How does gold react in big crises?

Physical gold is considered a safe-haven asset not because we at 11Onze say so, but because of how it has behaved historically in major economic crises. The 11Onze product team offers, in the Learning area, a course that analyses the evolution of gold during big crises.

 

The crash of 1929, the oil crisis of the 1970s, the Black Monday of 1987, the recession of the 1990s, the dotcom bubble, the financial crisis of 2008… History is full of major economic crises that have caused a lot of pain for savers. These major crashes in the financial markets have always ended up affecting ordinary citizens, whether or not they are investors in these financial markets.

This is why 11Onze launched Preciosos 11Onze, to give ordinary people a savings protection tool that would not normally be available to them. But let’s put this into context, analyse the history and confirm whether or not physical gold is really an interesting safe haven for our savings in times like these. 

With this in mind, the 11Onze product team, with Jordi Sánchez, Sara Casals and Amadeu Vilaginés, has prepared a course on the evolution of gold in the main crises in history. If you don’t know how to answer the questions Casals asks in this video, you have to watch the whole course!

If you want to discover the best option to protect your savings, enter Preciosos 11Onze. We will help you buy at the best price the safe-haven asset par excellence: physical gold.

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The collective purchase of gold through 11Onze Preciosos continues to be a success, but some customers wonder whether it is better to receive the physical gold pieces at home or leave them in custody. Càrol Rafales, senior sales specialist at 11Onze, explains the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

 

One of the most recurring questions among clients who invest in the purchase of physical gold is where and how they should store the bars or coins once the purchase has been made. Do I store the gold at home in a safe? Under the mattress? Or do I leave it in custody in a vault of a specialised company? Each option has its advantages and disadvantages.

 

Home storage

If you decide to store your gold at home, you will have easy access to the pieces and this will allow you to admire your bullion and coin collection without relying on a third party for safekeeping. However, before deciding to store gold at home, there are a few factors to consider.

Firstly, we must ensure that the gold pieces are stored in a suitable environment to be preserved in perfect condition over time, i.e. that they do not deteriorate due to humidity or other corrosives, as this would diminish their value and make it difficult to sell them when we want to recover our investment.

On the other hand, you may have to take additional security measures to ensure that your gold is well hidden and protected. You may also need to take out specific insurance if you do not have home insurance to cover these valuables. Of course, you have to be careful not to reveal too much information about your purchase. As Rafales explains, “having gold at home is something we have to keep secret, and it requires additional security measures”.

Under the custody of a specialised company

Precious metals experts recommend that safekeeping should be carried out at the premises of companies specialising in the safekeeping of securities, thanks to the high level of security offered by these companies. As Rafales points out, “having our physical gold in custody in a specialised company gives us peace of mind, and the gold is 100% insured“.

Perhaps even more important than the security offered by companies specialising in storing precious metals, is the ease of resale. You will be able to sell your gold easily, without having to worry about finding a buyer or an establishment you can trust.

Finally, you have to bear in mind that storing gold at home or in custody has a cost that may vary depending on the circumstances of each individual. Even so, Càrol Rafales analyses the pros and cons of each of these options and helps you decide which option suits you best.

 

If you want to discover the best option to protect your savings, enter Preciosos 11Onze. We will help you buy at the best price the safe-haven asset par excellence: physical gold.

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Can we change the world? What is our real capacity to impact the environment? Lara de Castro, HR Business Partner at 11Onze, explains what conscious consumption is and how we can contribute to the sustainability of the planet with our daily purchasing decisions.

 

We often underestimate the impact that our individual actions have on the surrounding environment. But all actions, no matter how small, contribute to shaping the world. Lara de Castro explains it in the following video with a very obvious example.

As she warns, there are many people who think that an individual act is often “too weak” to have a significant impact on the environment, “but this is not the case”. Every action counts and has consequences that can add up to those of the rest of the community. The reality is that “our daily decisions are relevant, no matter how small“. In this sense, the role that all purchasing decisions play if we are conscious consumers is very obvious.

What is conscious consumption?

