Dc from Frugal in Norfolk blog put on a video from Martin Lewis today, he called it an open video letter to politicians, in which he stressed just how bad the financial situation is going to get - and we think it's bad now! He says the 'help' the Chancellor offered back in May, which everyone should receive later this year, has already been swallowed up (before we even get it) by the coming huge increase in energy costs, which will be even higher than predicted. Personally (and this is just my opinion) I think the likes of Rishi Sunak, and seemingly most of the MPs, are already millionaires (or even squillionaires!) and thus are pretty much sheltered from increasing prices and have no real idea of how us plebs live. They don't even know the cost of a loaf of bread or pint of milk (as some of them have demonstrated live on TV when asked!) - mind you, even we can't say with certainty as the cost of them goes up almost every week.
It is worrying, very worrying, although we're in the fortunate position of being able (currently!) to afford to pay all of our bills, put fuel in the car, pay our caravan site fees and have a reasonably good standard of living. We have cut back on things though, and will have to even more in the near future - we no longer have 2 or 3 trips out a week, rarely go out for coffee or lunch, don't go to town unless we have several things to do at once. We've swapped some branded goods for supermarket own labels. We don't eat meat as often as we used to. I've stopped buying craft supplies and won't buy any more at all until I've used up what I have. Husband borrows tools from neighbours rather than buying a new one. When something breaks or needs replacing, we try to mend it or buy a replacement second hand. I hardly ever use my tumble dryer now and when it packs up (which it will do sooner rather than later, as it makes a lot of noise) I shan't be buying another one.
We are very lucky that our home energy costs are surprisingly economical - a 1000 litre tank of oil (for our central heating, no gas in our hamlet) lasts us at least 18 months, the tank is currently just over half full so we likely won't need to get any until next year. We had an email from our electricity supplier a couple of weeks ago to say that we are considerably in credit and could decrease our monthly payment if we chose to.....we won't though as our continued overpayment and credit balance will act as a buffer against the huge 65% increase coming in October. At the caravan our monthly payment doesn't quite equal our electricity cost, however, I'm not worried about that as obviously we don't use any electricity there at all for the 4 months the park is closed. I might increase the payment in October though, in preparation for next year. Our home energy costs might be even more economical now that we've had the new roof put on and the new windows and doors are being installed next week. Although we do have double glazed windows now, they're very old, ill fitting and draughty, and the fully glazed front door is only single glazed, the new one is double glazed and only half glass with a solid bottom half.
I am fanatical about putting money away in savings, both as an emergency fund and for our site fees. The caravan might well be seen as a luxury, and it is - but it is our only means of having a holiday now that husband can't drive long distances, and to put it bluntly, it's my sanity space. I'd eat beans on toast every day if it were my only means of saving up for the site fees. Hopefully, it won't come to that!
How about you, are you worried about how you'll (or your family will) cope?