Monday, 14 January 2013

Old fashioned accounting

Here we go, yes it's arrived. I was talking to John from Dont unplug your hub, this morning, on the Skype. He said, 'have you any snow yet, we've got three inches here'. 'Well you've got more than me', I replied, only a sprinkling here, maybe half an inch. As soon as we had finished our conversation I glanced out of the window and saw the huge white fluffy flakes coming down. Oh bother. This is the view from the back window.
And this is the view from the front window.
It stopped at about 4pm so I set to and brushed it off my car and cleared the driveway. Not many people bother to do that round here, but I don't like having to kick the snow off my boots just as I enter the front door. Besides, shovelling snow is good excercise.
So what have I been doing today? I've been number crunching. Because I am so mean and tight and frugal, I know where my money is going, and I know I have enough. I never run out of money because I always keep a bit by in a reserve fund for emergencies, and I save up for anything big that I need to pay for. I don't buy anything that I know I can't afford. I know how much I have coming in and I know how much my outgoings should be. Therefore I don't need to do any book keeping on my computer, because I have a pretty good idea in my head where I'm at.
About once a year I gather all my figures together and with pencil and paper I draw a simple chart on an A3 size piece of paper. Months across the top, and where my outgoings have gone, down the side. Then I go through bank statements, credit card statements, cheque stubs, utility bills, and other bills and invoices. Entering all the amounts in the appropriate columns. Then I can look at the complete picture for the last year, and have a good idea what I might be paying for in the following year. 
I seem to be doing well on all counts really. My car isn't costing me very much to run, I haven't worked out the depreciation, but if I put a bit of money aside now I should be able to afford to change it in 2 - 3 years time. I have money put aside for the vet should my cats need any treatment. I top up my pay as you go mobile with ten pounds once every 2 - 3 months. I don't need one of the new fangled all singing and dancing with bells and whistles, touch screen gadgets. A bog standard simple phone is all I need. 
I think some new specs will be on the cards for 2013, although I could probably keep on wearing the ones I have. I'll think about it in the spring, might treat myself. I'm feeling a bit flush actually, I have money to spend on holidays and days out, I can afford some treats now and then, even afford to put the heating on when I am really cold. Mind you I only give it a short blast. I am sitting here with a big dressing gown on over my leggins, two jog bottoms, three teeshirts, two sweatshirts, and the only thing that is cold is my nose, ha ha.
 My mortgage is small, my utilities are not very much at all, gas £173 a year, electricity £180 a year, water £139 a year. My broadband and home phone are a big cost, but I don't mind about that because they are high up on my priority list. I don't have a tele so save on the licence fee, I get to see programmes on the computer. 
All in all, if I carry on like I have been doing since I first retired three and a half years ago, I can see the future looking okeydokey. The rising cost of food is a bit of a concern, but I'm sure I can cope with that. How does everyone do their accounts, on the computer or on paper?
I'll leave you with this video, hope you like it ;o))

   
Are you doing it Your Way?    

33 comments:

  1. Hello Ilona from House fairy.

    Sounds like you had a good day, looking out at the winter wonderland and doing bits and bobs.

    On your list of accounts, they read well.
    Did you miss out council tax? Ours is £127.00 per month. One of our bigger bills.

    I even asked the family a question before I said it on here , to see if my knowledge was correct. They said I was right...
    To watch any TV on the computer you need a TV licence. We pay £12.12 per month for that.

    I watch some bills on the computer as an online customer. Other bills I review per year like house insurance.

    Always good to compare to make sure we are all on the same page.

    I do think you need your heating on a bit more in this cold weather.

    Good night

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  2. I love to sit and "crunch" my numbers... and when I think I've crunched them enough, I like to see if I can crunch them some more! I'm not a fan of your video, but I do like to crunch numbers ;o)

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  3. Hi House Fairy. the figures I mentioned were just a few examples, I didn't intend to itemise all of my outgoings.

    The question about if a licence is needed to watch tv on the computer, always confuses people. If you watch a programme as it is going out live you do need a licence. If you watch a recording sometime after the programme has been shown, as I do, you don't need a licence. BBC iplayer, 4oD, and Itv player, are all catch up channels.

