Sunday, 30 June 2013

On Frugal Queen's blog today we have been discussing where we get our clothes.  Seems I'm not the only one who likes Cotton Traders.  A blatant bit of advertising here! All though they are not particularly in the budget range they are so well made that they are worth it.  My last buy very recently is a cardigan for £31.  Not cheap but will last for years.

This is the link to the cardigan:

This is the image.  Sorry, lack the technical knowledge to make it any bigger!  Copy the link into your browser and you can see all the details.

Let me know what you think about Cotton Traders, and if you can recommend any other online shops I would love to know about them.  Not being slim, I love to shop online!

Click here to view larger version

Thursday, 27 June 2013

I have been looking at nine to five's post for today.  Quoted here:

"Is the doorbell there for your (as a householder) convenience or is it a thing to be obeyed?

The doorstep is a bit of an ambiguous place, yes, it's a part of my house but it's also a place where strangers can spend time without your permission. I generally ignore my doorbell to be honest, unless I know it's a man bringing hay or a pre-arranged visitor. So when I walked past my door fully 7 minutes after the doorbell had chimed I didn't really expect to find two people standing there. I then felt obliged to open the door, after all they could see me. 

The problem with opening the door to strangers is they have the upper hand, whether it's the postie asking me to take a parcel for the guy next door, whether it's a man telling me how rubbish my driveway is and would I like him to make me a new one or as it was today, people demanding to exchange views on existential matters and the concept of truth. They have the upper hand because they already know what they're going to say, plus they have a leaflet. I, on the other hand, have only a smiling face and the willingness to take in spare parts for a Vauxhall Corsa.

Still, we did have a very nice chat, we're on first name terms (I was so bewildered I even forgot to offer a false name as I usually do in this situation) and they were very lovely and interesting people. I have written some notes on the leaflet as I said I would for when they come back or another chat. On their part I assume they're off to google nihilism. I thought I'd go for that as semantic holism would have lead us to be there all day. I do have all day, don't get me wrong but I just don't think we would have got anywhere."

Not going to the door if it's no-one I'm wanting to talk to sounds like a good idea.  Time and temper saving.  My response to this post:

 "I have hardly thought about ignoring a knock or ring at the door, to be honest.  It sounds like a brilliant idea.  We have fallen out with our next door neighbours and I know that I wouldn't answer the door to them even if they could see me.  I wouldn't hide away - I would just not answer the door - I would put the chain on because the guy is agressive and drinks a bit too much. I hadn't considered not going to the door to sales people etc.  I always answer and then I'm a bit short with them - better not to go to the door in the first place - again I wouldn't hide away - I would just not go to the door.  I will expermiment with this idea and let you know how I get on! I already screen phone calls.Life is just too short to spend trying to get rid of cold callers - despite us being on the telephone preference list. "

It might seem rude but I know that when I answer the door to random callers I come across as a bit rude anyway so if I just don't answer....

Friday, 21 June 2013

I have put a post on  Lovely Grey Day's blog. See my list of great blogs at the side of my posts.  I have reproduced it here:

"I like the idea of the 5:2 regime.  FOr a long time now I have not been spending anything at the weekends! THis has not been hard.  I just haven't been out.  I have recently tried not spending anything on one of the work days.  That is much harder for me.  We have collections at work for colleagues who might be sick or be having milestone birthdays.  We have a lottery syndicate.   Snacks. I have been taking only the amount of money I need for things that I really have to buy.  I can do that but often I have to break into a note and then I'm tempted to spend some of the change.  I'm inspired now to have one regular working day when I don't buy anything.  I'll make it Monday so that it's done and then I can let you know how I've got on.  Does anyone else feel a bit insecure if they don't take a few pounds out with them? a bit pathetic, and something I need to get over. As long as I've got enough lunch and snacks there's really nothing to worry about."

Have a look at her blog so you can see the rest of the discussion.  We were thinking about not spending for a couple of days a week.What does everyone else spend during the working week?  Is anyone prepared to confess if they're buying smart coffees, mega lunches, magazines, chocolate, taxis?

This coming Monday I'm not going to take money (or cards) with me to work.  For me that's a bit scary so I'll let you all know how I get on!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

I'm trying to spot new blogs these days that can give some great tips on budgeting and simplifying my life. Have a look at this one!