Conscious consumers are people who choose products and services with criteria that go “beyond value for money,” as they include environmental and social impact as a decisive element in their purchasing habits. One consequence is the commitment to local commerce, which “is a way of supporting local producers and avoiding the economic and environmental impact of transportation,” as Lara de Castro explains.

Another example of conscious consumption can be found in water. If we want to reduce pollution on the planet, we can replace the consumption of bottled water, “with all the drawbacks that we know plastic has,” with tap water treated with sustainable filters.

As Lara de Castro points out at the end of the video, if we all become more conscious “in the small details of everyday life” the reality is that “we can change the world.” The decision is ours.

 

If you want to discover how to drink the best water, save money and help the planet, go to 11Onze Essentials.

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Airline tickets can make up a significant percentage of the cost of your holidays when travelling to distant destinations. Keeping the following recommendations in mind can allow you to save a good handful of euros.

 

As we explained in the article “When there is no money for holidays”, one of the big trends for travel this year is “the search for maximum savings”. With 20% of the budget, transport is one of the main planned expenses, according to a study by the National Observatory of Outbound Tourism, and we must bear in mind that this percentage can skyrocket if we travel far away. That’s why we offer some recommendations for saving on airline tickets.

  1. Book in advance. Bear in mind that it is essential to book your desired flights in advance in order to get the best prices. The closer you get to the date of travel, the more expensive the tickets tend to be, as airlines increase prices as the plane fills up. If you are flexible with your destination, another alternative is to wait until the last minute in case a flight does not fill up and a last-minute offer comes up.
  2. Better during the week. Flights on weekends are usually more expensive than during the week, so having flexibility in dates will help you pay less for the same journey.
  3. Reduce your luggage. Carrying a small amount of luggage will save you from having to pay for checked luggage. In addition, light luggage will make it easier to get around and to use public transport. To minimise your luggage, it is a good idea to take clothes that dry quickly and can be easily combined with each other.

In addition to saving money, one recommendation for making the most of your holidays when you are travelling to distant destinations is to take advantage of stopovers: choosing connections that are sufficiently spaced out in time can allow you to visit the city where you are making the stopover.

 

11Onze is the community fintech of Catalonia. Open an account by downloading the super app El Canut for Android or iOS and join the revolution!

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Do you know how much water you are drinking and how much you could save with a water filter? Small changes in our consumption habits can lead to significant savings. Amadeu Vilaginés, from the 11Onze product team, explains how to save hundreds of euros a year by purchasing a tap filter instead of bottles of water.

 

We often think that saving money means depriving ourselves of luxuries that require major expenses, such as going on holiday or having the latest generation mobile phone. Yet, there are smaller, recurrent expenses on products or services that we consume on a daily basis that we can reduce by simply changing our consumption habits. The result can be a considerable amount of savings at the end of the year.

As Amadeu Vilaginés explains, “water is a basic good, essential for us, but we do not see it as a luxury product, since our homes have running water“. But tap water doesn’t always taste good or give us enough confidence, so many people end up buying bottled water. This is one of the so-called “ant costs“, which end up having a significant effect on our wallets.

Reducing a recurring cost, also for the environment

The fact that we can find bottles of water at affordable prices in all supermarkets may lead us to think that our expenditure on bottled water is relatively insignificant. But, as Vilaginés points out, “this is a recurrent cost, which may seem very small when we look at it individually, but once we add them all up, the difference is clear to see“.

A family of four consuming the recommended daily amount of water, 2 litres per day, in bottles of water, accumulates 45 kg of plastic waste at the end of the year, and an average expenditure of 700 euros per year. On the other hand, Vilaginés details that by consuming tap water, the total cost, at the end of the year, for this family would be only 2 euros. And for people concerned about the bad taste of tap water or the chemicals it may contain, water filters are an equally sustainable solution for the environment and our wallets.

 

If you want to discover how to drink the best water, save money and help the planet, go to 11Onze Essentials.

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With inflation continuing to rise, gold’s resilience throughout history as a store of safe-haven investment value cannot be underestimated. Even so, it is not the only precious metal in which we can invest our savings; silver, platinum or palladium can be good alternatives. But which metals offer the best returns?

