Thursday, 26 March 2020

Strange Times Week 2 Post 2

The first serious effect of the virus has hit the family. The Surrey family find themselves both out of work - Son in Law was in a new job in a new start-up company and has been told that as he is at the end of his 3 month trial they no longer want him as they are not carrying on with the company until they know whats happening. Daughter went self-employed and freelance in the fashion industry last summer and that has all stopped. Talk about bad timing.......So suddenly no jobs and no income except the £94 Universal credit  they can claim and no savings having spent a lot on modernising and extending their old cottage a year ago. Oh My Goodness.
Youngest Daughter's job at the opticians has finished for the foreseeable future and her Other Half has also stopped work as he does ground-works on construction sites. Another self-employed person. Another family with no savings. It's such a worry.
Thankfully DiL is on Maternity leave benefits but might not have a job to return to later as she works for a big brewery, Archaeologist Son has been doing paperwork from home and should be covered by that government 80% thing.
Hopefully something will be announced to help the self-employed later today.

Eldest Daughter asked me to share tips for money saving to help everyone who finds themselves in the same situation with no income. I suppose it's true that for a long time early in our married life we lived on very little money so maybe the things learned then should be shared.

  1. The first thing to do would be to straightaway spend NOTHING except on food.  This sounds straightforward but it is something that people who've always been used to having money wouldn't be used to doing.
  2. Look at the Martin Lewis Money Saving Website website - he has up to date info on what help is available.
  3. Write down everything that you usually have money going out of your bank for. You need to know this so you can look at each item individually. There is a spreadsheet available on the MSE website - see above.You've now got time to do this and you need to see it in black and white. Here are some ideas to start with............
  • Mortgage/rent
  • Council tax
  • House insurance
  • Electricity/Gas
  • Water/Sewer charges
  • Food
  • Car/fuel/insurance/MOT
  • TV/Broadband/phone
  • Clothes/Shoes
  • Clubs/societies/subscriptions/donations
  • Medicines/health/prescriptions
  • Laundry/cleaning/bathroom stuff
  • Birthday gifts/ Christmas
  • Personal stuff/Hobbies
  • Pets
  • Misc other things 

I think people with mortgages have been given a three month mortgage "holiday". Some of the other expenditure can't be stopped or changed straight away. But there are things you can work on immediately.

Over the next few days I'll try and list a few ideas.

Meanwhile..............................
BiL  had a weeks holiday off work this week and was planning to come and help me on Tuesday with  cutting some small wood ready for me to cut for kindling. I was going to cook dinner for us. Of course Monday's announcement put paid to that, unfortunately the news came  a couple of hours after I'd taken 1½ Gammon steaks out of the freezer, dug my last 4 leeks out of the ground to eat with the gammon and pulled a good bundle of rhubarb to make us rhubarb fool!

So the leeks were turned into soup and some portions put in the freezer, the rhubarb was turned into two crumbles and one put in the freezer and, because I only eat half at a time, I've got 3 days running of gammon steak - Much more meat than I usually eat.
I took a photo........ but thick leek and potato soup (I'll thin it down when I heat it up) is not exactly photogenic so I won't share it with you!

I went out to Post Office and Co-op food shop on Tuesday for fresh fruit which was my first outing for shopping for 6 days - I think this is allowed.
After all the fuss about people stacking their trolleys high over the last couple of weeks I didn't understand  when I heard on TV someone complaining that they had seen a person coming out of the supermarket with just a couple of things. Not sure how that was a problem perhaps they were leaving things for other people.

And I can now leave milk in the shops for other people because when an email from Approved Food popped up two weeks ago I looked to see if they had anything useful.......hadn't shopped with them for ages. They had nappies which I was able to give to Son and DiL for Willow and Arthur, another item which were disappearing from the shelves like crazy; sugar which was something I'd missed getting and these


Not good for cutting down on plastic but.................

I also got a pack of 6 bags of Wotsits - but don't tell anyone!

Back Tomorrow
Sue

















33 comments:

  1. We purchased some crisp for the 1st time in ages, a rare treat, or maybe a meal filler.

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    1. My excuse was I needed a couple of extra things to get to the amount Approved Food need for delivery!
      So pleased to get the nappies for the littlest grandchildren, that has saved them a worry.

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  2. If someone had only 2 things in basket the query would be were they so desperate they needed to leave their house for these 2 things. It is imperative that people stay in if we are to stop the spread. I still don't believe some people understand this. In serious bouts it manifests itself as more like pneumonia.