I have been clearing my financial clutter lately in an effort to start simplifying my financial life.  I am ashamed to say that I haven't opened my bank statements since the beginning of 2011.  I have been opening them for the last three weeks and I'm getting on top of things.  I'm opening them as soon as they arrive and jotting on the bottom any bills still outstanding for the month and any money that I've taken out since the last statement or anything that I've spent on  my debit card. That's working well.  I won't make any excuses for not bothering for 18 months.  I just had my mind on health worries.  I haven't got into debt.  I have got a rough idea in my mind of what is available to spend, but I haven't saved anything.  

That has to change!

I'm getting an idea of where I am and then I'm going to start saving in a small way and then build up. Watch this space!

If you've got any - very simple- budgeting tips or tips for keeping up with the never-ending financial paperwork - please post them on my blog.  Any advice very welcome!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

I think that hypnotherapy has very possibly worked.  I am having a dental operation soon and I have been really anxious.  That has worn off now.  I am tailing off the appointments now and just listening to the mp3 downloads that the hynotherapist gave me.  It's a relief to be having less appointments. Although they are cut price with a hynotherapist in training it's still been a drain on my finances.  What with all the extra expenses I've been racking up lately - car parking at the hospital when my friend takes me - coffees and snacks in the hospital cafe - buses to my nearest big town - a taxi to the hospital itself which is not on a bus route - etc, etc - I am now having to get really serious about cutting down on my spending. Any tips?
I am starting out by tracking all my spending on a budget sheet.  That is taking some getting used to, but I'm putting aside time when I get in from work to make a note of anything I've spent during the day and to go through any statements that have come in the post.  All very basic I know- but I'd stopped tracking my spending.  
If anyone can give me any- simple - tips, I would be very grateful.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

I have found another great blog today - Be More with Less:

I found a brilliant post about living with a partner's clutter - one of the great challenges of my own life:

My partner is definitely a clutterer but I am not entirely blameless myself so I have learnt to just close my eyes to it.  Not easy but it has helped our relationship. The clutter in our home definitely contributes to the anxiety I feel as it's difficult to have people over - nowhere to sit. It has been the source of problems with family and friendships.  There's no easy answer but complaining about it just doesn't help us.  My partner is great in so many ways so I have learned to appreciate all the other things that he does.  I anyone else has clutter problems please let me know how you are dealing with it.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

I have been looking for some budgeting help, what with my extra expenditure for trips to the hospital for my big dental treatment and associated expenses, such as hypnotherapy.

I've come across this post from one of my featured blogs - Christian Personal Finance:

This is a great post that explains clearly a very simple budgeting system. I'm not one for anythig complicated so this really suits me.  In many ways it can seem  quite old fashioned, using envelopes for various expenditure,but it's so easy that it really works.  I have tried in the past using a highly computerised spreadsheet system and I found it so hard to stick to that I just gave up.  See what you think about this system and let me know.

I need to start seeing where my money goes.  If anyone else can help me with budgeting I would be really grateful.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

I think that hypnotherapy is finally helping me to relax.  I've been a lot less anxious generally.  I've listened to the mp3 every night while I'm going to sleep.  I've also been trying not to dwell on my upcoming operation and I've stopped researching on Google.  That was definitely not helping me! I was looking up the possible side effects of an anaesthetic and immediately my heart started to pound and I felt a bit weak.  Lesson learned!

I've realised that having an operation is not the free process that the NHS would have us believe.  The actual procedure is free - although I would even debate that.  I pay £90 a month national insurance so I do believe that I've more than paid up front for this operation.

As well as the actual operation I've had a trip to my "big" hospital 20 miles away to see the dental consultant.  That was a train trip costing £5 plus a taxi to the hospital, £8. I've had two prescriptions for sleeping tablets which haven't helped a jot, hence the hypnotherapy.  That's £15.70 for two prescriptions.  Hynotherapy has been cut price, thank goodness, as I've gone to someone in training. £8 a session for three sessions so far. I probably sound as if I'm moaning, but this has a point.  I'm having to cut back on general expenditure, hence my new interest in simplifying my life.

I've had a look for blogs on simplifying my life, and I have found loads so far.  I've had a good look at this one and it seems great - full of useful tips:

Frugal Queen is the name of this blog. Brilliant.  Have a good look.  Cooking when you can't be bothered is today's post and I'd definitely say that's one for me.  Cooking and me don't get along at the best of times!  Cooking from scratch has to be cheaper than ready meals so I'll have to investigate!  Let me know what you think.