 

The ability of precious metals to maintain much of their value during crisis periods, and to offer inflation protection based on their intrinsic value, makes them a must-buy if we want to diversify and make our savings more profitable. However, there are differences in the returns offered by different metals. In this analysis we do not make forecasts for the future, we simply focus on the evolution of the prices of these four assets: gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, over the last year and the last three years, so that we can easily see which have been the most profitable.

Performance over the last three years

The combined historical performance of the metals over the last three years is very positive, and attributable to the global pandemic, which caused a shortage of resources in the industry, rising inflation and unstable markets.

Gold and silver have experienced growth of over 40% in the face of the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, and are consolidating their position as safe-havens in the event of a crisis. Even so, it should be kept in mind that investors tend to increase their exposure to gold and silver when interest rates are low and inflation high in order to protect the value of their money, and in the absence of interest payments. A situation that can be reversed if inflation turns out to be transitory and interest rates rise.

The continued demand for platinum keeps its value on an upward trend with almost 27% appreciation, but palladium is growing at a spectacular rate of 75%, as it is a scarce metal in high demand by industry. Even taking into account its progression, it is not highly recommended for long-term investment due to its price volatility, and the fact that the trend towards electrification of the automobile industry means that the demand for catalysts is likely to decrease.

If we look at the following graph of the price evolution over the last three years, we see that gold has appreciated by more than 40% and silver by almost 47%. If we take into account that inflation in Spain in 2021 rose to 6.55%, we can affirm that people who bought gold and silver more than avoided the devaluation of savings suffered by people who had euros in their current accounts.

Evolution of the last year

During 2021, the fluctuation of the prices of precious metals has been different. All metals, except silver, recorded a positive, albeit moderate, price increase. Gold is the most stable of the metals, with price rises and falls always tending towards stability, but during the first quarter of the year, it suffered a loss in value. A fall in price linked to the economic stimulus of 1.9 billion dollars by the Biden administration, which would be repeated every time the US government announced a new package of measures to combat the pandemic, but still ending the year in positive territory.

Despite silver‘s upward trend at the start of 2021, it recorded a significant drop in price at year-end, contrary to predictions, because of declining industrial demand. While platinum and palladium prices also initially plummeted due to weak demand for autocatalysts, thanks to falling sales, platinum stabilised and ended the year in positive, and palladium ended the year on the unstoppable growth trend seen in previous years.

Whether we decide to invest in one metal or another, we must bear in mind that historical performance is not indicative of future performance and that any purchase involves a certain risk of loss of value. A risk that we assume whether we buy precious metals or not, because the value of the money we have in the bank depends directly on the decisions of the powers that be to print more currency (devaluing the currency in circulation) or not.

 

If you want to discover the best option to protect your savings, enter Preciosos 11Onze. We will help you buy at the best price the safe-haven asset par excellence: physical gold.

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Electricity is going through the roof. You only have to look at your bill to see for yourself. In March, the average price of electricity on the Spanish wholesale market was six times higher than in the same month last year. Fortunately, there is plenty of scope for savings in the use of electrical appliances at home. Standby mode alone accounts for more than 6% of household electricity consumption.

 

Have you left your mobile phone charging all night? Did you switch off the TV with the remote control when you went to bed? Do you have your game console on standby? A report by the University of California estimates that the sum of all the energy we waste on household appliances and electrical devices accounts for 5 to 10% of our household electricity consumption and 1% of CO₂ emissions.

Every day hundreds of watts fly through televisions, games consoles, air-conditioning systems, microwaves, stereos, DVD players, set-top boxes or charging computers, toothbrushes, cordless phones and mobile phones while we are not using them. In fact, any appliance with a display screen or an internal clock consumes energy 24 hours a day.

The Instituto para la Diversificación y Ahorro de la Energía estimates that the standby mode of electrical appliances alone accounts for 6.6% of household electricity consumption in Spain. The Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios (OCU) has a calculator on its website to check the annual consumption and expenditure involved in this standby mode in different electrical appliances.

