New Year Resolutions pt 6 Spend Less Save More

 At the beginning of each year many of us think this will be the year we make changes and get more out off life and become happy. In reality, not much changes and by the end of the year we feel bad for not having achieved anything that feels worthwhile.

Apparently the top 10 New Year resolutions are ;

  1. Exercise more
  2. Lose weight
  3. Get organized
  4. Learn a new skill or hobby 
  5. Live life to the fullest
  6. Save more money / spend less money
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Spend more time with family and friends
  9. Travel more
  10. Read more

I would like to do most these too, except for losing weight and quitting smoking, they are all big things, but we believe that they will make us more happy. Many people will have already given up, or like me won’t even have started yet as life gets in the way and most of the things we want are too vague and we feel overwhelmed by it or just realise it is not realistic. Then of course we get annoyed and feel like we have failed.

I have decided to write a post about each resolution, I would love to say I will do one a day, but know that is far beyond me, one a week would take us to the end of March!! So will just have to see how it goes and how much I ramble on or get distracted by other things, I am way behind even the once a week schedule, so much for resolutions!

No.6 Save More/Spend Less

Well we certainly haven’t been saving or spending less recently with having a new kitchen, it’s an expensive business, but pretty much finished now and most things have been bought. Frustratingly is that we wanted to get it done several years ago, but we couldn’t find anyone who wanted to do it and then Covid hit, so it is costing a big chunk more than it would have done, but that’s the way things go. Now it is almost finished it is a much better workspace and very bright, so a much nicer kitchen to work in, especially after 4 weeks of cooking everything in the microwave or air fryer in the dining room! Today we are having our first roast dinner in over a month and at my daughter request mashed potatoes as hob was only connected yesterday and we haven’t been able to boil anything till now. There are a few bits to finish off and splashbacks to fit in the next week or so and then the final payment to fitters. It does feel a bit like paying out for a new kitchen and equipment and then having to live on baked beans as it cost so much!! There were a few unexpected expenses like the freezer in the garage getting unplugged and losing all our gluten free frozen food and discovering we need more shelves than we ordered and storage boxes that fit in the cupboards!

On the flip side we haven’t had time to look at buying other things and haven’t made any impulsive buys. I haven’t bought any craft items, that’s not to say I haven’t looked, but haven’t being tempted. P.S Have ended up buying some white card. Emily Annoyingly my 9 month old Cricut Joy stopped working, luckily it was still under warranty so a replacement was sent, but the replacement has gone missing, tracking shows it as delivered and signed for by me!! There is also a picture of the delivery that shows it in an outside storage box that isn’t ours and we have no idea where it is. I posted the picture on Facebook to ask if anyone recognised it and had my parcel, but as is the way with Facebook I just got loads of smart comments and no help. The delivery company told us to ring back tomorrow and the sender hasn’t got back to us! To use Cricut you have to pay a subscription to use the design space so I am still paying that, but not able to use it, so rather frustrating and there were thing I wanted to make so have had to change plans as I have no idea if or when the problem will get sorted. How do you prove that you don’t have something that is sent to you and who takes the financial hit? P.S I finally got it, it had been delivered to someone along the street despite clearly having my name and address on it.

February is an expensive month is our house with 2 birthdays to celebrate and valentines day. Thankfully it quietens down a bit now.

Emily is having extra lessons after school in the run up to GCSE’s and there is not a school bus for them. we were picking her up, but now the weather is getting a bit better, well maybe and it is lighter we asked her to catch service bus and then we would pick her up from there or she can walk. We buy her bus ticket monthly so were paying her bus fare and then using petrol as well to pick her up which seemed a bit daft with financial and environmental cost to it, we also wanted her to be a bit more independent as she will be going to college next year and will have to get around by bus. Last night she went for the bus and waited nearly half an hour for the bus which runs every 15 mins, I ended up going to collect her and as I arrived there were 2 buses arriving at the stop over 40 mins since she had arrived for bus. The school is closed tomorrow except to GCSE pupils so we will have to take and collect her, it’s lucky my husband works from home and works longer hours than he used to work in office so he is able to collect her most of the time unless he is in meetings.

