Thursday, 15 October 2015


Do you remember the acronym YUPPIES - Young Urban Professionals and then there was DINKY - Double Income No Kids Yet. Well, we are HAISLOS - Hardly Any Income So Living On Savings!

Virtually all our income streams have now finished or diminished to a trickle so now is when we start to live on the savings we tucked away all through the summer. We had a good season on the campsite, we sold loads of smallholding equipment and I had the unexpected pension pot payout, all this  spare cash  being put into an instant access account which, if we are careful, should see us through without having to touch the larger amounts in bonds, or what we put into ISAs in 2014.

I've purposely not mentioned much about house selling and viewings as it would have got a bit tedious, but there has been some serious interest  over the last few weeks. However no definite offers as they also have a house to sell and whoever buys their house will probably also need to find a buyer and so a chain builds with lots of potential pit-falls and delays. That's why we plan to be the upper end of the chain by either renting, buying an empty property to move into and prepare it for renting out or living in the caravan. As the cheapest place to live this winter is here on the smallholding we are not too worried about the wait, although if it gets to next spring without any signs of progress I may be tearing my hair out!

 I first wrote about our budget way back in 2013  and I find it very helpful to look at this budgeting list  every time circumstances change so I know exactly what will be needed.  My most recent  update was  in August  when we knew more about what was happening after health issues made us decide to sell-up. Now once again every item has been scrutinised to enable us to know what we can spare for travelling this month and what we need through until April - Surely the house will be sold by then...........

The first section - Council Tax and Water Direct Debits, both of these miss the months of February and March, The water bill for the campsite is due later this month. Electricity Bills are due December and March and the TV Licence is due in April.

The second section - The Campsite and Smallholding business - was an outlay of over £200 a month, now this will decrease to just petrol for the chainsaw and mower and diesel for the tractor.

The third section - The Car - MOT and Tax due in February, Insurance due in December. When we are at home  the amount of diesel we use is very little. Obviously it's more for pulling the caravan and having holidays but nowhere near what we used to spend on the Jeep Cherokee.

The fourth section - Everyday Expenses - I've cut the food spending by about £25 - £40 a month.
 We have enough coal and wood for heating and hot water and enough bottled gas for the hob to last us through until we sell.
 Cols prepayment prescription card isn't due until next May. House Insurance due in March. I'm still using postage stamps stockpiled before the price went up last April but I will need stamps for Christmas cards.
There are 2 of our Children's birthdays due before Christmas and then I will need money available for Christmas pressies for 3 Children, 3 partners, 2 sisters, 1 brother, 2 brothers-in law, 2 nephews and 1 niece and one Dad plus small gifts for a few friends.
 We won't need to spend anything on things for the house unless something breaks down.

The fifth Section - Extras that make life interesting - We joined the National Trust while we were away and I'm looking at this as an investment for the year ahead as it will allow us access to lots of interesting places without anymore expense - if we feel in need of a day out locally during the winter/spring we have several fairly local NT sites. I don't need any craft materials or books and we bought sacks of peanuts and bird seed mix from the feed mill when we last got chicken feed - enough for most of the winter. Christmas treats will be kept to a minimum - no extra decorations or tree needed, just a few bits of different food.

When you have a limited income it's vital to know what outgoings there will be and where you can shave bits off if necessary. Yes, we are lucky we have a home worth a lot of money, we have the back up of savings but we also have several years before we get a regular pension.

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