Thursday, 2 April 2020

Strange Times Week 3, Post 2 Nature Notes and More Thriftyness

Last week when the weather was warmer and  I was talking to the window cleaner - from a safe distance - we both noticed a Yellow Brimstone butterfly passing by - first of the season for me. The day before that I'd seen my first butterfly of spring in the garden - a Peacock.
I wonder if the much colder weather that we've had after those sunny days last week, will send everything back into hibernation.
Out cycling and at home I've seen one hare around - probably not the same one and frequently frightened off a Buzzard, perched at the top of the Ash tree as I've walked down the meadow. I'd love to have photos but everything is always in a hurry!

I have a feeling that there will be a big recession after all the virus issues are over. Not all businesses will be able to bounce back and trade as they did before and many people will be struggling to live on less for a long time, some think 800,000 businesses will go under.
Sorry that sounds depressing but events from the past do tend to come round again and I've lived through several crisis - oil shortages, coal miners strikes, 3 day weeks,  but at least it's unlikely that interest rates will rise to 16% which is what we had to deal with in the early 90's (I think it was)

After the 9/11 event people were encouraged to go out and spend to get things back to normal and it might be the same again although I hope people don't, as adding more debt to what they might already have isn't usually a good plan.
At the moment many people are being given mortgage and council tax holidays but they will still have to be paid at a later date so you will still need to be canny with money.
So prioritise .
I would put the things that keep a roof over your head and fed or keep you from being cut off/fined at the top of the list
Council Tax
TV licence

Then CUT BACK everywhere else
And CUT OUT all those things that you know you can do without, it's time to be REALISTIC! for instance - magazine subscriptions, new phones every year, expensive beauty/hair products, designer clothing, buying something just because someone else has it already and after all you deserve it. Tons of toys for children, big birthday/anniversary/Christmas celebrations. Anything new that's available second hand. Some people go all sniffy at buying second hand but think about it..........antiques like these below have changed hands dozens of times and no one worries about that.

Antique furniture store with wooden goods

Most people move into a house that someone else has lived in - do you turn your nose up at a "second-hand" house?!

Lots of these things might have to wait until the world is back to normal, so I hope those who need to know how to manage on less will remember.

Just found a question from Kate - I get wild bird food from Garden Wildlife Direct. Usually prompt delivery and different sizes available to order

Back Tomorrow


  1. I think I'd add "basic phone" to my essentials list. I've had the same, relatively cheap, phone for years, and the cheapest pay as you go GiffGaff package. In the past month it has proved invaluable. Everything else is luxury!

  2. Wise words, Sue, thank you.

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  3. Our whole house has been furnished with 2nd hand furniture - some pieces better than others, but we have always traded up when something comes our way at the right price.

    No fripperies here at the moment - main indulgence was some wine making equipment to use up garden fruits and stuff we have foraged.

    You have made me remember my one subscription for a magazine (a quilting one) which I need to cancel.

  4. Spot on Sue. You know I agree with you ! Take care Gillx

  5. I find older furniture is much nicer than new stuff. My D, GD, D.I.L. all buy second hand clothing except underwear.
    My GD police training is cancelled so she is going to do some voluntery work.
    The sun is out again so I hope I can get outside, yesterday I had several long phone calls were nice.
    Hazel c uk 🌈🌈🌈

  6. Thanks for the bird food info!

    I'd like to think that the current financial climate would lead to more people making sure they have a safety net in future. Sadly, recent financial crises have not led to more thriftiness in the longer term. If the government bail everyone out, what incentive is there for people to better manage their money in future?


  7. We've had rather too much new furniture.The other day I was sorting out some of the old receipts we'd kept and the total is frightening. At least I can say I'm still using the mobile phone I bought in 2003.

  8. Some people may go on a wild spending spree when this is all over making up for lost time, but the people with their heads screwed on will learn a lesson from all this, hopefully.

    I believe it's mainly us oldies who appreciate the craftmanship of old furniture more, as the young ones are more for designer stuff. A room full of designer stuff doesn't have the heart and soul in it that a room full of character pieces does. Designer is just meant for show not for living and relaxing. But then each to their own. My daughter is still using furniture we gave her when she was in her bed-sit over 15 years ago, furniture we'd bought before she was born and she is now 35. I doubt designer stuff lasts anywhere near that length of time.

  9. I know one thing, I wish my parents hadn't given away their old sofa and arm chairs. They'd owned it for 20 years, I took it to America with me and brought it back, and they used it again for about 10 years before looking for something else. Right now, that 1960's style is exactly what I am looking for!