 

Surrounded by electrical vampires

These electrical vampires are spread throughout the house: kitchen, living room, bedrooms and bathroom. 

In the kitchen we can find the microwave, the oven, the electric coffee machine, the kettle, the washing machine or any appliance with a digital clock. It is likely that some of them accumulate more electricity consumption when they are not in use than when they are switched on.

As for the living room, the television, games console or stereo are typical energy vampires if left on standby. And the router consumes a considerable amount of unnecessary energy while we sleep.

Leaving the mobile phone charging all night in a socket in your bedroom is also a waste of energy. And other potential sources of incessant consumption in bedrooms include clock radios, computer equipment, extra televisions and consoles.

Even in the bathroom we can be wasting energy 24 hours a day, for example, through the electric toothbrush charger if we do not unplug it when we have finished charging.

 

How to protect yourself from electrical vampires

A few simple habits can help you reduce your electricity bill and CO₂ emissions:

  1. Unplug chargers when you have finished charging devices. Chargers consume electricity whenever they are plugged in, even if you are not charging a device, or it has already been fully charged. This doesn’t just apply to mobile phone and laptop chargers. The base of your electric toothbrush also consumes electricity if you leave it plugged in.
  2. Avoid standby mode. Anything other than completely switching off a device that you are not using is an unnecessary waste of energy that means a lot of money a year on your bill.
  3. Do not constantly open the fridge. Every time you open and close the fridge or freezer, they lose temperature and increase their electricity consumption, especially if you do it abruptly.
  4. Use power strips with switches. If you use several electrical devices together, such as your computer, screen and printer, plug them into the same power strip with a switch. That way you can easily switch them off with a single click at night or when you go on holiday.
  5. Take advantage of the residual heat from the ceramic hob. You can switch it off a little before the food has finished cooking so that the residual heat is not wasted.
  6. Keep electrical appliances that you do not use frequently unplugged. If you have a stereo system that you only listen to on Sundays, for example, it is better to keep it unplugged the rest of the time to avoid unnecessary consumption.
  7. Unplug the router when you are not using it. Unless you are downloading files at night, it is unnecessary to keep your router switched on while you are sleeping or away from home.

Invest to save

Beyond these measures, which require virtually no investment, it is possible to cut electricity bills even further by investing in more efficient appliances and light bulbs. In the case of appliances, the classification ranges from A (the most efficient) to G (the least efficient). As for light bulbs, LED bulbs offer significant energy savings and have a longer lifespan.

 

11Onze is the community fintech of Catalonia. Open an account by downloading the super app El Canut for Android or iOS and join the revolution!

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Despite central banks’ manoeuvres to prevent gold prices from soaring, recent history shows that their ability to contain prices is limited in time. In a crisis context, gold is a highly appreciated asset for investors. That is why its value more than quadrupled between mid-2005 and mid-2011.

 

It is well known that soaring gold prices are not in the interest of central banks. It is just another competitor on the financial markets as a safe-haven asset against their currencies in times of crisis. Moreover, a sharp rise in the price of this precious metal could destabilise the traditional financial system, which speculates on the futures market with paper gold. This is why central banks have, on more than one occasion, manoeuvred to control the evolution of its price.

One example is what happened between the end of the 1990s and the end of the first decade of this century, when central banks sold a significant part of their reserves to limit price rises. A study published in ‘International Business Research’ indicates that between 1998 and 2008, central banks’ gold reserves fell from more than 30,000 tonnes to around 26,500 tonnes. 

 

A first-hand witness

As reported in the book ‘The big reset: gold wars and the financial endgame’, in a private conversation in September 1999, the Governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George, acknowledged the manoeuvres to control the price of the precious metal because they were facing “the abyss, if the gold price rose further”, so “at any cost, central banks had to quell the gold price”. And he acknowledged that “the US Fed was very active in keeping the gold price down, so was the UK”.