We have bought a tumble drier which I said I wouldn’t use a lot as they are expensive to run, but have used it a lot in last couple of weeks as there was so much washing to get done and the weather has been awful and we had very little space to hang washing to dry. It’s great being able to wash and dry so easily, but will have to keep an eye on the costs. We now have heating in the kitchen which we didn’t have before so hopefully it will get easier to dry the hung up washing once the hanging rail is in place.

We have replaced most of the kitchen appliances, the others were old and well used but still in working order. we couldn’t sell them, but did get rid of them for free with freecycle so at least some people have benefitted and will save some money for them. We shopped around for new ones getting best price we could find so had them from all over the place.

Prices have gone up so much recently, but even before that I was always shocked at the price of food and eating out. I think part of it is not having my own income and basing prices on what they used to be when I worked and did food shopping. Gluten free food is very expensive. Thankfully we don’t eat out a lot, but have done a bit more whilst having kitchen done. It feels a bit like we have spent so much getting kitchen done that now we will have to live on baked beans so don’t need a new kitchen. Hopefully we will get a bit more adventurous with cooking as it’s so much easier to work in the kitchen now.

I saw an online course I likes the sound of yesterday. I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it physically or cognitively, but it sounded great, until I saw the price, over £4,000 plus other expenses, so that was that. As I am not able to work it’s probably pointless for me to have another qualification, but I do find myself looking at things and wishing I could do them. Can I now say i have saved £4,000?!

The cost of being ill/disabled is so high, obviously equipment is not cheap, I had to buy a new wheelchair a few weeks ago as mine was dangerous. I have hearing aids which are very expensive and will probably need replacing soon. But other less visible costs are only having one income and one person paying all the tax (we would be much better off if we both had lower paid jobs or even both worked part time), needing to go by car everywhere instead of being able to walk or use public transport, being at home all the time so using gas and electric and wear and tear on the house due to constant use, having a restricted diet and specialised food being a lot more than ordinary food and no cheap alternatives, having to pay people to help with every day tasks. On the flip side we don’t go out a lot, but when we do it is expensive. Having a blue badge means that parking is mostly free, but not always and we have got caught out before and cost us a parking ticket. We need to have a car that is large enough for a wheelchair so an estate, which we may not have otherwise. When I lost my Motability car we had to find a way of financing another car which boiled down to buying a second hand car or having a lease car. Rob’s boss told him about a scheme for NHS employees which works in a very similar way to Motability and was the cheapest way for us to get a lease car. Our lease ran out in October, but our next car is delayed, despite ordering it a year ago we are probably still looking at another six months before we have it. We have been able to extend the lease on the one we have, but still paying the same for a car that is now over 3 years old so it’s not as good value at the moment, but probably still cheaper than any other way of funding a car. Emily will be able to drive next year, but won’t be allowed to drive the lease car so need to think again about a car then. The new car is a plug in hybrid and as most of our journeys are short we will probably be able to run most of the time on electric. Our electricity usage will go up of course, but should still work out cheaper than petrol and most of the charging can be done at home rather than public pay chargers. The electric range is about 42.2 miles, our longest journey normally is to family 42.4 miles away!! It may not be as cheap as it would have been when we decided to buy it, but should hopefully save a bit and it is better for the environment.

Well I have rambled on for days here so how can I spend less/save more? Mainly I think by shopping around for things and finding best price, this doesn’t really work for supermarket shopping as by the time you have driven round several shops to get best prices you will have spent the savings in petrol. Not looking at things we don’t need and not being tempted by offers on things we don’t need. Making use of the craft stuff I have rather than buying more, except for essential base materials. trying a bit harder to sell items I have made, but I am so slow at making them and so much effort is needed to sell them, it’s not really worth it. I share them on Facebook and sometimes get some interest, things that don’t sell I use myself or give to charity. Be sensible about using appliances that are expensive to run. We got an air fryer when we had no kitchen and it is much cheaper to run than the oven so we will use that more than the oven, especially when cooking small amounts.

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