Income this month was the usual State pension and the Spouses pension from the Council. Plus the £200 Government help with heating costs for those without gas AND the £67 help for electric...... both have been credited to my electricity account, so there was nothing to pay for electric this month and I'll be in credit now for a while longer. Although prices go up again in April so who knows. It doesn't seem long ago that £267 would have have covered a whole years electricity easily!
The other big expense was paying for having new trellis and posts. It's the same as what was there before, but now properly fixed onto full height posts that have been concreted in, rather than just pushed into the ground. Hides the oil tank and a provides bit more privacy
I also checked out sons hand-held-battery-powered-mini-compressor-air-inflator machine thing and it looked easy enough for even an idiot like me and the reviews were good too so I've bought one and hopefully next time the car tyre warning light comes on it will be easy for me to check and put air in wherever I am.
My personal spending was for swimming, second hand books, some new socks, WI Knit and Stitch group and a bunch of tulips.
The letter came from the DWP about the state pension increase from April - a bigger % than last years rise due to it being based on the rate of inflation last September - or something like that. It was immediately followed by notification from the Tax office with next years Tax Code. 2 pensions make an income of just over the tax free limit so they like to take a chunk off the Council Spouses pension just to make sure I never get too wealthy!
No Council Tax Direct Debit this month (and next) - I expect we will soon hear how much it's going up ready for when payments start again in April. I'm band D currently paying £145 for each of 10 months (single person discount) if it goes up 5% that's an extra £7 a month - roughly.(Wiping out part of the Pension increase!) Very glad I moved from Clay Cottage as that was band F and had been creeping toward £2,000 a year.
Thrifty notes : - Small ways of saving on the mundane and boring to be able to have enough for the necessary and the interesting instead.
- Making sure to shut curtains as soon as it gets dark
- Mixing milk half and half with water
- Home made bread
- Still using the home grown onions and frozen peppers
- Picking right days to do the washing so it can go out on the whirly
- Only used tumble dryer for the new towels to get rid of more of the fluff
- Using minimum of laundry liquid and more washing soda instead.
- Making sure to buy eggs when passing the roadside stall on way to swimming. £1 for ½ dozen
- Not buying alcohol, soft drinks etc
- Not buying make up and 'products'
- Using only 2nd Class post
- No magazines or newspapers except the Radio Times.
- Free library books
- Using lots of batch made meals from freezer
The help with the heating costs has been much appreciated. I have kept myself warm. Especially good when I was ill.ReplyDelete
I'm sure that as one ages keeping warm is important for keeping wellDelete
The trellis looks lovely and will be a great place to sit out when your plants grow and the weather warms up!ReplyDelete
It makes a nice area in summer as long as the next door children are not outside and shouting and bouncing on their trampoline!Delete
Looking good for March, Sue and the trellising will be lovely in the summer - somewhere more private to sit and enjoy the evening air. xxReplyDelete
It's not a very warm area mornings or evenings so I don't often sit out thenDelete
There is something elegant about trellising, and it always has the added bonus of climbers and roses to grow up it.ReplyDelete
I've got the new Minarette Apple trees there and some old climbers which might come backDelete
You're very organized. Thank you for reminding me to order oil - the threat of snow in March makes me want to be ready for it! We have never paid for water - always had our own private supply (spring water) - which is common in rural Wales. So that's something we save on.ReplyDelete
Yes, don't run out of oil! We might get snow in MarchDelete
I have been on a water meter since 1991 and always treated water as a precious resource and probably saved thousands of pounds in the process. I enjoy looking at the pie charts and graphs showing how much water I have used compared to the ‘average’, it is always way below. But I never water the garden. Instead I compost everything and apply a thick layer of homemade compost mulch to the veg plot (I have been an organic no dig gardener from the beginning) and around all my hungry plants like roses, clematis and the apple and crab apple trees. This time of year I enjoy nothing more than getting stuck into my compost heaps, it is completely free, a fantastic body workout and gets me glowing on a cold day. We have almost used up our two ton delivery of wood and as we love a fire in the evening while listening to the radio and reading or knitting we’re going to the local woodyard today to pick up a bulk bag of logs, just under a metric ton is £90 so that will be good exercise moving it from car to the cupboard under the stairs. The woodyard is high up in the Downs so we’ll have a lovely walk somewhere different too. Sarah in SussexReplyDelete
I was very surprised to find the previous owners hadn't had a water meter fitted.Delete
I had a water meter fitted when I moved in here 5 years ago and agree the difference is cost is astonishing.ReplyDelete
Having had septic tank for so many years previously I was horrified at how much the sewer charges were when based on Council Tax band. Much less with a meterDelete
We've been on a water meter since moving house last April and I can't believe the savings we've made. I wish we'd sorted it out at our last house now.ReplyDelete
It's a massive saving unless there are lots of children in the houseDelete
A lovely private spot in the garden with your plants. Too bad it can't always be a quiet spot, too. Would your new trellis weather to a lovely grey on it's own?ReplyDelete
The fence is treated so would probably weather nicelyDelete
Sue, this is a site to download digital versions of magazines. It’s a bit of a faff, but you can get Radio times amongst other things, and save yourself the cost. Love your blog, Ann T
I like my paper version of the RT and dont need to read any other magazinesDelete
I’ve seen trellis like that painted matt black - with flowering honeysuckle growing up it - and it look gorgeous.ReplyDelete
I haven't decided what to do - will think about the slate grey or notDelete
I like your trellis very much. Will you grow plants up it? And your personal expenditure is lovely, particularly remembering to buy flowers.ReplyDelete
U don't follow how using a meter reduces cost. Were you being charged an average flat rate before? Here everything is metered one way or another, so you're always paying pretty much what you're using.
There are already some plants at the bottom of the trellis which I had to cut hard back when it fell over so I'll see how they do although I have 3 Minarette apple trees in thereDelete
Your new trellis is beautiful. It makes your patio a nice private space with garden views. A flowering vine would look lovely on your new trellis. My large trellis is planted with clematis and it blooms most of the summer.Your utility bill is wonderfully modest. Having the meter installed was a brilliant move.ReplyDelete
There is a Jasmine and rose already there - I'll see how they doDelete
I've just had a little squeak of pain at your egg price. At the farm gate I pay the equivalent of 1.83 pounds for half dozen. In the supermarket they are 2.50 pounds. We often say we can't afford to move back to England because our pensions would be devalued but I'm beginning to re-think it.ReplyDelete
I've been so shocked at how expensive eggs are for you. They have now gone up a bit here at the farm gate but I dread the day it gets even more!Delete
we had to purchase heating oil this month too I am hoping it keeps us until June and then will fill it for the summer and should take us to Nov or Dec this year.ReplyDelete
Hoping for a mild spring and a hot summer here - but we will have to take what comesDelete
Eggs here are ridiculously expensive now. It used to be something cheap we could buy. Not anymore! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that March will be mild so the heating bills will go down.ReplyDelete
I wonder why eggs are so expensive for youDelete
The new trellis looks lovely, it is a bugger to paint, but I'm sure you know that already, and painting it does protect it from the elements and makes it last a bit longer.ReplyDelete
I would love to live in an identical little house next door to Alan and be able to compare our usages of power and water through the bills, we are total opposites. Whiled I save water carefully, reuse grey water etc and keep things switched off, he is all guns blazing on everything. It would make a fascinating comparison.