A broke bloke!

Two broke blokes…

It’s time to get my act together, to act my age(?) and sort out my spending habits.

Alright, so I am not totally to blame for exhausting all our savings… moving house and needing to buy furniture and white-goods is largely the cause.

Still, that doesn’t excuse my crazy spending of late. Not that we go mad often, rarely do we spend thousands but those odd hundreds do add up! Nor have we ever had an extravagant lifestyle. Both our childhoods were let’s say less-well-off than most.

It’s only in the last few years that we’ve had any spare cash, so can you blame us for going on a little spending spree? In fact, we don’t really like money and it’s not that we don’t understand its value. I often say I hate money and the fact that it drives us (as a species) to destroy our planet and kill each other for resources that will inevitably bring us more money is for me an obvious indicator that something is not right.

Capitalism sucks! I am not saying other options from the past are any better, but basically our current system is no longer doing enough to better our world and make people’s life’s happier/healthier. Change is painful but we need it and so does our planet.

I have in the past toyed with the idea of reducing the money I spend and my dependence on systems that I dislike, I have allowed myself to spend a little more in order to be self-sufficient and spend less in future. I even got myself a copy of The Moneyless Man by Mark Boyle. Thing is, I have always fallen back into old habits.

Now though, the option is not mine. We are running out of money and we have a few small loans to repay and credit card bills to clear. These are tiny compared to some people’s debt, but they need to go not grow.

So let me outline a few changes we hope to make/are making, others we will avoid and how I think we are already getting it right.

Looking after the pennies?

Cutting back on the few splurges we have, namely food, craft supplies and gadgets, should help us clear those loans and credit cards as well as narrow our expanding waistlines.

Being aware of the amount of electricity and water (and gas) that we use and really cutting back on unnecessary machines, gadgets, gizmos and anything that cannot be done with (hu)man power. I’ve banned the vacuum, what’s wrong with a brush and broom? I have packed away the coffee machines and dusted off the French press. The kettle will need to be sold and replaced with a smaller, more energy-efficient albeit Soviet in style, one. I have already started boiling the amount of water needed and not filling up the kettle each time.

I am also looking into alternatives like solar power, worm farming, composting and other things to help avoid needing to spend money in future on things like fertiliser, this will be crucial for us to grow our own food.

Cancelling subscriptions is the last thing for now. No more Netflix, Xbox One Gold and cloud storage. I’ve dusted off our slightly archaic external hard drive and have already started transferring files for backup. We will also reduce our mobile contracts, going for less data, but I am limited on this due to needing free calls for work. Still, even a little drop in price will help.

Keep them pounds!

Well, Euros. We will cancel our plans to purchase those last little things we needed for our new home. A bed frame, a microwave, sofa and some drawers or cupboards. Luckily our mattress is comfortable enough on the floor, we can make use of cardboard boxes for storing things and let’s see (do some research on) whether a microwave would save us electricity or not.

Another big spend that would then suck up more dosh is a car. We would really only need it to visit places out-of-town on the weekend. We will have to go on as we have done, going to those places that public transport can reach.

I will switch the fridge and boiler into economy setting and will ensure we do the same with the washing machine.

We do watch a lot of TV or play computer games, having the telly on and games console is very likely the biggest power consumption. I am trying to reduce how much I watch, where we live there are a series of free channels. The quality is awful and the amount of advertising makes them painful at times. Yet if this is my only source of visual media, that could well help me kick the addiction. I am not going to ask or nag my partner to stop playing his games… well, not just yet. Meanwhile I will switch to our old, smaller, cheaper to run TV.

That’s all I can think of for now.

Our little piggy bank.

We don’t take long holidays in far-flung places, taking day trips on public transport helps us save some cash.

We only go out to cafés and restaurants once in a while.

We try as best we can to take care of ourselves, our teeth and even cut our own hair.

We grow a few veggies and herbs, namely tomato and basil. For sure we will try to expand our green patch. Although I do not want to lose flowers that are beneficial to insects, these will lose priority to edibles.

We have little solar charges to top up our smart phones for longer days out and we use minimal heating during the winter. Admittedly we are guilty for leaving fans on too much during the summer.

We do put down extra warmer rugs in colder months and put on more/thicker pjs plus wrapping ourselves in blankets. The opposite being true in the heat, we’re not afraid to go all the way and be nude. ;-)

We only buy in food when we need it and avoid wasting, the extra snacks that creep in with each visit needs to stop.

We walk or cycle in town only paying to travel to other places nearby.

As I said, we are not big spenders, not really.

I am now thinking of more and more things to discuss, but I’d like to leave it here for now and write about these in another post.

Wish us luck!

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