taking out a loan to just spend on sweets then you might want to have a word with yourself.

How about you? How do you feel about borrowing money?

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  1. 19 September, 2014 / 4:01 pm

    Like you, borrowing money for the serious things – car, mortgage, new kitchen, I agree with. But having been burned in the past with debt, if I want something, I have to pay for it in cash. I also make the sensible decision when it comes to buying a car – nice colour and looks good!

  2. Lucy
    23 September, 2014 / 9:31 pm

    Your car DOES have a lovely cute face… :)

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