Friday, 23 January 2015

Brrr...

Gee that was a cold night, actually had 2 quilts on the bed! The temperature when we got up this morning was -5.9C so it must have been colder during the night. Local weather forecast said -2C and we have learnt to put 3C less for where we live.

Spent another 45p on Aldi P. flour for baking, leaving us 29p! Also, if I do this for a second week, it will help towards the remaining strong flour for that week's bread making. Got to think ahead on this.

Having thought long and hard about the food challenge, we reckon £25 a week would be a better figure. That would help replace tea, coffee, sugar, spices etc as well as buy in what we need to make laundry liquid, cleaning products etc. Plus, that would allow us to eat well, healthily and not always to have to go for the cheaper option. Leaving us a bit more freedom to choose our normal things.

However, we may well do this for longer, as mentioned yesterday, to help boost our savings. Where we live you need a car. Whilst we can walk around our area, everywhere is too far away to do shopping of any kind. We have a good local food shop but its prices are high, so is used for emergencies only. The only other way of travelling is by very infrequent bus journeys.

Yesterday we changed our car. It is always a difficult choice as to how long you leave it. Do you run it into the ground and pay for all its increasing servicing and breakdown needs? When can you change to get a good deal on a car that will be newer therefore require less spending on it for a few years? Anyway the deed was done but unfortunately, we got home only to remember we had left all the food challenge shopping in the boot of our old car. DB duly returned to the garage!

I have been asked in the past why are we frugal if we don't really need to be? Well that depends from what angle you are looking from, why would you say we don't need to be frugal if you don't know us?

When DB retired we used a good bit of his pension to pay off the mortgage. Such a decision did not come lightly as it left us on a considerably reduced monthly amount to live on. We could only manage our bills by eating wartime rations hence the war diary on the tab above.

We had to live like that for 5 almost 6 years with bills rising annually which we found more and more difficult to cope with. Now he also has his government pension, but even with both, money is still relatively tight. I use the word relatively tight by some people's lives compared to our own. I don't get my pension for years yet so we still have to be careful on the day to day side, keep all bills as low as possible to maintain a savings account.

Living our frugal life enables us to save for what we really need, such as the car, the odd holiday etc. Whilst we had been saving for it, it was still a little more than anticipated despite getting a very good deal. We have enough left for emergencies but this car will only last a few years and will then need replacing. Still I will not have my pension, so we need to continue our way of living to save for the next one. Besides, living a more simple life also reduces our carbon footprint a little. Simples!

We love how we live and can't see ourselves changing. It is now ingrained in us. If what we do on our food front, style of living etc, helps others, then that delights us.

Each to their own.


18 comments:

  1. Living on a reduced income certainly focuses the mind. Its great learning from like minded people we dont retire till next year when we are 60 but we are trying to finish the house and save as much as possible in the mean time. We dont have a mortgage and will have to survive on a fixed income.

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    1. People who don't want to save amongst others, bang on about not being able to take it with you but we like to know we can also cater for our future years by saving now and preparing our minds, body and house accordingly!

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  2. Did you see Cro comment on my blog the other day? He said what about a £500 a week challenge! And several people said that would be even harder than £20! Living frugally does become a way of life and food is one place to save that means money to spend in other places. Thank you for actually doing the £20 thing I really only meant it to be Theoretical so I hope you won't be going without and getting hungry!

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    1. I think it would be very difficult and we certainly wouldn't fancy it at all. Another have ago programme on this week, eat well for less. Wonder how much they will spend?

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    2. Oh, forgot to say, we don't expect to be hungry:)

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  3. Your blog and ideas have certainly helped moi and given me ideas on living more frugally DC, although I find the hardest thing is to change old habits and implement, and stick to, new ones.

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    1. Thank you John. Bit by bit seems to work the best and don't be too hard on yourself if you slip. Dust yourself down and try again.

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  4. Hi I don't normally read your blog but I would just like to make one comment my husband is older than me when he claimed his stats pension he was entitled to an increase for me as I was his dependant.
    Regards
    Moira

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    1. I suppose it depends on how and why a person is dependant on another. Don't think it applies to us but thank you for the information.

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  5. I really enjoyed this post! As you say it's not just about financial restrictions. It's as much a way of living that has less impact on the environment and is generally simpler as anything else. We are trying hard to live to a budget and in the whole it's working well, then we get a large unexpected tax bill and the central heating has broken down!! Hey ho! Thanks for a really interesting post. Juliette

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    1. Have you read mortgage free in three off my reading lists, she has some great advice on how to create emergency funds etc?

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  6. No, but I will take a look tomorrow afternoon. Tips are always gratefully received! Thanks

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  7. As you say each to their own. I find your blog very interesting and full of great tips.
    Twiggy

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  8. You are spot on that being frugal is not necessarily because you are on the breadline, but rather about giving you the opportunity to save for the bigger things that you need/want. I would rather have the odd meal out than give all my daily bread to Mr Tesco!

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    1. I have learnt lots from frugal minded people since joining blog land and am very grateful for all of it. We have a snack out on walking days the money for which comes from living such a life.

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  9. You're absolutely right DC - each to their own. People are funny - as you say they don't know you personally so how can they possibly know your circumstances. I really enjoy reading your blog and all your tips and ideas. Have a great week. P x

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