Sunday, 31 January 2016

January - An expensive month

I do hope we don't have too many months like this one or the savings won't last a year, let alone until pension time.The money has zoomed out of the bank in all directions
Car Tax
New Mattress
New shoes
Electric bill 
Frying pan
Flea stuff and wormer for the cat
Bird feed
not forgetting the £2.99 for a new washing up bowl!
as well as the normal things like council tax, water and diesel. On the plus side the food bill was well down and my personal spending amounted to £2 for a bunch of flowers and £3.49 for 3 books.

Thankfully we now have 2 months without Council Tax and water and then we'll have moved, although the Council Tax in Ipswich will be the same as here - crazy considering the difference in size. In fact all our bills will be more in Ipswich which makes me wonder why we are moving!

 But we wanted to leave the garden looking like this
Summer 2013
rather than the completely overgrown wreck that we found when we moved here. We wanted to leave a campsite that could be taken on as a going concern and a house that was in good decorative order. It would have been difficult, even impossible, with Col's illness for us to do all the things that need doing when you own 5 acres  - and there's no way I could keep everything going on my own.
So we will squeeze ourselves into the little bungalow, get Colin well again and then decide "what next?" 

February will be better month on the expenses front. I'm having another no spend month - except food and diesel - like I tried last November, to make up for January I need February to extra frugal.

The form I mentioned yesterday wasn't too bad at all because at question 4 it said "do you have cancer?" and then  " if yes, you do not need to fill in the rest of this form except the last page". Col said "Oh yes I remember the Macmillan lady on the phone saying that!" So we just need to take the form to hospital with us next week to get the back page filled in by the right person and it can be sent. Good.We have a special ticket for cheap parking at the hospital - £3 for 10 visits which is better than £1 an hour and Col will get free prescriptions although he had a pre-payment card anyway because of the heart medications. So that's all that sorted.

I've just tuned into Andy M in the Australian tennis final and Oh Dear he's just lost the first set 6-1. Fingers crossed for rapid improvement!

(Edited in to say - just heard the sad news that Sir Terry Wogan has died age 77. I listened to him in the mornings way, way back in the 80s, he had such a good relationship with his listeners.)

Back Tomorrow - Probably but not definitely


  1. I am sure your bungalow will be fine it will give you both chance to relax and recuperate. x

  2. Do not fret about the garden. I am sure the buyers of your property will understand you've not been able to keep things as immaculate as you normally would because of Col's illness. You are both doing your best, you can't do more than that.
    Some months are inevitably more costly than others, things that need replacing have a habit of bunching-up and, don't you find, that once a light bulb 'goes', others quickly follow? I have a theory, which isn't substantiated by my engineer husband, that when a bulb 'goes' there is a slight surge of some kind in the circuit which causes others to go shortly afterwards. Why then have three gone here in the last week when they weren't all replaced at the same time, nor have they been on for the same length of time? One day someone far cleverer than I am will be able to tell me - I mightn't have my physics quite correct, but I do believe I'm on the right track (or circuit!)
    Hospital car parking is horrendously expensive, but when I was having radio therapy (which was every day for a month) I was given a notice to place in the car making car parking free for that period.
    My best wishes to both of you,
    Margaret P

  3. Your garden looks so productive and well managed. I`m sure the new owners will be grateful for all your hard work in the past.

    Good luck with Frugal February!

  4. Indeed - very sad news about Terry Wogan - I am about to go to work in a Hospice and I feel sooo sad. Must remember to put on my smiley face but will be hard today.

  5. Cat wormer and flea stuff - your life is all about the glitz and the glamour!!

  6. Just seen your PS and yes, very sad to hear about Sir Terry, one of the greats of TV and radio for so many years.
    Margaret P

  7. Well I don't see any items that were not essential on your spend list. Good thing that you purchased the mattress and frying pan and they should last a jolly long time.

    Having lived away from England for quite some time now I am always shocked that you have to pay to park almost everywhere in Blighty and per family always carry change in the car when back for a visit.

    Hopefully the bungalow is going to turn out rather well for both you and Colin. How nice that you will not need to drive such long distances and to have services almost on your doorstep. I do hope you find some positives once moved. The area you are moving to is actually quite nice.

    Best wishes to you both.

  8. So glad you are due some money. My sister didnt think she was able to claim anything but her treatment was aggressive following the operations so she couldnt work. So awful, but it helped so there was no more worry about money.

    Getting into the bungalow will be lovely for you. All the little bits you will want to do. Lovely nesting bits.

    Terry Wogan was such an institution. Nil point! The eurovision is not the same with out him!

  9. Know the feeling as we are on a tight squeeze here too. Hospital parking is a nightmare - its finding a space as much as paying the money and just when your stress levels are high too. Just had an appointment through for next month and am going to work out the buses and use my card as it is just routine and will coincide with rush hour on the way back!

  10. My expensive month is April when the car tax and MOT is due. I tend to put money away from the two free months of Council Tax. Hopefully the benefits and the downsizing with give you a little economic cushioning while Col gets better.

  11. Every month brings with it different challenges. I hope that next month's expenses don't overrun for you. So sad to hear about Terry Wogan. He will be missed.

  12. Well that's better news concerning the forms to be filled out. I think hospital parking is evil. If you are in the middle of dealing with some kind of health issue and must be at the hospital frequently or even daily, there shouldn't be parking expenses on top of that. It was ridiculous when our mom was in hospital at the end of her life. Good luck on your no spend month! -Jenn

  13. The next few weeks are big ones for money saving and house clearing for me! Christmas spending has to be paid for!

  14. Considering what you're going through it's very admirable that you want to leave things in order for the new owners. The new house might be more expensive but I'm sure just being able to concentrate on Col getting better will be worth it and as you say, it gives you time to think what next. I can't believe the news about Terry Wogan, very sad. xx

  15. Glad to hear you are getting sorted forms wise, you obviously have a good Macmillan person helping! I don't think that you could have avoided any of that spending this month, and your personal spends are very frugal considering all else that you have going on. The odd flower here and there will help to cheer you up and that is a good thing! xx

  16. Can I just say....I am loving the map you now have as your blog wall paper. The eye is totally drawn to it and it demands to be looked at intently.

  17. When my mom passed away 4 years ago there were 16 of us in 9 cars (that's another story) at the hospital. When we all left we all got charged the maximum daily rate, so they got 15x9 from our family totalling $135.00 When my dad passed away, at a different hospital there were 6 of us there,night and day for 4 days and we didn't pay a penny. Same circumstances times 4 days! The two hospitals were like night and day the way we were treated. I guess, for some, not all, the bottom line is the almighty dollar. The hospital that charged us nothing is the largest teaching and trauma centre in the province!!
    Once you are settled in your new home I'm sure everything will be much easier for you, it's just getting there that's the unsettling part.

  18. I like your new header photo, there are lots of places on there that mean a lot to me. Yes, RIP dear old Terry.

  19. It was a real shock to learn about Terry Wogan yesterday. His voice will always be the voice of Radio 2 to me.

    I was reading an old copy of Country Smallholding yesterday and guess whose smallholding as advertised for sale in a little feature :-) It looked lovely, you have worked wonders there and the new folk will be able to move in and get off to a good running start thanks to yours and Cols hard work over the last twenty odd years.

    I just hope your bungalow is problem free for you while Col recovers and you take the time to make your future plans together.