I've sorted the the 2017 double entry accounts (no idea what that means - but things are written twice and it sounds efficient!) written things in columns and added them up. It's quite frightening. Don't move house I think is the main advice I can give for saving money.
For right or wrong we moved twice in a year, in hindsight we should have rented in Ipswich while we found out how poorly Colin was, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and we'd planned to travel and rent out the bungalow if he'd been well enough.
Anyway we are here and will hang on as long as possible. The value of a 4 bedroom home with an acre of land in a quiet location is unlikely to go down so we still have the chance of downsizing again but please, not yet!
|The Black Book of Doom and Gloom!|
- The Garden - definitely.........at the moment apart from multi-purpose compost and seed potatoes I can't think of anything else we need. No trees needing cutting down next year either, that was a big expense although we now have all the wood of course.
- The Grandchildren - after we moved here, with space to store things I got a bit carried away at car boot sales, I kept seeing bargain toys and games that would be useful for them in years to come and of course still have things for 3 and 4 year olds waiting in the cupboard. Also some items only need buying once - like a cot, high chair, stair gates and fireguard...... But on the other hand there is a new grandchild due in April so...................
- Cars - Surely, surely there won't be so many repairs needed this year? Having decided it would be difficult to be here with only one car with all the hospital stuff going on, we swapped the big Hyundai for another Fiesta that won't cost much if it's not used but cheap to run when needed.
- Water and Sewer - Going down from £34 a month Mrs F was paying, to less than £20 a month after we had the meter fitted and the septic tank won't need emptying next year.
- Clothes - Got myself new lightweight jacket and shoes for summer last year and Colin had to have extra PJ trousers for hospital and braces when he lost so much weight. Won't need that spend again, I think my baggy shorts will survive another summer, they're only about 12+ years old after all! What I do need are t-shirts for summer but luckily they are one of the easiest things to find at charity shops.
- Books - obviously. As my dear succinct brother-in-law said "if you didn't buy another book you still wouldn't have time to read all you've got before you peg out!" - He's wrong of course.
- House stuff - simple - don't buy anything for the house. Well, it ought to be simple until something breaks down or wears out.
- Electric, oil and LPG gas - As mentioned yesterday we are careful with what we use and have plenty of wood for the wood burner. I have no intention of feeling cold, eating raw food or getting rid of the TV.
- Phone/broadband. A lifeline for us that is due to increase when our contract runs out in March. We shall have to look for something cheaper. Col's mobile is £7.50 a month and mine is pay as you go.
- The Beach hut - Bought to aid Colin's recovery and to help us adjust to town living. Now we are back in the country. I'm going to pay ground rent this year and see how much we use it. If not often then it will have to be sold.
- Food Shopping - When we were first married this was an area that I could save in, when we had 3 children and a low income I still saved here and when we budgeted to pay off the mortgage so many years earlier than the original date I saved here again. I'm not sure I want to cut back on food spending yet again, but......
Spoke too soon saying we only had one trip to Addenbrookes hospital this week. Col had headaches and high temperatures so they said "better come in". After a whole day of tests and scans they decide to keep him in so I came back alone. Good thing we had taken his hospital bag and meds just in case.
Ho Hum............. the joys of serious illness but thank heavens for the NHS.