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Tuesday, 2 November 2010

I will not be beaten

I'm just putting a note in here to remind everybody that VAT is going up to 20% on January 1st. Not a very good start to the New Year. I am always pretty optimistic on the first day of the year, a fresh new start and all that, and I don't see any reason to change that. Things are ticking over nicely here at Meanqueen Mansion, living within my means has been a part of my life for quite some time now, and with a bit of tweaking I hope to be managing my finances just as sucessfully, well into next year and beyond.

I know it sounds pretty scary, having to pay more for our goods and services, but don't despair. If anyone is worried about how they will cope, we have got two months to prepare. I am going to start up my money diary again, writing down every penny I spend, it will help me to keep my eye on the ball. Oh, I know I will fall by the wayside now and again, that's life, but with writing it down it will be all there in my face.

People have extra expense at Christmas, well most people, but not me. No, I am not a scrooge, I just don't get dragged into the whole crazy circus. I warn people before hand that I don't do Christmas. No presents thank you very much, and don't waste your money on sending a card. I will send Christmas emails to people, much more environmentally friendly, and cheap. I will probably send two or three handmade cards in the post for those who don't have computers.

Soon I am off to London for a holiday, I am trying to keep the cost down. Even so my frugalness will not spoil things, there is plenty to do in the capital without it costing an arm and a leg. I will do my own food in the hostel, and maybe I can afford a couple of treats. A day ticket for the Thames Clipper is £12, and possibly take in a show or concert, even if it means turning up on speck and waiting around to get a cheap seat.

So yes, I am optimistic that I will beat the VAT increase, there will be lots of no spend days in my diary, and I will still be a happy bunny. The challenge is there, are you going to join me in beating the buggers that are about to come and get us?


  1. Yes, you are so right! I am also using that writing down method as I am struggling to adjust to a 25% percent of the monthly income, practiced by our Government later for people paid by the state budget I'm almost 63 and still 3 years to work till retirement. My husband is already retired. We like to travel, especially me, and I do not want to renounce to much to this habit. So I look very carfuly on what I spend. I use many of the methods you described here works!

  2. Hi Ilona,
    I do hope you have a lovely trip to London :)
    I just got quite a shock when I read this post (my own fault actually!). In this house, we never watch the news, as we always think we have enough problems of our own to deal with, without getting sad at all the bad things in the world. (selfish I know) So to read your blog and see that the vat was going up in January was quite a shock!
    I just can't believe it. Don't they take enough money from us already?
    Thankyou for telling those of us who don't know though (or am I the only ostrich round here?).
    We can now batten down the hatches even more (where were those nails?) and PREPARE for more fugalness :)
    Have a great week Ilona.
    Love Donna x

  3. Donna, it is relentless, but the more you look after your money the more it looks after you. Getting good value for every penny you spend becomes second nature, when you practice, practice, practice. Good luck, we are all treading this journey together.

  4. Yes it was in the back of our minds when we started looking at what work needed doing here. We decided to get as much done before the VAT increase. In fact here's a good habit to get into, which we learned the hard way. If you ever get a quote for anything, the first thing you ask is "Is that including VAT?" because it can blow your budget sky-high if you forget and it gets added later.

  5. I won't be beaten either, I'll just spend the same but buy less.

  6. A good point, Kath. Best to get it verified before the work commences

  7. Thanks for that!
    Have a great time in London love!

    Sandie xx

  8. Hope you can enjoy the trip to London, dispite all this doom and gloom.I think we just have to learn to be more focused on reducing the unecessaries from our shopping bills, go back to simple wholesome cookery and enjoy the process. I know that I do. I`m already buying food items I wouldn`t have thought of before. I`m re-educating myself in the art of savy cookery, I guess. We shall still be able to eat well but spend less to do it.

  9. oh, you are so right about keeping our eyes on the ball when it comes to spending. so glad I jumped over here after discovering mention of your blog on the wonderful Frugal Queen site that I also just discovered. I've tried your suggestion to write all expenses down before, in the computer, but I soon gave it up. Lazy! But your idea of using a notebook gives me the idea to just tape all store receipts into a notebook. I could highlight the non-necessaries and get a better idea of how much I'm wasting. Thanks for the spark to light my new frugal habit!


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