Saturday, 22 January 2011

Keeping above the line

I've had an office declutter day today, too much paperwork spilling out all over the place, something's got to go. In my quest to leave this world with nothing left, I am whittling it down bit by bit. Mind you there are some things I am not willing to chuck just yet. I have a lot of newspaper and magazine cuttings from when I was a famous lady trucker, I was all over the transport press like a rash for about ten years. These I want to keep so I can look back on them when I am tucked up in my nursing home bed, ha ha.

The stuff I chucked today was a little bit personal, financial stuff mostly, and as I didn't want to spend ages putting them through the shredder, (think of the electricity), I made a little bonfire on the back garden. You can't be too carefull where sensitive information is concerned, too many nosey parkers around who rifle through waste bins. Not one scrap of paper with my name and address on leaves this house intact, everything is destroyed. There was lots of old cheque book stubs, and obsolete correspondence from banks and building societies which is no longer relevant. I got a good blaze going and it all went up in smoke.

I've kept a few things back, because I am interested in tracking how I have managed my money over the years. My bank statements for instance, make quite interesting reading over the last ten years. A pattern emerges, there are scribbles on the bottom with some quick calculations, direct debits to go out, have I enough in to cover them. Every money out entry is tallied up with the cheque book, or a direct debit, I know where every penny was going.

At times I was flying by the seat of my pants so to speak. The balance sometimes took a dive and I had to act fast to make sure it didn't dip below the line. For instance on 16th April 2003, I had £28.06 in the bank, but thank God the next day, my wages went in. Phew that was close. At times it was pretty scary, but I managed to pull through. I even managed to gain a bit of interest. Year ending 2002 I got 76p after tax, wowee :o) So all in all, I am still plodding along in my own sweet way. I shall never be rich, but I shall always have enough.

Something else I have records of is my gas and electricity usage. With all the talk of the cost of utilities forever going up, I seem to be doing pretty well at it. I can report that at this moment in time, I haven't any heating on, and haven't had it on at all today. Just as a comparison, my gas for the year Nov 2001 to Aug 2002, four quarterly payments, was £236.14. The four bills from Dec 2009 to to Sept 2010 was £180 74. So even though the cost has gone up, my usage has gone down.

My electricity usage has gone up slightly over the same period, probably because I am on the internet a lot. But back in 2001/2 I was on the phone for longer, so the phone bill was high. Now, my phone bills are absolute minimum, because the computer has taken over from the phone. I still believe that the only way to beat the utility companies is to use less.

What a way to spend a Saturday night, eh, studying numbers! Why aren't I out there living it up! can't be @rsed, ha ha.


  1. me and you both, sat in on a saturday night with no heating on, I'll swithc it on when hubby finishes work.
    I've blogged about our gas and elec so we've got a while to go to catch you up yet!

    Josie x

  2. I m doing the same as you, sorting out paper work I swear it gets worse every year. I have letters and photographs from my grandparents era and I think I will burn them eventually. I cant bear to think of them ending up in a landfill with chicken bones and plastic bags over them. Burning them will be a way of honoring them also. My gas and electric was also less this year - not sure why as I am always very sparing with energy. I got a new washing machine recently but thats the only change. When you say your heat isnt on what temperature is it in your house. Do you worry about the pipes freezing

  3. lizzie, my pipes never freeze, even when the heating didn't work at all. The house is about 60 years old, a three bedroom semi, ex council, I believe they were solidly built in those days. I don't know what the temperature is, I don't have a thermometer, but I am wearing three teeshirts, two sweatshirts, fleecy jacket, wooly scarf, two jog bottoms, and knee length thick walking socks.

  4. With all that clothing on you could hot foot it and join the Lovelygrey family here in Yellowstone. It's super cold here but you'd be fine!


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