Saturday, 27 July 2013
Hello Dear Reader,
In the UK, we have see drastic price increases since 2007. However, on average, wages have risen by 1.5%. A lot of people have lost their jobs, their homes and are having real financial difficulties. We are faced with making a sensible choice with housing and downsize to a small house where we can pay off the mortgage sooner rather than later. Dearly Beloved and I both took pay cuts. My own, was my choice and I need go no further into the details on that matter. On the other hand, Dearly Beloved's public sector pay cut was not of his choosing. We now earn (after tax) £650 less a month than we did a couple of years ago.
Our bills have not shrunk, they've just got bigger. Fuel is 52% more expensive than it was when we moved into this house is 2007. Food is 32% more expensive than it was in 2007. The huge increases in energy bills for our homes in the UK have risen 30% in the last three years. In real terms, we earn a massive amount less than we used to. Throughout all this, we've paid off debts, over paid our mortgage to the point that we've paid £52K back since we moved in here in 2007. Some where along the line, just to keep our heads about water, something has to give.
We heat only part of our house with a wood stove instead of running the central heating. We have four minute showers and no longer have baths. We cook in our mini oven and use our microwave. We fill a Thermos flask with water to save boiling the kettle repeatedly. We wash our car with a bucket and sponge to save water. We only buy what we really really need. We save every penny we can so we can cover any eventualities. We even got married on a tiny budget and just had FM and MW for guests and ate lunch in a fish cafe. I make any gifts I give. We don't eat out. We home cook everything but even that is getting more and more expensive.
I look for alternatives so we don't have to give up fruit and vegetables completely. I eat natural yoghurt with tinned fruit (in juice) to get protein and vitamins for breakfast. I supplement our shopping bill with frozen fruit and veg and some tinned too. I am not going to beat myself up any further because I can't buy a veg box. I would love to make cut backs but when I look at everything we've cut back already, I just wonder where I can cut back any further.
I am not going to feel guilty about buying my clothes in Matalan (for work and about once every two years), shopping for groceries in Aldi or opening a tin of 19p spuds (we had some roasted and they were fine). I am not going to feel guilty about having to admit that I need to downsize to pay off my mortgage sooner rather than still have it to pay when I'm retired.
Let's be real! There are families out there who only ate today because a food bank fed them. Today and every day, families are losing their homes, their jobs and desperately trying to cope with benefits cuts, bedroom tax and reduced wages and ever increasing prices. My message to everyone is just to do your best, if you best is frozen fruit with Aldi plain yoghurt then give thanks that you can afford that!
It's a hard world, I'm coping but thousands and thousands don't - let's give them, and their 19p tinned potatoes, a frickin' break!
Love Froogs xxxxxxx