Sunday, 4 February 2018

Do you really need that?

Howdy. I've been waiting for this video to upload to yooootoooob, at last it is live. I have waffled on a bit, I really ought to make them shorter, never mind, it's done now. It's about identifying your needs and wants, do you know the difference? The message is that you can't have everything you want if you don't have the means to pay for it. I'm sure most of my readers know that already, but there are still a lot of people who get it mixed up, this is why they are in so much debt. I see it all the time on MSE forum, they need to cut their spending to pay off their debts, but think they can still carry on the lifestyle they have become accustomed to. This is not sustainable in the long term if someone wants to become debt free.

See what you think, have I explained it well enough, will people get it? I can only keep passing the message on and hope that it will help a few people to untangle themselves from the suffocating debt they find themselves in.



Hey, a bit of good news. A cheque arrived in the post today, from Santander, my mortgage provider. Apparently they made a mistake with their figures when I paid off my mortgage in 2013. They charged me too much for an administration fee. So now I have a refund of £134 which includes interest, less the income tax on that interest. It just goes to show that you can't trust anyone these days. I wouldn't have known about this so I am pleased they are honest about it.

I am joining in with Frugal February on Down the Lane Forum. To read my diary click on this link. You can read the other frugal diaries as well, you don't need to join anything.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

57 comments:

  1. Great post, down the lane looks very interesting, off to watch your video now.

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  2. I will watch the video in a mo but I just want to say congrats on the cheque. Some happy news. Thank you for all of your inspiring posts. kitx

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  3. Oh NO - don't make your videos shorter, the long ones are much better. Short ones are over before you know it and you have so much sense to talk about - longer ones PLEASE!!!!

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  4. Ive just seen the video. Great post as usual. Common sense but we do forget. I am not going on holiday despite everyone else I know doing this as I am going to buy plants for my garden.

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    1. Good for you, Kit. If plants are your thing and you have the money to pay for them, then go for it. When's the Garden Party? ;o)

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    2. lol. Maybe one day when it's ready.

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  5. LOVE the longer videos, Ilona. Very interesting and informative as always.

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  6. I always enjoy your videos. I am a believer in living debt-free. I retired to a fixed income over a year ago and, because I must pay for health insurance ($1550/month USA), I set aside that amount for 2 years, which will cover me until our country's Medicare kicks in. I have all of my needs covered and most of my wants. I feel fortunate to not carry the worry of debt. It is a freedom that everyone is capable of reaching. I try to live my life by example, but it pains me to see folks who over-extend themselves and then gripe about their debt. Thank you for all your tips and showing what a positive life experience one can have without breaking the bank!
    ,

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    1. Thanks, you make a valid point. There is so much more work to do to help people budget. People don't realize that freedom means only spending the money you have, and not getting into debt for the things you want.

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  7. Another very sensible post, Ilona. Drives me batty reading or listening about folks who act surprised when their realty taxes come due! Many have no idea what it costs to support their lifestyle, they simply look at the balance in the checkbook and spend blindly away. Maddening. My now EX was and is still like that; can barely rub 2 nickles together. Not my problem. I divorced, took 50% of marital household possessions as required by law and rebuilt my life. 5 years later, even with unexpected early retirement due to health, I had amassed $100,000 towards my forever home, that I bought April '17, remodeled and took residence at the end of May'17. Having always lived below my means, I was able to do this on a public teacher's salary (no alimony ever from my EX) Retired, I continue to save 40% of my monthly alotment. A heck of a lot less stress as a result. : )

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    1. I'm glad to read of your success in taking care of yourself, but I can't imagine how anyone could save $100,000 on a teacher's salary and early retirement. I see that you had half of the marital household possessions (which must have been significant), but divorce laws vary from state-to-state, and my ex somehow managed to keep the lion's share of assets. I'm not trying to criticize you, I just hope you realize that some of us living on the edge have never been extravagant spenders (and love this blog!), but circumstances can put one in a very bad spot. I particularly love Ilona's point of view because she is very careful to allow for differences in experience, and never makes one feel like it's their fault for being skint, unless they take no action to improve things.

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    2. Hi. This is exactly the problem, two similar situations, two different ways of dealing with life changes, and two different outcomes. I bet if you both compared your lists of 'needs' and 'wants', they would also be different. What one person thinks is important, the other will think it's not worth bothering about. Difficult not to compare when some seem to ride the storm and others fall into the mire. Thanks both for your perspectives.

