Thursday, 16 July 2015

Rejigging my mindset...

Mindset is described as "the established set of attitudes held by someone" or a similar statement witnessed here such as "having a fixed mental attitude".

Having a fixed mental attitude is not something I wholeheartedly concur with. I firmly believe that despite what our 'normal' mindset may or may not be, it is not 100% fixed. The process of life must surely have a bearing on your mindset, especially as we age and hopefully mature in our thinking processes. If it were not so, why would we 'change our minds' or have our minds become unwell?

Anyway, I am not particularly wanting to start a discussion of mental well-being, but more on my thought processes and what effect they might have on me and mine throughout any given day with regard to our life style.

For about 1/2 an hour or so, I was humming away whilst working out our menu for the next fortnight so I could get our shopping decided for this week. It struck me as I was doing so, that it was not considered a chore.

The thought hit me out of the blue and made me think, why? Why don't I consider it a chore? As I drifted off internally, discussing it with myself (like you do),  I realised I was actually enjoying creating a meal plan (I know, little things please little minds and all that jazz), that it was a challenge and I like a challenge.

Creating a meal plan is a relatively new concept to me in recent years. When on War Rations for 'survival' purposes, I had to think really hard to create meals from quite small proportions of certain food items, but didn't use a meal plan. I simply bought what we were allowed and could afford and worked from there. That was a challenge and I relished it and succeeded at it for the most part.

Unlike some of my blogging friends, who still have this challenge for an unknown number of years to come, I knew at that time, I only had to do it for a set number of years, 6 to be precise, before DB got his Government pension and we would be 'better off'. I had to alter my mindset and then that of DB and DS although he was at an age where he complied quite happily as long as he had food to fill his little hollow legs.

If I thought of menu planning as a chore (and we happily swap daily meals around if we don't fancy what is planned for that day), I simply wouldn't do it. Our food and toiletries bill before menu planning was around the £160 per month mark for us two. To begin with, we ate for a couple or three weeks on just £20 per week for both of us to get us into the swing of things.

Then we increased it to £30 per week - give or take - and since then, we usually don't go over the £120. Our meat consumptions is still that of the war years, often less. We do eat dairy products and produce almost 100% of our meals from scratch.

I read quite a few blog's that I don't follow or read often, most of whom want to reduce their overall spending for various reasons, don't know where to start and often, are simply not willing to 'have to go without' to reduce.  Do they really want to do it? is my first question.

I was expecting to get my pension at 60 but have now found out it will be several years later than this. To add insult to injury, I was fully paid up in my national insurance contributions but it seems I now have to pay another 5 years worth if I want to receive my whole pension when the time comes!

You see, life just gets in the way sometimes. I could say, "sod it, I'm not doing it" but that attitude would deprive me of £88 per month extra income. We thought getting my pension at 60 would financially, be the be all and end all! We are not desperate, nor as hard up as we were when eating rations, but our mindsets have had to change over the years, they will change again.

Anyhow, if menu planning saves us £40 every month, such a saving, amongst many others we instigate on a daily and sometimes extra ones on an 'as needed basis', puts us well on the way towards paying the extra 5 years worth of national insurance contributions.

Has your mindset changed in recent years?


  1. Ooh that's a deep one! Yes, my mindset has changed a lot - when both OH and I were working full time, we spent money on whatever we liked and rarely saved money.....neither of us came from families who routinely put money away. Now, with OH cutting down his working hours in the run up to retirement and me no longer working, we simply can't afford to spend loads of money. In fact, we've gone completely the other way and now spend very little (by comparison) and save what we can.

    1. I think being prepared for any event is a bonus, doesn't necessarily have to be money based.

  2. I have risen to the challenge of saving extra money towards our retirement at 60. This will help us get through the 6 years until. We reach 66 and get state pension.

    1. We monitor our fuel and water use, saving money especially with a water meter. Food savings also help as does doing all our food and town shopping on the same day. For us, driving to and from town uses less money on petrol than getting it delivered, even on a £1 delivery slot.

  3. Gosh yes, mine has altered dramatically in the last few years and no doubt will keep altering. LIke you I doubt I will be able to retire when I thought I could have retired and I am just in the process of finding out if I have any missing National Insurance payments so I can make sure that when the day finally comes I will be fully paid up.

    I'm carrying on the simplification of our lives on a daily basis, and at the end of this current push to get the place how we need it to be, the belts will be tightened and we will be doing everything we can to get every penny in the bank ready to pay off the mortgage.

    But I don't think of it as depriving ourselves, just as working towards the goal we both want. I really don't understand those folk who say they want to pay off debts and reduce spending and then carry on spending on things they 'want' rather than things they 'need' and somehow expect things to work out all by themselves.

    1. I took early retirement due to health problems (which have gotten better since retiring) and also because I was fully paid up. Now I have to pay these next 5 years to become fully paid up again. Lets hope they don't move the goalposts yet again!

  4. I totally agree about mindset. Mine has changed considerably over the last year and all to the better! I have looked into my state pension and have 8 years shortfall (including the latest extra 5 years) so I'm looking at setting up a monthly payment asap to get it all paid up - 'short term pain for longer term gain'!!


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