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  4. Oh how lovely! I want snow!! I am not from a snowy area (Cornwall), and didn't know that I should remove snow from the car. I left a couple of inches covering my car when I lived in Cardiff, but when I needed to drive back home (down the motorway) it had frozen into a solid block! Such a pain to remove then!!

    You're right about catch-up TV not needing a TV license, Ilona. It is something that they try very hard to hide on the licensing website though!

    I do my accounts on paper and the computer. I go through my little record of everything I've earned and spent at the end of each month to see what went where. Of course, a lot of costs are best averaged over the year, like bills, car repairs etc., so I will make a big spreadsheet at the end of the year!

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    1. Hi Bry, Best to remove snow from your car before driving on the road. It could become a hazard if it flies off hitting a cyclist or pedestrian. Also don't get too close behind a lorry in snowy and icy conditions. I have seen massive chunks of ice fall off high sided trailers whilst going down the motorway. Obviously the driver cannot get up there to clear it.

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  5. I just looked at the weather channel and their advice is to keep your living area a 70 degrees. Breathing in cold air, according to them, increases your risk of heart attack and stroke even if your body is warm. I think I would try to keep my heat up a bit and run it for longer; short bursts do not warm the fabric of the house, but I suppose you know if you are comfortable or not.
    You do fantastic on your money - it is less than $14,000 per annum. Do give some thought to food for the future though, if Tescos decides to do away with yellow stickers for example - maybe put an extra bit of money aside in case you have to buy more food; it is very central to our life and well-being especially as we age.

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    Replies
    1. lizzie, I don't do advice, stroppy bugger that I am :o))

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  6. Hi Ilona, a friend just had a free eye test at our local Tesco superstore. They run special offers from time to time and he always waits until the free eye test offer is on before going. Perhaps the same offer is available near you?

    Eddie

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    1. Eye tests are free to the over 60's , it's the specs that cost. The optician has to give you the prescription so you can go anywhere to buy the specs so you can look for special deals on them.
      Brenda in the Boro
      www.cyclinginthesixthdecade.Wordpress.com

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    2. Thank you Eddie, a good tip. Another good point about Tesco is that you can use your points towards some new specs. As a pensioner I get a free eye test, usually go to Specsavers where they have a big choice of frames.

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    3. |As I've had two cataracts ops I have always been careful about specs. I went to Vision Express, where I've been for a bit and wasn't happy about the frame fit. Lenses are the high cost here. However I've been to enquire at ASDA at their opticians and guess what - that's where I'm going next time. £99 for varifocals and frame, as opposed to - well I daren't say what I had to pay with VE. They're all franchised opticians and they all work on contract whatever optician you go to unless it's a private concern. So, end of May, give it a whirl. I'll let you know how I go on.

      On budget front, I'm afraid I don't do accounts but I never buy something I can't afford, I just hold back for a couple of months if I've got a big bill to pay. I also sell lots on Ebay.

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  7. I pay bills online, and manually balance our cheque book, even tough I can see it online....

    Gill

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Gill. Best to check check check. Banks can make mistakes.

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  8. Reading your blog inspires me..........

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  9. I do most of my record-keeping on the computer, and have for many years now. I haven't been tracking individual types of expense, because, like you I think, I am generally quite careful and thoughtful in spending on a day-to-day basis. But I just started a blog (my first! kind of exciting!) and now I'm thinking it might be helpful if I did some of my record-keeping in 2013 on the blog, as an experiment. Who knows, I might be surprised at the specifics of where the money goes, even if there is no big mystery about whether or not it needed to go there!

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  10. I just have to ask, do you ever hear how Rocky is getting on, I think of him everytime I read your excellent blog

    marlene

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    1. Hi Marlene. I see him most days, he is fine.

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  11. Brrr cold. Last night was soo hot and muggy here. It's not pleasant at all :(

    Glad you've got some money for some summer trips. I'm looking forward them.

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  12. Good Morning Ilona. I stand corrected about the TV licence. I hope many people read this blog.

    Now I know better. If I lived on my own, I would consider just having the TV for DVDS and watching TV on catch up to save the pennies.

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    1. Hi. You have to be carefull if you have a tv and it is capable of receiving a live signal through the arial. It is not enough to say I don't watch tv, only use it for DVD's. You need to disconnect the arial and site it away from the socket on the wall. The licensing people may want to come and inspect, but there again you don't have to let them in without a warrant. They use to send me letters but have given up now. They can come and check on me if they like, they wont find anything.