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    3. Kate-Please note the following: As I mentioned, my taking early retirement was unexpected, due to health. I worked in one of the highest paying districts in the country, yet lived a good 45 minutes away in a more modest community. My marital possessions from a modest 1100 square foot home were much of what I brought with me 25 years prior but good, well made, older solid wood furnishings, half of the towels, linens, dishes etc. Never any largess, huge estate etc. I was a teacher, he was a mechanic and neither of us have/had trust funds to support us. I made a list of actual needs, listed a few wants and acquired what I listed for very little. I bought a 1970's PA house oak dining room table with 6 chairs and all of the table pads at Salvation Army-$126 after tax, out the door. Must have been someone's dining set back in the day. I've lived very carefully, well below my means all of my life. I saved and saved, averaging 41% savings rate. I had no debt for those 5 years. No mortgage, no car loan, no credit card debts-nothing. Every penny was accounted for. My state is a 50-50 communal property state. We went a bit back and forth but I feel it was equitable when all was said and done. My ex also bought me out of the marital home. After paying off the lawyer, I still had a decent nest egg. I rented until the youngest graduated HS, then moved further North to an affordable, for my state, city. I rented while keeping an eye out for a level floor, modest Ranch which is what I bought as my forever home. I have also never been an extravagant spender either. While I treat myself to salon hair services, I don't get facials, or mani/pedis, have a cell phone but it's not an Apple product, my clothes are at least 5-10 years old, often bought second hand (except for underclothes which are more recent, shoes-I have to invest in due to foot issues) I drive a paid for cash, second hand lease turn in from the dealer. It happens to be a Hybrid, which was my preference for energy conservation. I respect that circumstances vary from one to another. Life has handed me some real lemons(details not needed) and I continue to live proactively and purposefully. I have been called pragmatic, I feel it's a compliment. : )

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    4. Ilona, When I left my marriage, I had a list of priorities: 1-secure a rental in our marital town (hard to find, even harder to find one "affordable"), 2-acquire needed furnishings thru the second hand market, 3-continue to live frugally to amass monies for my next home purchase, which would be my forever home. I was on a 5 year time line. 4 years renting in the aforementioned town until the youngest graduated, then moving to my chosen city that has a lot of advantages such as access to public and special needs transportation, the shops I have always used as they are actually reasonable compared to my marital town. Fast forward and chronic health issues forced me to sell my manual transmission car and replace it. I paid cash for a lease turn in Hybrid, paid a fair price as it was after Christmas and between the end of the year and the end of the month, the dealer was anxious to unload it. I ended up taking the funds from my "future house" fund as I already knew that my autoimmune disease was impacting my life, and I wished to remain very fluid and in a great position for reentering the real estate market. I've never had extravagant wants: haven't vacationed for years, most of my worldly goods are second hand and not of great value but work and please me just fine. My home is a modest 3 bed/2 bath. Even with paying for home services compared to renting, I am saving over $500 compared to my last rental here in the city, and this doesn't even account for any tax incentives with home ownership.

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  8. I love to watch & listen to your videos.No one else in my life really ever mentions budgeting to me-never has.I think a lot of them like to keep it quiet,almost a secret.My house is quite shabby but I would rather not replace stuff unless absolutely necessary as I choose to go on holidays with my dogs & I can't afford both x

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    1. Well done. You have your 'wants' and 'needs sorted.

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  9. How far can corners be cut until life becomes boring, as some wants make life more pleasant. I suppose the message is cover the needs then do not feel guilty about having a few wants if affordable. There is very little that I want. Having health is the main want and need, without health life is grim. Is joining a gym a want? Since being careful about my food shop I have actually lost weight without dieting! Ilona you could write a best seller ‘the Ilona diet’. It certainly works £1 on a cake or £1 in piggy bank for a needed want. No brainier. Thank you great advise.x

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    1. I would put joining a gym in the 'wants', because you don't need to spend money on keeping fit. However, if you feel you need the routine of going to the gym, and the support of other members, then perhaps you need to continue. The great outdoors is free. Well done with the weight loss.

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  10. Thank for these sort of videos Ilona. Every now and again I need to hear a pep talk so I'm grateful. P.S I was thinking how nice your longer hair looks - but I know what you mean about it being irritating!

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  11. A great positive and informative video. I try to live like this - well I have to as I don’t work and we have to live on my husband’s pension. We have cut right back on holidays, going out for meals etc we never do that now as food is so overpriced in restaurants and I prefer to put my money elsewhere. I am going through cupboards at the moment making sure that I use everything and don’t duplicate any purchases and reminding myself of what possessions I do have. I really appreciate the videos and don’t mind how many times I’m reminded about money management. Thank you very much.

