Oh dear, my bank statement has arrived, the first one after me plundering the account to pay off the mortgage. It's taken a bit of a bashing and doesn't look pretty. It's sensible to have a little bit of a buffer in case of emergencies. I don't seem to have emergencies though, if something in the house breaks, I just carry on and manage without it if I can't afford to get it fixed, or buy a replacement. Back to basics that's me. My expectations are quite low when it comes down to day to day living. I don't fret, throw a wobbly, or stamp around and cry when things are not going right. I shrug my shoulders and carry on regardless. I look for a different way of doing things.
My attitude to money has changed the older I get. I used to be worried silly by those long numbers on my mortgage statement, how much, yikes, I'm never going to be able to pay that off. But I chipped away at it and now it's gone, so that's a big relief. I still have to be careful with my spending though, my nine grand a year has to be stretched till I can squeeze no more out of it.
Yesterday I popped into Tesco in Barton, as it's next door to The Ropewalk. It's a smaller branch than the one I usually use. I wanted a pot of Value plain yogurt, usually 45p, but I was shocked to see that the price was 59p. Now I don't know if this is a genuine price increase, or if the price varies anyway depending on the size of store. I walked out with nothing, I didn't want to pay that so I will see if I can get it cheaper elsewhere. I am becoming more choosy on which cheese I buy now, the cost of it is creeping up, and I ought to be cutting down anyway. If I buy a 350grm piece I eat it too quickly, so I am going for a smaller pack, and when it's gone it's gone. I've also switched to cottage cheese, and soft cheese.
I see all this ducking and diving as a game, I know I shall win, because I will not starve. The bottom line is that I will always have food to eat. When something becomes unaffordable, there are alternatives, it's up to me to find them. Substitution is the name of the game, you can't be set in your ways when it comes to shopping, that's why I don't make a shopping list. I go with an open mind, and look for the best I can find for the least amount of money. If I forget something I don't care, if I come back without something, then I haven't paid for it.
Food shopping is easy for me I am single, I only have myself to please. It's also easy for me because I am a small person, just over eight stone, I have a small stomach, I don't need to stuff it full to bursting. Yes, my dinner plates look full sometimes, but by eating a lot of vegetables it's all going to move through quickly, and not pile the weight on.
I've got some car expenses coming up soon, MOT and service, so I shall be asking around amongst my friends for their recommendations. I have enough money to pay for it, but from now on I must be extra vigilant and only spend on what is absolutely necessary for the next few months. It goes without saying that once again I will not be joining the Christmas shopping frenzy, no, I gave that lark up years ago. I make it known to people, that Miss Meanqueen Scrooge here does not do Christmas.
I might be able to squeeze in a cheap day out or two, getting out of my four walls and venturing further than the boundaries of my village, is a must to preserve my sanity. So I'll look through my brochures, weigh up all the pro's and cons cost wise, and maybe have a little trip out, or two.
Yes, while money, or lack of it, is a talking point at the moment, I like to keep things in perspective. I won't worry about not having very much, because I have enough. I will not worry about making more, because I don't need it. The bills are getting paid, and me and the cats have enough food. It wasn't always like this, but now it is and I can relax. I'm off out into the garden to dig up some spuds.
Getting there – I hope
10 minutes ago