  10. I just had a thought if all the people that have been given a mortgage holiday or a Council Tax holiday, paid that money instead off their credit cards for a few months they would be able to bring their interest owed each month on their cards down once things get back to normal. Then paying the mortgage they owe and the council tax won't seem as bad.

    Hopefully a lot more people are learning about thriftiness, food saving etc at the moment, so perhaps things will change slightly when all this is over and the reliance on others doing everything for them will diminish … or perhaps it will swing the other way and they will go berserk !!

  11. I'm not sure that the people who need to learn about not overspending will remember after the fear subsides. I love secondhand furniture, but free is best! It's been amazing what gets thrown away, my own phone- quite up to date was being changed for a newer model.
    I wonder if people realise that older furniture doesn't have all the chemicals leaching out as newer furniture does?

  12. I still use the chairs that my mother bought in RAF surplus sales in the 1950a. Everything we had at home was secondhand. I have no furniture ever purchased new except my mattress for my bed. I think we of a certain age know all these things Sue, it is just the younger more fortunate generation who don't know and have a mindset that says everything has to be new, delightful, just what they wanted, and no question of taking what is available as one does on the secondhand market. When I bought my three piece from a semi junk place, house clearers, I went along on the day and just bought one that was available that sort of suited. It is no good being ultra houseproud to save money. However, this is not the way of today's world.

  13. I've already been through my yarn and fabric stash and have started making little birthday/christmas gifts for later in the year.
    All the money that the government is borrowing to pay the 80% wages will have to be paid back so for those who are fortunate to still have a job when this is over, they will be paying a lot more in tax and national insurance, so less income there.
    If there is a depression (it's going to be worse than a recession) then it'll save the landfill and oceans from filling up with 'plastic stuff' from a certain store with just two initials and who sell nothing but cheap rubbish (*&*) lol xxx

  14. It is sobering to thing so many businesses may fail, and how many people that is going to affect. It is a very harsh lesson for those who haven't been through hard times before. Talking about second-hand houses, we had a valuer once tell us our house was "beyond its use-by date" - its only fault was that it was old, and we sold it to a family who loved its character. Mxx

  15. I've paid all the bills for this month - bought all the fresh food that I will need for the month and then decided to add a bit more to the VISA payment since I can't spend money anywhere else! It really is bringing home how much we spend each week. I don't think I'll be buying furniture or much clothing this summer (unless I gain weight from eating too much) while at home but I will be heading straight to my hairdressing salon as soon as it reopens! :-)

  16. Depressing thought but I do think you are so right about us heading into a recession after this pandemic. Great money saving tips. Stay safe.

  17. When we bought our first flat the interest rate was 15.5%. I don't know how we managed with only 1 wage and three young children. As for furniture, we bought an expensive suite when we first got married but having always had cats and dogs it's always been second hand since.

  18. Big changes are ahead. In the U.S., nearly 10 million people have filed for unemployment in just 2 weeks. Those who've been through tight times will (perhaps) weather what's ahead a little better. Younger people will learn what to do. How long it will take for economies to recover remains to be seen. Too many variables right now. What's most important today is getting back to bare bones basics and encouraging one another. Thank you for doing that, Sue!

  19. Oh yes, younger people certainly do need to learn an awful lot from this time we are experiencing - saving for a rainy day comes to mind!

  20. You have very wise suggestions. I grew up with all second hand furniture and I am still using some of that same furniture. It is normal to me and to many my age but not to others.

  21. I am concerned about the economy. This isn't good, no matter how much money is thrown at it. We all have to pay the piper in the end. (or the mortician)

    I live in my parents last house, before they passed 12 years ago. I plan, to die in this house when it is my time. I'm so glad my husband and I were trying to get the house fixed before he retired this past Dec. Most things can wait. We did the roof, and the heating and AC, and put in all new energy efficient windows. It was a good decision to get those things done before we got too old.

    Today it was announced that our unemployment is at 6.6 million. That is very scary to me.

    Take care and God Bless

  22. I am pretty sure that life will change for all of us once this pandemic is over. I think we will all have to get used to doing with less or perhaps more people will buy second hand.

    I have been thinking of starting a kind of clothing exchange with friends. What is old to them, would be new to someone else.

    God bless.

  23. DH and I were having a conversation only yesterday about this and how those of us who are a certain age are in a much better position at the moment with no mortgage, no loans (for a lot of us), we enjoy being at home and don't spent money on things that are not needed. We value a good nights sleep and so long as out tummy is filled and we can enjoy a read and the garden life is good.

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