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    1. Yes that's what they were saying and I know we have to stay in but even the Chinese were allowed out once a week. I've had pneumonia - it's nasty that's why I shall only go out once a week and keep my hands in my pockets as much as possible and well away from anyone else

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    2. Yes. Agreed. But it still leaves the question that were those two things life and death for that person. Nobody should go out unless they have to and I do realise that some people have to.

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  3. So sorry about the family employment situation. There are going to be so many people struggling to cope financially in coming days. I'm sure your children will have learned from watching you and Col as they grew up - and won't be too proud to ask for advice. We can give love, support, and ideas on being frugal (even if we can't help financially)

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    1. There are so many people in the same situation, I'm so frightened for them and fear the world will have a big recession that will go on for a long while.
      Normally SiL would find a new job easily as he is well qualified but who knows now.

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  4. Excellent practical post Sue. Really sorry about your family's problems though. I hope they've inherited your sound common sense.

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    1. I'm so worried for my family and everyone in the same situation. I hope they learned about thrifty living from me but they've not been used to going without and managing on very little so it will be a shock

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  5. It always makes it worse when it hits home. So sorry for your family employment. We have five new businesses in start up mode in our small village, preparing to open their doors for Easter. Not going to happen, and what will happen to them now? No one saw this coming.

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  6. sorry to hear that Sue. An awful situation. Let's hope people will stay inside and things can slowly start to pick up again soon.

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  7. I'm sorry to hear about your family's problems. It will be very hard for them.

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  8. Your list is good, prioritising is important. Best advice is STOP SPENDING. With your common sense approach they should pull through. Never has Money Saving Expert Martin been more needed. I do feel for the families who are going to be struggling over the coming months.

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  9. I am so sorry for your family especially as they have children. My son, B I L and grandson are self employed so there income will be cut, my daughter works in a care home, my G.D. Is in the police, my D I L is working at home, At least the clothes shops are closed. When we were younger my husband did not earn a lot but we only used his money for bills etc, the little I earn went for clothes or holidays. So hopefully we will get buy.
    It was a lovely day yesterday and it looks like it will be today.
    Keep safe
    Hazel c uk 🌈🌈🌈

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  10. Sorry to hear that, sometimes things just happen at the wrong time don’t they?

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  11. I'm hearing about quite a few people who have been let go from jobs, some I'm not entirely sure in a legal way. The government has promised that everyone should get help, let's hope so. You're a great example for your family so hopefully your tips will help them and lots of others get through this awful time xxx

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  12. Sue your post today brings home to us just how worrying and devastating the situation must be for young people just starting out. As if they hadn't enough to worry about with the virus. Take care.

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  13. i sympathize with your family, i work as a self employed mobile hairdresser and as a lot of my clients are elderly my work dried up over night, luckily i have learned a lot from reading blogs like yours and i'm not too bad at creating budget friendly meals, i was lucky enough to buy 30 eggs for £2.50 from someone whose business was closing down, so i feel a lot of egg based meals will be called for! i'm hoping the prime minister is going to come up with some help for the self employed later today, but in all the 36 years i have been working for myself we have never had alot of perks, i hope your family will get through these trying times and will be thinking of you all xx

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  14. I feel our young ones have had a rough deal for a while with house deposits etc and still it goes on now for them with jobs. It's a great worry, not only for the young or youngish, but also for us their parents, who despite the best will in the world, are unable to help financially. It may be some consolation (not much) for them to know that their present situation was not of their own making. Both my daughter and her partner are able to work from home for the present, but who knows what will happen if the work situation carries on.

    We have some spare nappies here as our youngest grand-daughter is at the end of potty training. Our daughter has told us about someone in her village who is desperate for them so they will probably go to her, but I don't know how or when.

    You have covered everything in your list and one advantage of the shops being closed is that there isn't any temptation to spend. When we get back to 'normality', do we carry on being careful or do we go mad shopping? That is the burning question.

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  15. Sue, sorry to hear about your family being out of work. Another thing that may help is they could be entitled to a reduction in council tax.
    Also in our area they are taking on in Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsburys and whilst it may not be what they normally do, it would help keep the wolf from the door. They are part time hours and I believe Tesco at least in our area have temporary 3 month contracts.
    Hope this helps. Helen S.

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  16. It's so hard to hear about your children being affected by this isn't it. We are all in the lucky (but worked for) period of our lives where mortgages are paid off and we really do have everything we need except the basics to live on ... food, heat etc

    My older son finished work on Monday, he's a foreman in the main garage keeping Thomas Armstrong trucks on the road, luckily his company are paying them their flat rate wages and his partner is on maternity leave still so they will manage. My other son is a Police call handler so his job is busier than ever, although he's totally exasperated answering the most basic questions on the 999 service. His partner works in Boots the Chemist, so she is on the front line at the pharmacy counter serving people … I do hope she stays safe. All we can do as parents is to stay 'available' long distance for phone calls and money lending … and just hope for the best.