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  13. Love your views from your house. I first saw snow when I was 21. It makes everything look so clean and cosy and beautiful. OK, I never have to live with it so don't know the hassle of cleaning, driving, moving around in it. Still, would love to give it a go for a season.

    As to budgeting/accounting, it is my resolution to get my finances in order this year. I have no debts, besides my mortgage, but I have closed my mind to this, preferring to look at the small picture - the individual bills - rather than the whole picture ofthe costs in running my household. Time to stop hiding, I think!!!

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  14. Jan here.Brrr...it's cold today.No snow here but very icy.I keep tabs on my ougoings on paper,I can't 'think' in print.Amazing how much you can save just by being aware of what you spend.Bet you've got some great outings lined up.Look forward to hearing about them in the weeks to come.Glad to hear your little canine pal is doing okay.

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  15. I run an expenses book and always have, probably from my secretary days. I dont know how to use the computer ones. I have crunched our numbers for this year, and we have made the decision to pay off our mortgage in under four years. It will mean living frugally and cheaply from now on, but the reward will be worth it and we will be debt free :)

    We are hot here again, 41C tomorrow! So definitely no snow outside my window. I have never seen snow and am not likely to where I live. Maybe one day I may get to travel and see some :)

    We have a TV but it is rarely on. No licence fees in Australia, all free to air unless you pay for satellite TV...

    Enjoy the snow :)

    x

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  16. I love your snow pictures. I don't mind a little snow but when it gets to be 12 inches or more, then it's very hard to clear away even to get out the front door.
    I don't do accounting on the computer. I used to do it but have slipped up on it lately. I do have a good idea of what we spend and what all my bills cost per month. I am the writer of the checks so I have a pretty good handle on what goes out and what comes in.
    Here in the US, most people have cable for their tvs and it's not cheap. I have what is called a "bundle" which is cable tv, internet service and landline phone all from the same company and all on one monthly bill. I don't want to tell you how much it costs us because you'll flip out! I have tried to lower this cost many times and they will give me a lower bundle for a year and then it's back up to the same amount again. Other companies are just as bad so I sort of gave up. I need the internet and my husband doesn't want to get rid of the landline phone. I think he's just paranoid about that. The tv is mostly our entertainment especially in the cold months so we really use it alot. I really admire how well you keep your budget and have everything you need or want. You're an inspiration to the rest of us.

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  17. I analyse our expenses on a spreadsheet, it can be quite scary reading! That's the problem when one of you is careful and the other one doesn't think about it..... This month have been living out of the freezer and my housekeeping has been half normal amount so far.

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  18. As you know Ilona I don't do accounts, much too scary. I always spend out more than I get in. Its a special knack I have. The trick I have found is not to worry about it. :-)

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  19. I have my accounts written on paper, and like to know every month how much money comes in and goes out. That way I can save for the big items I will need and pay for them outright. And I can have a holiday. Thats why I am trying to Stick to a £50 budget for two of us per week. Though from reading your blog and others I can see that this is allot of money. Love the snow. Love walking in it! My mum told me not to wipe the snow off the car, because I was not going to be using it for a few days,she said it would keep the car warm inside you would think a polar bear lived in it...ginny x

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  20. Do you not worry about pipes freezing when you are not heating your home or does it not get that cold?? Here in my part of Canada it can hit -35 with the windchill. It is never wise to lower the heat too much as pipes may freeze and cause damage.

    What is the coldest it gets where you are?

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    1. Hello Theresa. I am not sure what the temperature is here. It's either, a bit parky, a bit nippy, brass monkey weather, or flippin heck it's freezing my tits off :o) I have been in this house for 17 years and I've never had frozen pipes. The house is about 70years old, they built them solid in those days.

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    2. Too funny!!! You are right though things were built to last back then.

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  21. I too have never had a frozen pipe but my neighbor has and what a mess that was! She had her heat on too when it happened. It was a pipe near the back of her house (kitchen sink pipe) and for some reason, it froze and burst. Somehow I think it depends on where the pipes are located.

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  22. I love you blog been following you for a while now but just wanted to say your great and your way of life is so fun. You can find me near any yellow sticker in sheffield. Thanks for your fun posts. PS all fleece up in sheffield bbrrrr x

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