Hello. I sometimes wonder if it is worth bleating on about living frugally and ways to save money, because I reckon a good portion of my readers are already well informed on how to live within their means. I feel I don't need to stand up in front of you and give you a lesson on home economics, because most of you already have your finances under control. You will have your own methods and know what works best for you.
This blog is about my Brilliant Life on a Pension, which is not only about how I save money, but why I save it and also how I spend it. I like to vary the content and not bore myself to death, and not bore the pants of everyone else, so, I cover all aspects of my life, and money saving is the defining factor.
Saying that, I think it is good to revisit money saving ideas because I get 6,000 page views a day, and a lot of those people will be looking for money saving tips. Some may have just dropped on the blog while searching, and will be unfamiliar with it's content. When I read Money Saving Expert Forum, especially the Debt Free Wannabe section, I can see just how many people are struggling with debt, and it is very sad that some of them don't know how they got there, and don't know how to get out of it. So forgive me for bleating on about money saving if you already have your finances under control, for there are such a lot out there who are desperate for some help.
So, what am I doing to save money right now. I am sitting here with no heating on, and wearing a fleecy dressing gown over my clothes. I could afford to flick the switch and put it on, but I know within an hour I would be feeling muggy, and would probably fall asleep. What is the point of wearing fewer clothes while burning money. I have just had a hot drink, and I am due to go out for a walk shortly, that will warm me up. I might put the heating on tonight for an hour if it gets a bit chilly.
I am not going shopping until I actually need something. I have a £6 off voucher for a £40 shop at Tesco. I haven't been there for a while and my food stocks are quite low, so I am planning on a yellow sticker dash sometime this week. Mind you, I have planned a visit before with a voucher and have got nowhere near the £40, and still had a trolley full, of mainly yellow stickers. However, this time I might achieve it because I have only got three tins left in the cupboard and the freezer is pretty low.
I have a bag full of free cooking apples which I am stewing on the hob for a few minutes, a great addition to my breakfast cereal, nuts and seeds. I made up a big pan of pulses, lentils, and suchlike, soaked for 24 hours simmered for an hour, and veg added. I found it a bit hard going chewing it, so I zapped it with the stick blender. Have eaten some, the rest frozen in portions to be added to stews, or eaten with pasta.
I keep myself busy with my arts and crafts, which cost virtually nothing because I have tons of materials, don't need to buy any more. My utilities bills have come and gone, and paid, gas and electric. Again they were very low because I am careful about switching things off when not in use, and I am with Ebico who doesn't have a standing charge. Now we need the lights on for a lot longer in the winter I try to have them on in one room only, I walk around with a little torch in my pocket to light the way when moving between rooms. I have a watering can in the downstairs toilet, there is plenty of rain water now, so it saves on flushing.
Someone mentioned about my coffee being a mix of two kinds in the jar. Yes, I buy Nescafe, have been drinking it for years, perfectly acceptable for me. Then I found Carte Noir, very tasty but a bit more expensive, so now I get a jar of each and mix it.
My credit card statement has just arrived, a rather hefty bill because the new tyres are on it. No worries, I have the cash to pay it. I was thinking about changing my car, updating for a newer model, but decided against it. The car I have is perfectly fine. It is due for it's MOT soon, and if it needs any work I have the cash for that. The insurance is due in January, again I can pay for the whole year, it costs more to pay monthly. Also on the statement is £75 from a YHA booking I made recently. Two nights, private room, B & B, in a lovely hostel in Derbyshire. A little treat for me.
When I go to town to pay this bill into the bank I shall combine it with a few purchases from the discount stores, Home Bargains, B & M, Poundland, and Poundstretcher. I get my pet food and cleaning stuff from those shops. I've noticed that some of them are starting to get fresh produce in, and some good prices too. I got a BIG bag of spinach from Home Bargains for less than £1. And some nice tasty cheeses for around £1. Worth a look.
A few general tips for anyone who is struggling to pay down debt. If you are serious about becoming debt free you have to be pro active and make changes to your lifestyle. It's no good saying I don't want to give up the Sky TV, the Gym membership, or the coffee on the way to work. If you want to keep the lifestyle you already have and not cut your spending then be prepared for a lifetime of debt. I see it all the time on the MSE Forum, make suggestions, and watch the resistance to any changes. Again, it's down to control, whether you allow money to control you, or whether you grasp the bull by the horns and say no more. No matter how much advice me or anyone else can give you, ultimately it's down to yourself. Being in debt is a lifestyle choice, being debt free is also a lifestyle choice. You choose.
Thanks very much for reading. Welcome to anyone who has recently found us, stick around, I'd love you to pop in again.
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