Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Check list

Hello. I was on the radio this morning, wont tell you where it was, somewhere in the Midlands. Rushed interview that's all they want, usual money saving tips, no time to get down to the real nittygritty of how to save money and live within your means. Me feeling frustrated as usual, two minutes and it's all over. What can you say in two minutes? Just the usual. They want it short and punchy, jokey and giggly.

I made notes, reeled a few of them off, no time to get to grips with the topic before I was cut off. Don't know why I do it really, that's me trying to be helpful. They don't realize that people are desperately trying to pay off their debts, they need sound information in straight talking language, not some airyfairy skimming the surface. I got to mention the blog, so some listeners might find their way here, if they do, here is a rundown of the notes I made but wasn't able to talk about.

Prioritize your spending. Mortgage/rent first, must be paid. Council tax must be paid. Utilities must be paid. 

Buy food to live. Petrol in the car to get to work.

Look for better deals on phone - broadband - mobile.

Check comparison sites for good deals on utilities.

Dump Sky TV, or get rid of the television altogether.

Dump the gym, walking is free, do the 1000 mile challenge.

Are you getting all the benefits you are entitled to. Check.

Start a spending diary, write down every penny spent, read it every day.

Check bank statements, cancel any direct debits that are no longer applicable.

Do you really need a car. (I do, ha ha). Get rid if it is not important to your lifestyle or getting to work.

Can you find more work, extra part time job maybe. Earn more.

Stop eating meat, or at least cut down. It is expensive and should be classed as a treat.

Shop late at supermarkets look for reductions, yellow stickers.

Shop around, find the best bargains from all the shops. Discount stores.

Don't go shopping if you are hungry. Eat before you go.

Check your cupboards and freezer before you go shopping, can you delay shopping for another day or two.

Buy second hand from car boot sales and charity shops.

Know the difference between a NEED and a WANT. They are not the same.

Stop smoking, stupid thing to do, cost mega bucks in terms of cash and health.

Think before you get a pet. They cost a lot of money over the course of their lifetime.

Cut out impulse spending. If you didn't want it until you saw it, you don't need it.

Shopping is not a leisure activity. Shops are full of stuff you don't need.

Take food out with you from home. Make a pack up

Eat everything you buy, do not throw food away.

Put small amounts of cash away in an emergency fund. Things break down.

There are many more, and most of it you will already know, but it's always good to have a reminder. There may be people coming here for the first time so it might be helpful to them.

Raining today, no money will be spent, not going anywhere.
Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.

30 comments:

  1. Thank you for these helpful tips. We have had to cut down a lot as husband retired and income is about a quarter of what it was. We have downsized, have no mortgage and have reduced our direct debits from nearly 800 a month to 250! We got better deals on car and house insurance, energy providers, no Sky, better deals on both our mobiles and cut food bill and guess what, life is good! We feel so lucky to have no debts, we don't have holidays but live in Cornwall, just 15 mins from the coast so we are on holiday all the time! We take pleasure in small things and laugh as much as we can as that is free. Regards, Chrissie.

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  2. Hope you get lots of new readers of your blog to spread the word on your good advice on saving money and attitude to life - BRILLIANT BLOG and Ilona is the genuine article in my humble opinion. Sharon

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  3. How annoying for you Ilona, if you're invited to speak the least the interviewer could do is to let you have a decent amount of time to get your message across. I've steered quite a few people to this blog as I've being following you for about 3 years now and although never being particularly wasteful I keep learning a few things from you, so thank you for that. Amanda

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  4. I retired last August after 46 years full time working. Like you Ilona I never married, though I had my moments 😌 and never wanted children (I was behind the door when that gene was handed out), I've travelled a lot and on the whole life has been good. But when I retired I felt lost as, although I have a number of good friends, it was very hard to adjust to having so much free time and finding some structure to my day and I also worried about making ends meet living on my state pension plus a very small annuity. However, help was at hand. I watched the Amazing Sheds programme and googled to see if there were instructions anywhere to make the everlasting hanging basket featured on your shed. In so doing I found your blog and discovered it is possible to have a good life on a pension. You gave me back my optimism and joy in life. I truly believe that 'when the student is ready the teacher will appear'. You were the teacher for me. Thank you for your common sense and upbeat attitude to life Ilona. Your blog is brilliant. Linda

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    1. Linda: Agree with you 1000% Here in the US you are constantly bombarded with TV commercials and the like saying that you need +1 million dollars to retire "comfortably", which filled me with despair (haven't even earned close to that, never mind saved - and yes, I understand compound interest). Then I too stumbled on to Ilona's blog, and it was a ray of sunshine in a dark room. Thanks, Ilona!

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    2. Agreed. It's not just the media, it's society in general that tries to tell us what we should do and what we should have. A neighbour wanted to know how we manage with only 1 car, he was genuinely amazed. When my dishwasher broke down I hand washed for months putting a little money aside when I could - a friend said 'why not just put it on a credit card and pay that off each month'. We had a wonderful holiday in Angelsey but someone told me it wasn't a 'proper' holiday unless it's abroad. (???). I've come to the conclusion that we live (generally speaking) in a society of entitlement that my parents didn't experience. As long as the bills got paid and there was food on the table everything else was a bonus.

