Five money-saving tips from the 1950s

1 Don't buy what you can't afford It's a simple rule but it works. If there are expensive items you want, make a list of them and work out if you really need them, and how you can realistically afford them.

2 Avoid debt Debt is much more common in 2012 but if you rack up a lot of money on credit cards and loans you're probably going to have to pay out a lot in interest. If you're in this situation try a balance transfer card to lower interest payments and if you're coming close to missing your monthly payments ask your provider if it will lower the interest or agree to an interest holiday.

3 Grow your own Growing your own fruit and vegetables can save money but it takes a lot of planning.

Start small, with pots of herbs for example, and try to grow products you know you'll use. The website vegswap.co.uk helps you to swap your homegrown or homemade produce.

4 Use coupons Money-saving vouchers, coupons and codes can save hundreds of pounds off nearly everything you buy. Today, all these are available online so if you sign up to specific websites, such as vouchercodes.co.uk, you can get a weekly email of the best deals. Newspapers, magazines and supermarket leaflets are also packed full with money-off vouchers.

5 Help your friends and family In the 1950s people knew their neighbours. Be it babysitting, dog walking or gardening, by getting to know the people who live on your street you can create a network of people who can help each other out.

The website streetbank.com, which you can register with and list the skills you have to offer, is a good place to start.

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