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  12. What a nice surprise to get a check in the mail, instead of a bill. Good for you, Illona! As far as your videos go, I like reading your blog, but maybe it's time to stop preaching on YouTube Ilona and just enjoy the fruits of your own practicality and good sense. There are already so many experts on YouTube full of advice for those who need it.

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    1. but maybe it's time to stop preaching on YouTube Ilona - what?! 'preaching'? Wow. How nice of you to give unsolicited advice. Brava.

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    2. Gail, I don't preach, I am not an expert on anything. I will continue to make videos because people appreciate that I am trying to help. Debt is crippling, debt destroys marriages, and suicide is the only way out for some who are so distraught at their massive debts. There has to be a better life, a debt free life. I don't care what the rest of the so called experts on youtube are doing, I do my bit to help.

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    3. Keep "preaching" Ilona. I have struggled to imagine my 'retirement' that will come about through job loss in about 12 months time. I read every word you write and say because I will need every bit of your advice in my future that is coming far too quickly. Thanks to you and Froogs, I now live for 'need' and not 'wants' and have trained my thinking to frugal ways. I see new opportunities that don't cost much or are free and I have confidence that I can make it through the rest of my life on the smell of an oily rag. Thank you Ilona. And, to Gail I say don't watch if you don't need to.

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    4. These posts of Ilona's keep me going after a loooong day at work. It is not preaching. I like it.

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  13. Replies
    1. Hi. I very rarely think about death, I am hoping it is a long way off. I haven't made provision for my funeral, no pre paid plan, I want the cheapest there is, and there will be enough in my estate to cover it. Than't all I can say really.

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    2. Yes, same. My man and I want to be buried together in the simplest, easies way, we don’t need any fancy handles or expensive wood.

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    3. There’s always direct cremation which is a lot cheaper as there’s no service involved. I think this is a good option for people with no family and avoids the expense of a full funeral.

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  14. Ilona Please dont make your videos shorter, I'd like them longer please. Lots of interesting points picked up there. Nothing better than your videos and a cuppa. Luckily I kept my dog insurance as my 2 year old girl became very ill and cost £10.000 in medical fees, sadly she died at 3 years of age. I was shocked at the way vet fees can escalate and would never have a pet without insurance.

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  15. Just when i thought that i had watched all your videos,last night i clicked on your...My Videos link,at the top of your page,to see if there was any tips i had missed.....I couldnt belived that there was a load more,that i hadnt seen!!,How had I missed those?.Even watched one with you giving a talk to some ladys about lorry driving,another one when you was walking in the woods,with the dogs n Helen,another one of you walking in the snow ect.It was like Christmas day here,lol.I made myself a cup of tea and sat down and watched them all.A lovely evenings viewing!!.Just reading your post today,makes me realise,that these days I never want anything or need anything.As long as my Family are alright,Ive got good health,my animals are great and we have our little cheap and cheerful weekend breaks,2 or 3 times a year...well then im happy!!.Its easy really,isnt it!.People i know still have to have new clothes most weeks,manicures and hairdressers every week...yet one of them is 2 months behind with their house payments.How can they do that?.It would worry me sick to live that way.Anyway,Im just going to make myself a cup of coffee and sit and watch your new video.Debi,xx

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    1. I'm afraid I'm guilty of not updating that page, there are far too many videos now.

      I was talking to my friend last night, she has her nails done at a salon every three weeks. That's ok, because she has a lot more money than I have, and she can afford it. It also gives someone a job.

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    2. Meanqueen,
      besides her being able to afford this, and giving someone a job, I do believe there are many times when "splurges" like this or other are in fact belonging in the "careful with money"/"careful with life" sort of category...(seriously).
      -some folks manual coordination is so bad, their nails/toenails in such shape they do need help
      -if a person is having a very tough time (emotionally/healthwise) sometimes this can perk one up
      -everyone needs something to "save for" that will give them a boost
      etc...

      I only mention this, as yes it is important to be frugal and careful, but, it is also important to have something to look forward to..etc..

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    3. Oh please dont get rid of any of your older videos!!,They make great viewing and remember there are always new people being recommended to your site.It was lovely to see them last night,Debi,xx

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  16. Another brilliant post. Your wise words are so true.

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  17. Hello. This video is do relevant to where im at. As you know from a previous post i was made Redundant just before Christmas. I now work 2 days a week im on the Frugal Train and love it. Anyway,my TV died at the weekend ive decided NOT to replace it. I have been reading more/walking more and using my time more efficiently. I also feel less stressed for some reason. I dont WANT one nor do i NEED one. Keep the videos comeing. Thank you.
    Hope youre well xx

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    1. Hi. If you feel like a bit of light entertainment, go to yoootooob. No licence needed. Also ITV and Channel 4 catchup, but not BBC iplayer if your licence has run out. I walk around my village every day and see loads of TV's on, why I do not know, it's mostly rubbish programmes.

