Friday 22 July 2022

Worrying times ahead

 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?


  1. Yes, the cost of everything is increasing, seemingly every day, and not just by a penny or two. We're fortunate in that we have savings, but there were times when we had nothing. In our early married life, we survived for 2 weeks alternating between beans on toast and packet soup, so your comment about beans made me smile, albeit wryly. I do fear for people with no financial buffer. Every price increase will hit them hard. I don't know the answer to it all. I just hope "the powers that be" can find the solution, but as you say, most of them have never been skint, or anywhere near it, so can't see the problem. xx

  2. I am concerned too about the ongoing worsening financial situation. Here in the US it is being made much worse by Biden's trillion dollar spending bills. Help! I hear you, that your caravan is your sanity space, that is very valuable to you and worth keeping for sure. I am fine, I just hope the economy does not crash.

  3. It is worrying isn’t it hence we continue to save and buy extra food at the cost it is currently as a bit of a buffer.

  4. It is okay here in the U S for now…when I Visited here in Florida seeing son and family in 2017-2021…I was shocked at prices…could not believe them…now they are about the same…gas of course but that is to be expected with all going on…this year was one of the higher years for Social Security increases and next year to be the same…that was a surprise…not much but better than past couple of years…it comes and goes…our country is spoiled and many find it difficult to be frugal…I am quite frugal and always have been…good luck…I know you love your vacation home and need it…

  5. One good thing happening in the U S some people like me are not buying as much…some of the bigger stores are lowering prices because of this…that is good…

  6. Wow, and I thought our increases for natural gas and electric were high at 16% and 11%. Yours are outrageous.

    Doing what I can to mitigate the increases and hoping that our sons can do the same.

    God bless.

  7. It's nice to hear you sounding so positive, and it's reassuring to be in a relatively safe position isn't it. Thank goodness your landlord has changed the windows and doors for you, it all helps.

    We are in a very good position, with our various mortgages paid off and rent coming in, plus both working in our own company we have a good level of financial control. The bills for our individual homes are paid as one payment as we share all the meters. While I am very economical with heating, water usage and everything that I buy, Alan is a lot more slapdash, but things balance out in other ways and we are on a path that we will be able to manage hopefully for the long-term.


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