Sunday, 3 January 2010

Happy state of affairs

I seem to have some spare cash lurking in my bank account. Since May last year when I changed from Job Seekers Allowance to State Pension, the balance has been steadily increasing. I haven't made a conscious effort to save, so this happy state of affairs could be down to the fact that my frugal life style is so normal and routine that I hardly notice the pennies mounting up. And of course we all know that a few pennies saved every day add up to a few pounds eventually.

Take shopping for instance, it's normal for me to go to town, buy what I went for, and come home. Sometimes I wander into one or two other shops, just out of curiosity more than anything, but I always come out with nothing because I feel sick at the sight of all that stuff bulging from the shelves that is neither use nor ornament to anyone with a sense of value.

It's also normal for me to sit in my house, with no heating on, wearing more clothes than I would outdoors. My utility bills are normally an average of £75 a quarter combined gas and electricity. If you look down the list of money saving tips on the right hand side, I practice just about all of them. I think nothing of it, it's normal to me.

So what am I going to do with this accumulation of cash? The interest rate is so low at the moment, if I save it I wouldn't be gaining very much. I suppose I could pay a lump sum to the Building Society to shrink my already small mortgage, but as I am paying very little interest it hardly seems worth the bother.

I have never in my whole life had any long term savings, a secret stash somewhere put away for a rainy day. As long as I have a small emergency fund should any unforseen disaster strike my home, me, the car, or my cats, that's as far ahead as I plan for.

So it seems the best thing I can do is spend my spare cash, after all I can't take it with me. So now I must find something I need, because if I spend it on something frivolous that would be wasteful. So how can I spend money and be frugal at the same time? I don't know!


  1. Love reading your jottings.If you feel making memories is not a waste how about going on a short break some where?
    I am interested in all your money saving tips bar the no heating I would just hate to be cold.
    All the best for 2010

  2. I'd get rid of that small mortgage,you're contributing to making the banks rich!

  3. I'd use it to convert my house to go off grid, get a wood burning stove, solar panels etc... But it all depends how much you have to spend.

  4. A wood burning stove would be great - my son has one and I wish we did. Good luck with whatever you decide.

  5. Perhaps a holiday is a good idea... an experience type holiday or one of those holidays with courses to learn a new skill or craft. although I do like the wood burning stove idea... of course then you have to buy wood... not sure whether it would be cheaper for you since your bills are phenomenally low as it is!! but what a lovely dilemma... perhaps you should just day dream about what you could spend it on and actually leave it where it is lol!

  6. If you don't need anything Ilona, stash the cash against the day when you might need a larger amount for major repairs, to your roof say - or even for a new knee come the day you can't bear to wait for the NHS!

  7. Maybe, as you say, you could invest in things that will save you money. Here's and example: this year we bought thermal liners for our sitting room curtans and I made a door curtain for the front door, using charity shop curtains, lined with a sheet given by a friend who got it free from his work when it closed down. Then I made another liner for it made of two fleece blankets from asda (total cost about £5, I think). Cheaper and better looking than a £18 door curtain from Dunelm Mill (plus postage). But I'm sure we have used less gas for heating this year than last, despite the cold weather. But no, I couldn't do without my central heating; hubby's tough but I'm not!

  8. Dear Ilona, second go at this, I agree with the log burner brigade or even a multi fuel stove. Bonuses are [A] warmth [B] you can boil a kettle of indeed slow cook casseroles, bean stews etc [C] dry clothes around it or on a maiden over it and [E] sure you coul forage for wood - plenty of it out there waiting to be collected. In admiration for your stoicism, Eileen in the Charente

  9. Some interesting suggestions, thank you. I never thought of a wood burner, it would be easy to forage for wood round here. I'll do some research. I like the idea of holidays, somewhere interesting that I could learn something. I do need some new tiles on the roof, but the structure and felt is fine, so I'll wait till some more blow off. Might need a new knee though, mine left one is creaking.


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