Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tightening the belts...

So the new era of financial abstinence has begun (though you might not believe that after I had been to town yesterday!)

Knowing that this employment situation was about to occur, a few weeks ago I purchased a (discounted) copy of India Knight's The Thrift Book. Now I like India's journalism, often finding myself agreeing with her, and I enjoyed The Thrift Book as expected. But as I read all too often I found myself thinking hey, I already do that. We've always swapped children's clothes with friends, I've been a keen crafter for years and I am far too familiar with eBay, to give just a few examples. Let's face it, India Knight and I move in different circles and most of my friends and I have been thrifty by her standards for years. So not too many savings to be made there.

I'm looking at ways of reducing the food bill. Since I became ill in the summer I have been unable to drive, so started using the Tesco home delivery service. I find it successful because it eliminates most impulse buying, but of course you have to pay for the convenience (though this week's delivery charge was refunded because they were late due to a van breakdown.) Now Hubby will be home we will probably go to the store together and it will be interesting to see if the weekly food cost rises or falls as a result!

I've booked an appointment with a benefits advisor next week, as our situation is complicated by the fact that we have a disabled child and of course my own capacity to work is currently in question. Hubby will be busy with the winding up of the company for the next few weeks, even though his work will be unpaid. As a director it is his responsibility to provide the receiver with all necessary information.

Then we will sit down and look at all our options. I have a lot of voluntary sector experience in an unpaid capacity, but of course that sector is even more cash-strapped than most and job opportunities locally are now rare. I am also investigating how much it would cost me to retrain to get back into some form of accountancy, albeit at a lower level than when I left the profession eighteen years ago. But I do wonder if it is worth the investment, if I won't be able to get a job at the end due to my health, and of course I would much rather be doing something home-based and writing related...

7 comments:

lacer said...

I found that about Knight's book too, I think economy when you're used to, what is to most people, an extremely comfortable lifestyle, is different from what economy means to the 'average' person, who didn't have money to splash around in the first place! It's a bit like that Economy Gastronomy programme that was on TV recently, what each family was spending on food prior to the programme was outrageous and way beyond what 'normal' people spend, so their economy version was still more than what everyone else is spending already!

Good luck in finding work!

Cathy said...

Thanks lacer!

I haven't actually watched Economy Gastronomy, but I've read your blogs about it and looked up some of the recipes online and quite agree.

Cx

JJ Beattie said...

That's what I'd read and heard about The Thrift Book too. I do like her writing though. Good luck with the benefits advisor and the hunt for work.

SueG said...

Good luck with everything! I don't know India Knight's work well, but I'll now keep an eye out for it.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It's a flippin' horrible time for folk, but I expect it will get better. Just to say though, I get a child tax credit because on paper I hardly earn any money (in reality I don't earn anything - complicated farm business stuff - I'm a partner) but I do get a little extra in my child tax credit because Amy is classed as disabled. Consolation perhaps? Depends how you look at it.

Money's been tight for us too this year, made virtually nothing in the Harvest even though bills still to be paid etc. I've started using ASDA home delivery and found it cheaper. Can't do Tesco as they won't deliver to our area, we live out in the sticks!!

Hope it gets better for you. It's a big boat, and a lot of people are in it.

CJ xx

Cathy said...

JJ, Sue and CJ, thanks for the good wishes.

CJ is right, these are hard times but things will get better, it always does. This time however I think it will take longer than usual for that recovery to take place.

Casdok said...

Sounds like you are being very sensible. Good luck with the benefits advisor!!!