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    2. Barrellbum
      just a thought, if you haven't already chucked your t.v., it may work to play movies, which can often be borrowed for free from the Library? (these may also play on your computer)

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  18. Back again!,Ive just watched your video and great advice as always.I just wish that we could get rid of our car that is going to cost us about £400 over the next month or so,just for wear and tear..although we dont use it excesive,we still need it for my Hubby cause he is disabled.I also dont like going far in it due to a accident we were in about 20 years ago.Im a very nervous passenger!!.Im not entitled to a bus pass until Im 66,but i do think then,we may consider getting rid.Only another 4 years to go,lol.A good job that i love my walking!...Weve just had a bit of good news though,the gas bill is less than this time last year so they are giving us £3OO back!.Swings and roundabouts I soppose,lol.Well,its a lovely day here in the Mids,suns beaming down but still very,very cold.So we are going to get well wrapped up,make a flask with soup and going to sit in the beautiful park,that is 5 mins drive away.I would love to walk there but Hubbys coming so car it is!Have a lovely day every one!,Debi,xx

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  19. Ilona, I thought long and hard before I splashed out on the new settee, I thought at first it was a want, but after talking things over with OH I realised it was actually a need. I simply cannot move our present settee, its an Ikea two seater with a bed in the base. I cannot put the bed out unless I turn the settee round, which I can no longer do, the bed is very low to the floor which makes getting in and out difficult, and we do have the day bed in the sewing room.

    So I decided to look and see what was available, I found a settee, more or less the same size as our present one, but the arms drop down on ratchets so it makes a single bed, AND its on castors not sliders.

    4 weeks to delivery, the present settee will be donated to Emmaus who have just opened in Melton, they sell second hand furniture to help homeless people into accommodation. The settee owes me nothing, so it may as well go to help someone else.

    Following ML's advice I paid for it on my credit card, which will be paid off 'in full' next month. That way I have some come back if there are problems.

    I have to admit I do not watch your podcasts, I know they must help people who are not in the comfortable position we are in, so keep going Gal you are doing a great job, if they help just one person to change their mindset you are winning!!

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  20. Great video - don't stop as youtube is a great platform to get a message across and if you only help one person make changes in their life then that would be wonderful. Youtube is generally a very materialistic place to hangout so it is a breath of fresh air when you see a vid where nobody is trying to sell you anything.

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  21. You are in the minority Gail with your opinion about Ilona giving advice to us.She helps many people generously & freely and long may she reign

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  22. Hi Ilona,
    One of your best posts and videos. Although I seldom comment I read your blog every day. When my financial and domestic circumstances altered dramatically six years ago I found that your sensible advice helped keep me on the financial straight and narrow . More of the same please.
    Best wishes
    Colin in Kent

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    1. Hello Colin, glad you are still hanging around. Straight and narrow is best, don't go veering off in the wrong direction.

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  23. Quite often what I will do, if I pick up something at a shop (most often because it is a stupid good price), and I have a sneaking suspicion I don't actually need it, I will actually carry it around the shop for a while (either in my hand, or in my cart) to see if the "novelty" wears off/I come to the conclusion I should "put it back". Quite often I leave without said item.

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    1. Be careful you don't get accused of shop lifting. Our supermarkets are littered with things that people decide they don't want, and put them back on the wrong shelf. The staff then have to go and re locate them. If something is found from the fridge or freezer in the wrong place it has to be destroyed because it has de frosted and warmed up and can't be put back.

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  24. I really enjoy your videos Ilona, this one was a timely reminder for me to keep plugging away at reducing expenses.

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  25. I don't mind the longer videos, the longer the better.You give very sensible advice.

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  26. My Dear Husband came up with a new word for when we get our needs mixed up with our wants: nants. It's become a joke now. "I thought I needed that, but I only nanted that!"

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  27. Hello. Even though I am not living the same way, I like to read your blog or watching your video and I don't think you are preaching. It gives me new possibilities and new way of thinking. I just take the advice(s) I am able to handle and follow.
    I am not a native english speaker so excuse me if I make mistakes.

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    1. Hi. Your English is perfect, thank you for visiting the blog. Always think outside the box is what I say.

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  28. Great video Ilona, loads of useful and motivational tips as always!

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Anyone can comment, BUT, spammers are zapped, trolls and bullies are also zapped. And if I don't like the tone of your comment I will dump it in the bin.