Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Do I Go On?

 

With fuel prices of every description soaring over recent weeks, and things only set to get worse as the vehicle fuel prices start to affect the prices of everything in the shops I am seriously wondering if I should even go on with my Challenge.

Just over two months into the Challenge I feel de-railed and unsure of what I'm doing.  My total No Spend Year failed miserably and now my Low Spend Challenge may go the same way.  Am I just down because of world events or what ... I really don't know.

Alan needed to top up his tank yesterday to get to work and for half a tank of diesel it was over £70, luckily for us fuel for the vehicles is a business expense so it doesn't hit us too hard in our personal pockets, but it's still shocking.

The food prices in all the supermarkets are creeping up and not slowly, they leap up in 10p or 20p increments which must be absolutely terrifying for those people truly living on a tight budget.   I feel wrong in so many ways to be playing at having a tight budget just for budgeting's sake.

Anyway I'm thinking long and hard about it all at the moment, I thought it only fair to warn you.


Sue xx



34 comments:

  1. It is worrying, Sue, prices of both fuel and food have risen in leaps and bounds every time we go out....and the energy price rises from next month are astronomical. I know what you mean though, it's almost like we're lucky we actually have food and fuel and homes to worry about, when so many Ukrainians no longer have any of that. Personally speaking, we are going to have to make cutbacks where we can though, we have no choice.

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  2. It's very understandable to feel de-railed and very unsettled right now. But I don't think you're being quite fair to yourself saying that you are 'playing' although I think know how you feel. However, surely we should all be taking much more care (preaching to myself here) of our finances in these troubled times. It is becoming much more of a responsibility.
    You will probably need to take a careful look at actual amounts, but I don't think you should abandon the challenge completely, just amend it in the light of local, national and world events.
    (and, yes, fuel is absolutely shocking at the moment, whatever the actual reason)
    xx

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  3. I went shopping yesterday and I think that you may have to modify your challenge further. So many basic foods are rising and there's practically no chance of them coming down. I had hoped to live for a while on my store cupboard this year but I dare not run it down too much.

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  4. When you set out the challenge there was no way of knowing there was going to be a war just a few hours away!
    so stopping wouldn't be a fail it would just be unforeseen circumstances.

    Maybe not a good idea to empty a store cupboard at the moment.

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  5. But as we often say in Blogland ....Your blog! :-).

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  6. Not a fail at all just an amendment in light of circumstances. You could amend it to a three month challenge instead of a year due to circumstances and then take up some new fun challenges in the future.

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  7. I understand how you feel, Sue, I felt really down yesterday especially after a text from my son about the almost 3 weeks of torrential rain and flooding they are experiencing. It made my worries about money pale into insignificance having seen the plight of Ukrainian refugees on TV yet again too.
    You did something lovely to help more than one family yesterday and I'm sure families here in the UK can get ideas from your blog to help stretch the finances. I know I do. Take your blog in any direction you choose and people will still get something useful and entertaining from it. I have decided not to run down my stores in light of the rising prices but to restock slowly and concentrate on cheaper, healthy meals.
    Please keep us entertained, we all need that right now 👍Sending hugs 🤗 x

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  8. I totally understand why you're feeling this way. I think amending your challenge to a low spend one was sensible in the circumstances. But I think low spending is even more important now. We can't waste precious resources and spend money on frivolous stuff. Especially now we need to be more mindful of how we spend our money. I've said before you inspire a lot of us to do better. But as Sue says, your blog... xxx

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  9. Like Sue in Suffolk said it's your blog so do what you feel is right for you. I have been following many blogs since our own situation in 2012 when we needed to draw in our belts and they helped a lot. Since then many of the bloggers have come out the other side but there are a lot of new people in the current situation who have no knowledge of saving and surviving perhaps it is time to put you advise and experience back on the blogs again for these new readers. There is nothing like advise from people who have lived through it. Su

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  10. You may have to re evaluate your priorities, like we all do. I have even considered getting the meters removed from my house and going off grid, but I think that is a step too far. Or I could take in a lodger to cover the increases. I think that is also a step too far. I think the challenge for all of us is to live within our means. However we achieve that is up to personal choice.

