Sunday, 29 November 2009

Every penny counts

The weather is rubbish again today, looks like it has been raining all night. I woke up at 5am, probably because I went to bed at 9pm. I peeked out of the curtains, dark, wet, and quiet, so I went back to bed till 7am. I thought about the traders at the car boot sale, would they even bother to go today, I am not going to find out.

Yesterday I went to town, I needed to go to the bank, get some cat food, and visit the Scrapstore, and I wanted to take a look at the new exhibition at the arts centre. I see the shopping frenzy has begun, I hate town centres on a Saturday. The council has been advertising an ice skating rink in the main square, and as I still have my boots from many moons ago (I used to work at the ice rink in Blackpool), I thought I would take a look. Of course I didn't expect real ice, but this was pathetic, what a rip off. A small platform covered in plastic blocks which didn't look remotely slippery at all. The kids were having fun walking around on their blades and no doubt were enjoying their erm...'ice skating' experience. Price per adult was £3 for 20 minutes, but I didn't see any adults daft enough to pay that.

I went to the market for my cat food, the cheapest place round here, and it's always a good idea to walk round the veg stalls in the afternoon because they are keen to get rid of their perishable stock. I have a good stash of vegetables at the moment in the freezer, amongst other things beans from the garden, and I bought a big bag of carrots last week and froze them into single portions. But I did spot a bargain I couldn't resist, ten large bananas for 50p.

I am starting up my little accounts book again which I keep in my kitchen drawer, I need to record where all my money goes. I did it for a while but then stopped because I became so disciplined with my spending, I never spend more than I earn, or in my case, receive from my pension. I find this is a good way to keep focused on money matters. Not that I am becoming a spendaholic or anything, no chance of that, it's just that I have had a lot to pay out just lately. Car mot, tax and insurance, computer went wobbly again and Mark had to come and sort it, and the utility bills will be rolling in soon now the meters have been read.

I scrutinise my bank statements constantly, and always get a balance slip when I visit the hole in the wall, and always inside the bank never outside. My last big treat was my walking boots a few weeks ago, there won't be any more big treats now untill the new year, I need to build up my money buffer in the bank. Looking at the long term my car will need replacing eventually so that will be my priority in a couple of years. I'm thinking six to seven grand for that, and it will be cash, I don't do credit.

So my little cash book now comes into play again. I won't be going short on good wholesome food, because contrary to what people think, it costs very little to eat decent fresh food. I am a living testament to that, my health is good, my weight is right, all because I take the time to prepare food from scratch. My winter veggie stews are lovely at this time of the year, and cheap to make.


  1. Ilona you are a paragon of virtue where money is concerned... you should be paid to teach teenagers at school how to manage their money. I am not very good at it but am trying hard to keep things on an even keel... less going out than coming in = happiness, more going out than coming in = misery. :-)

  2. Do you know I would like to teach teenagers how to manage their money, but what with all the hoops you have to jump through these days, I wouldn't even be allowed to step over the threshold, never mind actually open my mouth. Ridiculous isn't it, us mature members of society who have tons of experience to pass on are considered to be of no further use.

  3. write a book. Some of these other people out there write about it. but dont really live it. They write utter tosh about"making 'the ladies' lunch, so you may save for that cashmere jumper they would like.

    completely removed from real life, probably have a publisher for a friend or something.

    if you wrote it I'd buy it! At least I know you live it andit is possible.

    or to get all the money for yourself, do news letter emails and charge people to read them. Not sure how that would work. But I amsure it could be done.

  4. I know what you mean, plenty of tosh about, think they have invented something, they don't live in the real world.

    Just had my quarterly utilities bills, Gas £25.97, Electric £30.58. I do practice what I preach.