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    3. I have found that some people seem quite 'put out'that I don't aspire to be like them or that I'm 'quaint'? x

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    4. Great comments above, especially Linda. It seems you help rather a lot of us Ilona. Thank you. X

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  5. That is so frustrating,when you are having to condence talking about your life style because you only have so long.Infact,its impossible!!.I know even when i try to explain ...to people who moan about lack of funds...how to live a more frugal lifestyle...they tend to look at me as though im mad!!,Some of my Family included in that,lol.Still,thats up to them...i know that i have already had 3 mini breaks this year with another 3 to look forward to.And thats all down to leading a very enjoyable frugal lifestyle!!,Hope everyones having an enjoyable day!!,Debi,Leic,x

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    1. People just don't get it, do they. We have got a few wealthy people in our village, and some who pretend to be wealthy. When I was explaining to people how little it cost to get my garden to my liking, I got the feeling that it didn't actually sink in. Some got it, and said how much they liked it, but some didn't get it. One chap told me how much he paid for his flatpack shed, an eye watering amount.

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    2. Where I live too there seems to be a facade of everything shiny,new and perfect.I think some are able to afford their lifestyle but possibly many are in debt just for appearances.I am happy to have an outward appearance of having less -I find it all so shallow x

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  6. I like the " dump the gym walking is free.." - so true!

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  7. Love your blog and have learned so much from it. All the best xxx

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  8. I'm sure you will have helped some people by speaking on the radio.When someone's ready to hear a message they listen.I found your wonderful blog 'out of the blue' and I thoroughly enjoy it-thankyou- You're a Star Ilona x

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  9. How frustrating for you with all that wealth of advice and info to share. Thanks for popping it on here: I will be reading it very carefully through.
    J x

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  10. They may be things we know, Ilona, but it never hurts to remind ourselves. Two minutes...ridiculous; they should give you your own TV programme!
    Eloise

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  11. Hi Ilona, one thing I would add is buy an extra tin of food when you get a bargain and build up a store cupboard of food. That way you can be prepared for emergencies. Make sure that you use food in rotation so no tin goes out of date

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  12. Well today,Ive made a new ..Frugal friend!,I was talking to a young girl who lives in the next road to where i live.She is only about 30,married with a young son and she was telling me how they are doing up their garden.I realised as soon as she mentioned the Frugal way she was doing it...At last,someone on the same wavelength as me!!,She makes her own cleaning stuff,like most of us do but also told me how to clean shoes up with a lettuce leaf!.Which was new to me!,Just when i thought i couldnt find anymore ways to be frugal,here comes along a young girl with a new..to me..tip!.So pleased that some of the younger generation are doing there bit!Debi,Leic,x

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    1. I wish I could meet someone in my local area who had a lifestyle like mine. Until then I shall have to remain the odd one out.

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  13. I've stopped responding to requests from both Radio Derby and The Derby Evening Telegraph nowadays for the very same reason. They want soundbites" about lifestyles and seem to think that their listeners have the concentration of a gnat! There is usually the underlying suggestion that you (me) are actually quite unhinged. The last call I had was to ask me if I, or anyone I knew lived on roadkill!! I hung up.
    Good list
    Gill

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    1. Gill,I know what you mean!,I just wish that i had got people around me that feel the same way!,To be honest,even if they hear what is being said....they dont really listen!!,Even a small change......But todays world seems,that their idea of recycling is to put dirty pizza boxes into their recycle bag,Debi,x

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  14. A great list of tips and ideas. I do fall off the wagon so to speak sometimes, so it's good to have bullet point reminders! I think I will print out your list Ilona and keep it to hand to remind me to stay on track.

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  15. I couldnt agree more with you and the above. Today was a good day mother nature watered my garden for free and the water butt got fat as well Did a little shoppping localy in the polish shop there deli counter is small VERY good and I can buy just what I need and ALWAYS cheeper than the co op next door. The local housing authority came and cleaned mine and other residents (wheather housing association or private)rendering as we live very near the coast and it had discoloured badly. made a quiche out of odds n ends in the fridge and had a jacket spud with it. Continuing to make granny squares out of my really scrappy wool and loving it. on ward and up ward my frugal friends!.

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  16. Great list. I think I ticked each box - the exception being yellow stickers as we shop at Aldi these days and (as far as I know) they don't those. I don't do a spending diary - but I do a very nerdy spread sheet. A shame they only gave you a few minutes.

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    1. Lidl do yellow stickers. In our store, there are always yellow sticker fresh meat and poultry items in the freezer section and quiches, dairy etc in the fridge section. They are reduced by 30%. I have never seen them in Aldi.

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    2. Thank you - that's interesting to know.

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    3. I have seen Aldi clear their shelves of going out of date food, it was stacked on a trolley. When I asked if it was going to be reduced the assistant said no. She didn't want to be drawn further into the conversation.

      Lidl is on the other side of town to me, I don't go there very often. Handy to know though.

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  17. Agree with your comment about walking. Why pay mega dollars for gym membership when walking is free:)

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  18. Everyone is in such a hurry - where are they going? They can't pay attention for more than 3 minutes and during those 3 minutes they're "multi tasking" and seem proud of that. Why would people be proud of doing 5 things at one time? (I think Martha Stewart started all that nonsense. I remember her giving an interview many years ago and talking about multi tasking. The interview was over the phone and she proudly told the woman interviewing her; "while we're talking I'm windexing my phone." Pathetic. We've become a bunch of ants running to and fro and running over each other at the same time as we rush to get....nowhere? What a sad state of affairs.

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  19. I too are like a lot of your readers, trying to find like minded people is rare. I live in Australia and travel in a caravan and have met a few people who live and travel similar to us but none as frugal as I am. We have recently had a ABC program called 'war on waste' which was an eye opener to some people. I too hate waste and look at yellow sticker shopping, meaning one step away from the food being thrown out, and saves me money as well. Keep up the good work to try and educate the majority.
    regards
    Melinda

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