    You could cook the gammon and then freeze it again chopped up to be added to pies or casseroles in the future … would this work for you?

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  17. I heard about the caller to a TV station regarding seeing someone with a basket of just a few things. Many people in my county live 20 miles away from a supermarket - or, to be exact, a town of 4 supermarkets. If someone has driven 20 miles, tried to do their shop as normal, found that there were some items unavailable, they are going to try elsewhere - and walk out with just a few things. Still one 'trip' in my opinion

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  18. It's an awful situation all around. My husband is able to be paid the 80% wages thankfully - lord knows how long the paper work will take though - he's now seen as a "furloughed worker" - laid off due to COVID-19 but not made redundant - he works on a construction site. I work self employed as a sub-contractor for the NHS as a clinical typist and the work has dropped although now seems to be picking up a bit due to all the out-patient appointments being done over the phone, so still a letter is needed. It's going to be a bit lean for us - we have no mortgage but we have all the other bills. My 3 grown up children have fared better thankfully - one's a teacher, one's an accountant who works for a large firm making surgical and NHS fabric for gowns etc and the the other one can work from home as a bid executive for a law firm. As for their other halves, one works for the council from home, one is a nurse so is as busy as ever and one is one maternity leave as our 3rd grandchild is only a month old. I feel so sorry for the younger generation - our middle son has only been in his house for 5 weeks - their first mortgage - I've a feeling they got it at just the right time.

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  19. Sorry to hear of your family's unemployment woes. It's hitting hard here too. Jobless claims for one week were the highest ever at 2.2 million in one week. It will go higher.

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  20. I am so thankful that our government has promised financial help to all people who are work-affected by Covid-19, from wage earners to self employed to small and large businesses. A lot of people will still struggle and the long-term ramifications are immense. We fully expect a major recession and it will last for quite some time. These are not easy times for so many, and my heart goes out to them all. I hope your family manage to get help and make it through these hard times. Mxx

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  21. I'm sorry to hear about your family. You gave some excellent tips for helping to cut costs. This can be helpful to many people these days. Most of us older ones know how to stretch our money but I suspect there are some younger ones that may not have yet learned. The unemployment is the highest ever in our country. This will cause difficulties for a long time and wake up a few people to many realities of life. Please take care. I appreciate you being there.

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  22. So sorry for your families troubles - it must be such a worry for you.
    Here the Federal Govt. passed a bill yesterday basically ensuring that almost everyone gets $2000 per month for the next 4 months and that includes self-employed. They have streamlined everything into the Emergency Benefit program so there is no confusion as to which benefit to apply for - they have also upped the monthly child benefit credit and Seniors will get a bit extra via the GST benefit if their income is below a certain amount. Mortgages can be deferred for 6 months, students loan repayments are deferred for 6 months and even Visa and Overdraft interest is being deferred etc. The province even announced that we are all now on the lowest hydro electric rate (that usually kicks in after 7pm) but it recognizes that so many are now working from home or simply staying at home and using more electricity during the highest rate time. Hopefully the UK Govt. will get onboard quickly with similar sorts of packages for people. Good luck and stay well,

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  23. Thanks for your tips even though I won't be able to use some of them living in Canada. I appreciate your suggestions and your effort to help us along...no matter where we are. Well done and please keep up the good work and stay safe.

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  24. Sending best wishes from Australia where the situation is basically the same. Cloth nappies are making a comeback. Many mums have the readymade ones but if you can't buy any toweling and flannelette can used 'old style' I hear those who can remember how to fold them are giving lessons on FaceTime etc.A brilliant Australian blog is Down to Earth and Rhonda has been covering budgeting and cooking etc these last few days.Sending you all virtual hugs(the only legal sort now)

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  25. https://www.youtube.com/embed/Bk7RVw3I8eg?clip= try this may have to copy/paste. x

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  26. Things have gotten very scary, more and more people without work and no savings. I hope your family weathers the rocky road ahead.

    God bless.

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  27. sorry for the employment situations your family are facing. my son was redundant and joined his brother in the supermarket picking warehouse, many supermarkets are taking on staff - its not their chosen career but it pays and keeps them busy and they are very much needed so I am pleased for them although worried that they are exposed to so many colleagues. Flour is so hard to find, I don't understand why as the majority of this nation doesn't bake!

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  28. I'm sorry about the job losses. My husband is losing his job today - at least for the time being. I'm trying not to worry too much. We've been through tight times before.

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