Even so, central banks’ manoeuvres could only moderate the rise of gold prices for a limited time. From mid-2005 onwards, the price rise became more acute. In six years, its value more than quadrupled from just over 400 dollars an ounce to over 1,800 dollars in August 2011.

In that time, central banks had given up their sell strategy and were again accumulating gold reserves. Added to this, the 2007 crisis encouraged many investors to buy gold to safeguard their savings.  

 

Can history repeat itself?

Some analysts see parallels between then and now. In the first half of 2022, the price of gold has risen by 8%, while the stock market has fallen by 14% and bonds by 10%, according to Bloomberg.

This appreciation of gold has occurred despite the fact that some central banks are injecting part of their gold reserves into the market to contain the price. For example, the Bank of England has sold more than 4% of its reserves in just six months, between December 2021 and June 2022.

However, as already demonstrated in the first decade of this century, the selling strategy is not sustainable for long. It is possible that rising interest rates on sovereign debt will partly contain the rise in gold prices, as some investors may turn to these assets because of their higher yields. But in the medium to long term, the price of gold is likely to soar again, especially if the crisis deepens.

 

The attractiveness of physical gold

In fact, the strategy of dedicating 10-20% of the portfolio to the gold market is becoming more and more widespread among large investors. A priori, it is a good formula to diversify assets and protect against inflation, with high revaluation expectations in the coming months.

As the newspaper ‘Business Standard’ points out, the forecast made in January by Goldman Sachs for this year contemplates a 25% increase in the price of gold. Moreover, more and more experts are predicting a bullish mega-cycle for commodities in general.

In any case, Jordi Sánchez, product owner at 11Onze, stresses the importance of acquiring physical gold “because of the risk of manipulation that exists with paper gold”. The fact that the derivatives market allows sales that are not backed by physical gold can lead to “high-risk situations”.

 

If you want to discover the best option to protect your savings, enter Preciosos 11Onze. We will help you buy at the best price the safe-haven asset par excellence: physical gold.

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Here we present 10 recommendations for you to enjoy your holiday and save on bookings and many other things.

 

This year, many people are expected to go on holidays in July, but will we have money for our much-desired holiday? I am sure we are all thinking about summer and, therefore, on the holiday; many of you already have in your mind the place where you want to travel, but you are waiting for new recommendations on whether we will finally be able to take a plane and enjoy a well-earned disconnection.

Holidays are necessary to reset ourselves, to enjoy our beloved ones’ presence, which is very necessary, and to recharge the batteries to get back to work with a clear head. It is also a time when we try not to pay so much attention to expenses: we usually eat too much, we buy things we know we will not find in our city, and we go to that hotel that we desired so much. That is why we are telling you some tips for saving on holidays, so that the return in September is more tolerable and free of headaches.

