This week seems to consist of various blogs about money. Unintentionally, but here comes another one!
We have saved ourselves a small fortune recently by borrowing things from people rather than buying them. Items include: A blender ((saving £20), a digital camera ((saving £200), a rucksack (from Other Half) , a drinks bottle (from little lady) and 3 DVDs (roughly £30). There were other items, but I am sure by now you have the picture. Yes, Other Half will need a digital SLR at some point, but he didn’t need to own one for the one off birthday present of a photography tour at night. Again, I made soup, which as it was such a disaster I am loathe to make again anytime soon. Should I make it again and fair any better I shall then purchase a blender of our own. Until then we have very kind neighbours who are more than happy to lend us theirs. That is long before going into how neither Other Half, nor Little Lady were using the said items that I borrowed when I did, so their loans were of no loss to them.
And maybe that is the whole point, it didn’t cost anybody anything to lend their items to us, because we return said items in one piece, often with a small gift to say thank you. The family, friends and neighbours that kindly loan to us, save us no end of money, space and convenience (sugar, carrots, onions, milk etc borrowed rather than walk to the bottom of the road when you have already started dinner) though.
By borrowing, everyone is a winner and that includes the environment!
At least once a week I go through our accounts as a family. Ideally to check what has been paid and what remains outstanding. For the last few years though it has been to check that we are not overdrawn! How can it be that we only in the middle of the month and already I am borrowing from the children?
As sad as I felt doing the accounts, it was doing the weekly shop – having borrowed said money from the children – that almost reduced me to tears. A not insignificant budget was overspent by 17 pounds. I realise that 17 pounds doesn’t seem much, but if you were to see what the shopping budget that I had was and the state that our accounts are in, you would be on the verge of tears too.
I came home and told the Other Half that that things were going to have to change. In future we needed to bake bread and biscuits, make soup and popcorn and cut down things like orange juice to once a day. I also said that we would all be on the same cereal, bought in the family size, rather than the 4 different varieties we all eat at the moment.
Brave words, but my heart started to sink even as the words left my mouth. To be honest food is one of the few joys that we still have – a social life together seeming to have gone out the window once we had children!
Yes I am going to start trying to make certain things, starting with tomato soup and scaling down the volume of what I buy, bearing in mind that each purchase now is around 1 pound. Primarily though I am shopping online next week. Not only will I not espy all the items I would usually throw into the trolley without further thought, but hopefully I won’t miss them either. And as my total bill amounts to a few pounds under budget I shall smile and reward myself with a well deserved chocolate bar, thereby hitting my limit!
Just please don’t let there be any substitutions!