Following the recent sad/scary/stressful events, I am happy to say that I have not only survived, but also found a way to cope with the problems in a relatively calm way. I am known to panic and overreact, but this time S and I have found solutions that gave us peace of mind. Among other things I have been able to get an interest-free credit card which will pay for the bulk of what we need to spend on the car and that unexpected debt I discovered. I have accepted that our finances this year are going to be much tighter than ever; I have looked at areas where I can save money and it looks doable to say the least.
- We won't go away on holiday this year. Sadly this means I won't get to see my family, but there's always Skype.
- I won't buy any new books - I have been known to spend a small fortune on them every now and again. Books are my guilty pleasure. But I still have a few I haven't read yet, and plenty I would love to read again. There's also the library and book swapping with friends.
- I won't buy any new plants for my garden this year; I'll either grow from seeds which I already have, or propagate from cuttings etc.
- No more ''this blogger recommended a great product, I must order it on Amazon right away''.
- We won't do birthday/Christmas presents this year.
- I won't be buying new outfits for the two weddings we've been invited to this year.
- I will be stricter about sticking to the shopping list and staying within budget.
We already do a lot of other things that save us money:
- We plan meals for 2 weeks ahead
- Always shop with a list and never hungry
- We don't eat out and very rarely get take-aways
- We cook from scratch
- We don't really go out; I am a total homebody and don't like drinking; S sometimes goes out with people from work but doesn't drink either as he always drives
- I grow a portion of our own food and top up with foraged mushrooms; S catches a lot of fish
- We hand-wash our car ourselves
- We shop around for energy/phone/insurance providers and are not fussed about ''brand loyalty''
Probably a few more things I can't think of just now, but in general we aren't new to the frugal lifestyle and I know we can make it through this year.
I feel like the coming spring is making everything just a little bit easier. I look at the tiny seedlings on my window sill, at the first daffodil in my garden, at the shy-but-determined shoots of onions and garlic making the veggie patch just a little less sad and empty, at the new leaves on my strawberry plants at the chives coming back to life after the long winter and the birds curiously hopping around, and I can't help but feel a bit more hopeful.
Nature always perseveres and finds a way to thrive, and I will too.