/ Money

Thrifty or tight – where do you draw the line?

Saving money in jam jars

If you’re looking to cut back, you’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve launched a new Money Savings Tips hub. But is cutting back worth the effort? Which? Conversationalists seem divided.

Whenever I see a money-saving tip explained online, the feedback from commenters always falls into one of two categories.

Some people are grateful for any advice that can help them reduce their outgoings by any amount, because they believe in the value of looking after the pennies.

Others suggest that life is too short and their time is too valuable to engage in such activities, or even that they’d be embarrassed to be seen taking part in certain penny-pinching deeds. Where do you draw the line between thrifty and tight?

Too much hassle?

The latest issue of Which? Money features a double-page spread explaining how to make £230 a year through stoozing. Few would turn their nose up at this sum of money, yet in a recent poll here on Which? Convo, only 30% of you said that stoozing was worth the hassle.

You’ve also been divided on the merit of haggling, despite our online guide showing exactly how to save an average of £240 a year on your bills by doing it.

Simpler tasks, such as using cashback sites, loyalty cards or price comparison sites, receive less scorn. So does the line between worthy and unworthy money-saving behaviour correlate with the amount of effort put in to make the savings?

Money-saving tips

We know that a sizeable core of Which? members are keen to hear of more ways to cut their costs and make money over the short-term. If you’re one of them, you might fancy having a browse of our Money Saving Tips, featuring our comprehensive 50 ways to save money guide.

And if you’re not an advocate of the tips in this guide, do let us know why in the comments below.

Are you always thrifty?

Depends - I try to find a balance (61%, 149 Votes)

Yes - I always try and save the pennies (36%, 88 Votes)

No - it's not for me, life is too short (3%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 245

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For an old fogey like me is a vertical actually a fancy name for a column? Or does it have a specific meaning on the Web?

One of the tips you give includes a link to rentnotbuy.co.uk which takes me to a US dot com site that is active in Cnada and the US. This is not very helpful unless I go holidaying there. However as tool renting is meant to be one of the main benefits I am not sure its usefulness.


I thought it was a transcription error for ‘article’, but then I’m not au fait with the latest argot either.


Hi Dieseltaylor, thanks for your question and sorry about that – we should’ve been more clear. A vertical is a term used to describe an area of similar content on the website. So our money saving tips vertical is an area on our site which is devoted to money saving info. And thank you for noticing the link to the US site – I will double check it.


Thanks for that Alex. We learn something every day on this site. There’s a certain logic in this usage and it’s obviously time this specific meaning found its way into the dictionaries.


I agree John. It’s a great educational resource. I sometimes look up Conversations when in company, to find information that I have read but cannot be sure of the detail. I’m not sure if there is a term for this but it could be considered antisocial, like phubbing – a term I learned here. 🙂

One advantage of ‘verticals’ is that it would – for example – be easy to add an example of how stoozing could waste a lot of money if we are not careful about dates, without upsetting the layout or having to add another page. At one time, some web designers were keen that pages could be viewed without scrolling. Now that we have trackpads, mice with scroll-wheels and touch screens, it’s not necessary.


Why not keep the language simple so that everyone can understand it!!


Hi everyone, thanks for your encouraging comments about the convo 🙂 It’s good to know you find it so useful – we learn a lot from your comments as well!

And thanks for your feedback, Mary. You’re right we should have either used simpler language or put a little explanation in. Will keep it in mind for next time.


I had to lokk up phubbing as wavchange used it!! With caveats about its entry Wikipedia says:

Phubbing is a term coined as part of a campaign by Macquarie Dictionary to describe the habit of snubbing someone in favour of a mobile phone. In May 2012, the advertising agency behind the campaign – McCann Melbourne – invited a number of lexicographers, authors, and poets to coin a neologism to describe the behaviour. The term has appeared in media around the world, and was popularized by the Stop Phubbing campaign created by McCann.[1]
Stop Phubbing campaign

The Stop Phubbing campaign site, and related Facebook page, was part of an elaborate public relations effort designed to promote the Macquarie Dictionary of Australia.[2] In the media, the website was originally credited to an Australian college student named Alex Haigh, who had been interning at McCann and was subsequently hired.[3] A film, titled A Word is Born, describes the entire process and serves as an ad for the dictionary.[4]
Phubbing in the media

The campaign was picked up by numerous media outlets, notably those in the United Kingdom, Mexico and Germany. The press reported on surveys showing statistics of the number of the people “phubbing”, and published etiquette guides.[


Stoozing – again from Wikipedia

” Etymology

The word “stoozing” came into existence from posts on the Motley Fool UK discussion boards in early 2004.[1] Many people were earning money on 0% deals before 2004, but one discussion board contributor, Stooz, was apparently prolific in this. This person’s technique therefore came to be referred to as “doing a Stooz”. In the United States, the term has gained a similar usage.[2]

The term “rate tart” is sometimes incorrectly applied to this practice. A rate tart frequently moves a debt (or cash balance) around in order to get the best interest rate, rather than taking advantage of the differ