  1. Start saving a year earlier if you can
    The first recommended step is to create an estimated budget of the amount you want to invest in your next destination so that you can create a savings plan a year earlier. The most comfortable method is opening a savings account or wallet at your bank and making a recurring automatic monthly transfer; this way, before you start your holiday, you will have the saved amount you need to avoid unforeseen expenses.
  2. Book in advance
    The online world provides us with a huge price variety. Besides, if you can have the dates for your confirmed holiday at the start of the year, you can save a lot of money, you will get better prices on your plane or train ticket, etc. The earlier you book it, the better! And the same thing will happen with the hotel; we even recommend that you book a table in that restaurant you’ve been following on Instagram using applications that offer very interesting discounts, even 50%. It is important that you check cancellation costs on your bookings, in case it is necessary.
  3. Take advantage of breakfast
    Everyone knows breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it is necessary for large walks. Make use of breakfast if it’s included in your hotel nights; get ready and eat like a king; take advantage and grab a fruit for mid-morning, in case you get hungry before lunch.
  4. Schedule sites
    If you love making a presentation of your next trip and sharing it with the rest of your travelling companions, you’re lucky, because this is another way to save money. If you list the sites you want to visit, you have the option to visit their website and make the reservation. You can find promotions and, if you are several people, you can benefit from group discounts. In addition, if you purchase the ticket in advance, you may even avoid long queues.
  5. Currency exchange
    Even though currency prices cannot be controlled, before exchanging currency, check with your trusted bank a few weeks before your trip, to know if it is better to wait till the day before the departure. In many cases, the recommendation will be to do so at the airport, as exchange houses try to offer the best prices. One important thing: if you want to make credit card purchases during your trip, exchange an amount, even if it’s small, in case any unforeseen event arises (train ticket, tips, etc.).
  6. Use cards moderately
    As we mentioned before, when you’re on holiday, the last thing you want to think about is how much you’re spending, but we almost always exceed ourselves… Try to implement the recommendations that we have made so far and try to avoid the use of credit cards as much as possible if it is not planned in your priorities. At that moment, it will be an impulsive purchase, but later, it will become an important amount of spent money.
  7. Road trip
    If your holiday option is to take the car and go to some nearby villages, use GPS, which always recommends the best route to avoid making unnecessary miles and thus save on petrol. Visiting destinations near home is a highly recommended option; we often forget the wonderful places we have near our city that we can visit without taking a plane.
  8. Avoid restaurants for tourists
    Plan your time well and, when you visit some particular place, if it is in a tourist area, avoid rush hours for lunch or dinner: normally, restaurants in these areas are of poor quality and high cost. It is preferable to walk four steps and look for alternative places that are frequented by locals, to ask the hotel receptionist, the taxi driver, and, of course, to look at the options Internet searchers provide.
  9. Hire free tours
    Find them in the centre of big cities or ask that friend who travels a lot, who has certainly used them. They’re tour guides that take you around the city and tell you a lot of very interesting things without a specific fee. If you like it, it’s optional to leave a tip.
  10. Finance your holiday
    If it has been a difficult year and you cannot follow some of the advice that we have mentioned, such as planning in advance, do not give up to a few well-earned days of rest, find your closest travel agency, and finance that trip you are so excited about; you can also consult your bank and extend your credit card so that you can cope with your expenses or borrow a small loan that you will return comfortably month by month.

Summer is here. Use these recommendations and start daydreaming. And remember, split the amount established for your pleasure throughout your holidays and do not spend more than expected.

 

11Onze is the community fintech of Catalonia. Open an account by downloading the super app El Canut for Android or iOS and join the revolution!

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These are small, everyday expenses that, at the end of the year, have a major impact on our finances. The President of 11Onze, James Sène, gives us the keys to identifying these small expenses and mitigating the effect they can have on our pocket.

 

The water bill, the electricity bill, insurance, the euro a day for coffee… there are many products or services that we consume on a daily basis without stopping to think about their cost. Whether out of habit, lack of time, or lack of alternatives, we do not periodically review these costs, and we assume them without thinking about the impact they can have on us every year.

This fact, which in itself can be a disaster in our economic planning, is aggravated in economic contexts such as the current one, in which the excessive increase in inflation is not translated into an increase in salaries.

Ant expenses

When your monthly income comes in, can you tell where every penny goes? It is quite common to get to the end of the month, check your expenses and not understand where the money has gone. To identify these expenses in your daily economy, Sène suggests two main characteristics: “they are things that we consume on a daily basis and that have a relatively low cost, i.e. all those essential expenses that we need before we start doing anything else”.

Sène raises the impact that can be had by something as simple as paying attention to all our expenses and, to give us an idea of the impact it can have on our economy, he warns that “with the analysis we have done, families can save €4,000 simply by paying attention“. It is therefore a question of changing the lens through which we analyse our finances and prioritising savings on basic expenses rather than cutting back on leisure or our holidays.

 

Programmed to consume

Part of this consumerist vision can be explained by everything that advertising and brands make us do, “advertising pushes us to make programmed purchases, we don’t make intelligent purchases“, warns Sène. 11Onze wants to break with this dynamic and, for this reason, will make available to the whole community all the information related to this type of expenditure.

Through comparisons, calculations, and basic information, all this data will be put on the table to allow us to pay attention to ant-spending without having to spend time and effort.

 

If you want to wash your clothes without polluting the planet, 11Onze Recommends Natulim.

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