Penny wise, pound foolish

By Ken Rogers
As a kid I loved my old tin Post Office money box. You had to use a knife to slide the pennies out which seemed precious to me at the time.
We will reach a stage in the near future when real money becomes 100 per cent old hat.
I was brought up in a 1970s work environment in which we were paid weekly in cash.
This disciplined us not to spend a penny more than we earned. The wise old saying was “Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.”
Apparently, cash won’t be accepted in Tottenham Hotspur’s new football stadium in London. How long before we are handing over our credit card down at the local for a packet of pork scatchings?
Maybe I’m a Luddite, instinctively averse to new technology. For instance, I won’t use automatic supermarket tills. Whenever an assistant points me towards that area I politely decline, explaining that I’m putting real jobs before robots. In any case, I’ve never used an automatic till yet that hasn’t required human intervention.
I stood behind someone using a card to buy crisps and a fizzy drink at my local convenience store this week. Where will it end? I recently spotted a question in one of those magazine ‘Agony Aunt’ columns. It said: “My credit card debt got worse over Christmas. I like to dress well, have evenings out with friends and take annual holidays, but I’m 30 and finding life expensive. I’m not saving for the future which is another worry.”
Did I feel instant empathy for the writer? I’ll leave you to ponder that. I was immediately considering how my grandparents might have answered compared to the magazine advice, so here we go . . .
Agony Aunt 2019: Divide your spending into categories (food, travel, clothes etc) and see where you are spending the most.
Granddad 1959: Get your priorities right. Divide your spending into food and rent. If you must go abroad, North Wales is brilliant option.
Grandma 1959: Just knitting a lovely jumper for our Kenny. It can get breezy in Talacre at this time of year.
Agony Aunt 2019: Take those extravagantly purchased items you have worn the least (cocktail dresses, outfits for weddings). Try to figure out a way to dress them down for normal daily us. You will still feel a million dollars.
Grandma 1959: I always wore our Mary’s hand me downs. Mam said I’d grow into them. She was always right.
Agony Aunt 2019: If you are living with few extravagances and still feeling the crunch, you might have to tighten things up a little.”
Granddad 1959: “Penny Wise, Pound Foolish.”
Best advice I’ve ever had!