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  11. Hi Sue, thanks for the ETSY tip, I have bought a couple of things just now. I do hope PayPal have removed the sellers fees for the Ukraine sellers. Maybe just turn the challenge into a living as frugally as possible one, without the spending limits which will be difficult now? Chin up xxx

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  12. Don't be harsh on yourself for having to adjust to changing circumstances...

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  13. Dear Sue,
    I have not commented (unless maybe several years ago?) before. I am in the U.S.
    You do what you feel is best. You have a wonderful heart for your readers.
    We're all in upheaval. By God's grace, my family and I live (NYC) right around the corner from many grocers. This doesn't mean we can easily afford the risen prices! But, while we do own our vehicle, it is not necessary in order for us to procure food.

    I really enjoy visiting here. Do what you need to.

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  14. I live a frugal life now out of necessity and I think Meanqueen's comment for people to live within their means makes perfect sense. However, if this means that you can book a holiday, go out for a coffee, buy some plants, or do whatever brings you joy then do it. We only get one life and non of us knows what's around the corner. Your life, your blog so do what makes you happy xx

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  15. I am in the US and the prices are very worrying. We just ban Russian oil which is about 8 percent of our oil used. I am in a cold climate and spring cannot come soon enough for us we got heating oil yesterday 801.00 in dollars when about a month and half ago was 650.00. Thankfully we cut wood from our property in the past few years and that is a big help as we have a wood burning stove. I do worry about those that have families and struggle to make ends meet. I think we will be ok. I wanted to retire at the end of this year, but that final decision will have to wait to see what happens. I do think any tip you can give to help someone learn to save it always good.
    Cathy

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  16. Do as you see fit. The blog is always enjoyable. We sadly can do nothing about the rising costs but sharing your food management skills is always enlightening.

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  17. It is your choice. We don't know how much worse things will get with prices and scarcities in the coming weeks and months, so it makes sense to have a good store cupboard. You have done 3 months of your challenge and managed brilliantly and it's something you could always return to in the future, should you wish. It's your call.

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  18. You will think it over and do what is best for you. Seems as if you have always lived frugally and with concern for the environment. It is your blog and your life. I enjoy reading about it no matter what you are up to! :)

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  19. I'm in Michigan, USA. I just wanted to let you know that your blog is the first thing I look at every morning. I find it very inspiring to see how you manage money and how you eat well and maintain a budget. I even now have a sausage pie maker on my Amazon wishlist. I especially like how you do the monthly updates on your stores and the videos on your freezer. I have the same problem of losing what's in the freezer and plan to do the same thing with my freezer. The world is a very scary place right now and I love the order you bring maintaining your household. I love learning about the differences between where you live and where I live. I just wanted you to know that you do make a difference. Cheers, Kelly

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  20. Also, I went on Etsy yesterday after reading your blog and bought several downloads and a pin where the proceeds will go to Ukranian aide. You make a difference.

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  21. Your kindness and generosity for helping our Ukrainian brothers and sisters brought a tear to my eye yesterday, Sue. Whatever you decide to do I'm behind you all the way, you've started the year brilliantly and done so well with your challenge, I couldn't do that for a week let alone almost three months. xxx

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  22. We, your readers, come here because you are you. Funny. Thoughtful. Challenging. Reasonable. Whatever decision you make regarding the most recent challenge, we'll still be coming by for a read, and sometimes a chat, because we simply enjoy you and your writing.

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    Replies
    1. Well said. I was thinking exactly the same.

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    2. That is a beautiful comment ... thank you. xx

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  23. Your Challenge = Your Choice.

    If continuing with, and achieving, your personally set challenges gives you pleasure and a sense of satisfaction then you should carry on. But if keeping going "just because you said you would" gives you extra stress and strain - at a time when our world is full of problems which (sadly) are probably going to increase - then I would say leave it alone, and be kind to yourself.

    You are still going to shop sensibly, not waste anything, and live frugally, and your sharing all these things is clearly very inspiring to many others.

