There is a deeply dull phrase that some people trot out. You'll probably be familiar with it.

To be honest, it’s difficult to say without sounding patronising.

“Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”. Really?

A few pence and pounds here and there hardly seems worth the effort, and why bother with a £1 off coupon? Seriously. And anyway, just when you think you are making savings, something invariably comes along to wipe out all your hard work.

You’ve downsized your mobile subscription. You’ve managed to run to work three times a week rather than take the bus.

And then one night, you miss the last train home and have to take a taxi. You can’t use your season ticket in a taxi, so that’s £30 out the window. So why bother with all that painful prudence?

Because unexpected stuff will always happen. And savings made, minus stuff that happens, will always put you in a better position than no savings made, minus stuff that happens.

This will probably jar with 'black or white', 'all or nothing' types who either make a plan and stick to it militantly, or drop a project the minute their hard work takes a knock. We say - stick with it, guys. Honestly. What we're suggesting might sound a little bit boring - but it'll definitely help you out in times of need.

Don't worry, though - we're not going to use that deeply-antagonistic phrase again. We're pretty sure that you get the picture!