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  24. Sue, only you know what is best for you. But to me it seems like the time to stockpile essentials a little at a time. In addition to higher prices, I am seeing a lot of empty shelves here in America. If I see an item on the shelf that has been out of stock on previous visits, I buy multiples of the product figuring it is only going to get more expensive. I’m lucky that I’m comfortable financially but the world is a worrying place for all of us now. Good luck!

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  25. We are in Scotland now and the Diesel at a nearby Shell station is £1.89!
    All I can say Sue, for what it is worth, is this is the challenge...getting through this crisis of rising prices no matter what way you can and sharing your ideas, thoughts and alerting us to any bargains you might find in the shops will help everyone who is in the same position. It need not be about how little you spend but how you cope and find a way through. I would urge you to carry on even if you have to keep rewriting the plan...but it is your choice.

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  26. If it will make you feel better, I recently saw a NZ news item on You Tube where they compared the price of some basic food items in NZ, USA, UK and Australia. The UK came out as the cheapest!

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    1. I don't worry about food prices for myself but for those living on true limited budgets with no hope of extras or treats. The price of food may be lower here in the UK than in a lot of places around the world, BUT the cost of fuel is higher and the main thing is that our wages and benefits for the unemployed and disabled are lower.

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  27. Hi, I have wrote on your posts for a while as my mum is half Ukrainian, she is past herself she cannot get hold of her brothers and sisters. When I read what you had done it made me really smile. We have been putting things in trollies doing what we can. I know life is hard. And sometimes it feels like an uphill battle and you think what is the point? But don’t think like that, it’s negative thinking,
    Instead of driving Walkie, feet were invented before wheels. Work out how far your local supermarket is, or buy a bike, we all own one and when I’m not pregnant, I go to the supermarket on it. Buy a weekly bus ticket. I have one did I also have a weekly rail pass.
    Look for budget videos on you tube, these guys work magic. Buy veg seeds. Look for cheap cook books my mum always sends me them. She has sent me some crackers .
    The vegetarian society is my go to and it on cost a couple of quid on eBay.
    Always look for the rainbow. Never the stormclouds . Love and hugs

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    1. I hope your Mum can connect with her family again soon, it must be so worrying for her, I cannot imagine what she is going through.

      All your tips are great for some of my readers but perhaps not for all of them. Take me for instance, since having the breaks in my back I cannot walk even the fifteen minutes to the supermarket, I am trying day by day to improve but it literally is a couple of hundred yards at the moment. I have been told not to risk cycling as a fall caused by lack of attention, pot-hole etc would probably leave me in a wheelchair. I cannot ride on buses at the moment, although I hope this will soon be okay as the seats are unsuitable for me and any bumps in the rode cause excessive pain and potential further damage. Alan works mainly from home but when he needs to be at the office it is a 500 mile round trip and only accessible by car, so we cannot do anything to save on fuel costs.

      I am a lifetime member of the vegetarian society, Alan bought the membership for me for my birthday one year when we had our own farm and I was a vegetarian.

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    2. I have EDS it’s very painful even worse now, but I just smile, it weird in japan we have tons of electric car charging points, but cars here are classed as a luxury even though we do own them. And electric cars are getting cheaper here. My mum told me of the rising costs and I was shocked. I mean Tokyo isn’t cheap but we have the best train system in the world. So I don’t worry.at the moment I am wearing a special maternity spinal brace as bean is lying on my spine. Right on my curve.
      The only other thing I can suggest is look at the dry items you use most and bulk buy. I have a Costco card and we are going on Saturday as it the monthly run.
      I’m always looking for discounts even my mum does.

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  28. I would keep on with the challenge regardless of the outcome. Overall I think your ability to produce good food from practically nothing is incredible.

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  29. I don't think you've been "playing" at all - you have been sensible and thinking about your resources. Maybe if you feel uncomfortable trying to cut down on things while others HAVE TO, could you maybe look at giving a certain amount each month to the Trussel Trust, or Shelter. So you cut down and save money because you want to, but the savings go to help those who have no choice but to cut down. Just a thought.
    But I want to echo what others have said - we read your blog because it is welcoming, and friendly, and chatty, and interesting. If you decide not to continue with your challenge, we'll still be here!

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