Friday, 29 November 2013

Buying something isn't the answer

I wander around a lot of blogs when I'm online, mainly ones by people who live frugally, some bloggers live this way by choice & some by necessity. It is a very different scenario for these 2 sorts of people, for the frugal by choice there are decisions to make, shall I buy a wood burner to save on my fuel bills, shall I buy some thick curtains to keep out the draughts, or maybe even double glazing, shall I buy a mini oven to save on using the big oven.
For the FBC's, frugal be choice, it's easier, they don't make such a big payment off their mortgage for a month or 2 and they can buy a wood burner or what ever else they deem necessary. They can then spent this money & smugly congratulate them selves on their 'frugal choice'.
For those on a low wage or pension the choices are different,here are a few examples from people I know.
Instead of thick curtains to keep out the draughts, rolled up freebie newspaper stuffed into the gaps round the windows & doors.
Instead of buying a trendy onsie to keep warm in bed put your coat on top of the bedding when you go to bed, the extra layer will help.
Instead of sitting up watching crap on TV go to bed straight after tea & read a library book. Mind you library books aren't an option for us, the mobile library calls when we are at work, a trip to the local library means driving & paying for parking or 2 bus journey's each way.
Finally the example that started this train of thought.
A colleague at work, she is a TA & earns even less than me, was saying that due to her ex not paying what he should, she'd run out money on her prepayment meter for her gas part way part way through cooking her evening meal & she & the kids ended up with cereal for tea. Some bright spark in the staff room suggested she bought a mini oven as it would be cheaper to run.
As my colleague said to me 'Where the fuck am I meant to get £30 to £40 for a mini oven & if I can't pay for the sodding gas, how am I meant to pay for sodding electric!'
So next time those of you who are FBC think that 'buying something' is the answer, it isn't!


EE said...

Instead of Crisis Loans from DWP which were only available to people on certain benefits we now have Local Welfare Assistance which is controlled by County Councils. Maybe check their website or find a local advice agency who will be able to help with gas/electric.
I work for an organisation that gives out vouchers and yesterday during our 1 hr of opening (there are other organisations open to do this as well) I saw 4 people who didnt have enough gas or electric.
Makes me grateful for what I have

keth said...

You know, I'm doing a degree in history at the moment, and one of the modules I'm doing is food and diet and the early modern period (in other words - tudor and stuart period). Throughout the period there were regular famines and of course people were always poor, poverty never really went away and pamphlets and books were published recommending alternatives for people to eat. Beans were quite often suggested. the problem was that the people writing the pamphlets, often doctors, had no real idea about poverty and didn't stop to think about the fuel cost of cooking dried beans to be edible, much less the equipment that would have been necessary (often the urban poor would've lived on food cooked by others, and bought for a meal, much like today's fast food).

Things really do NOT change, do they?

save your breath, Hester... :)

Rebecca said...

So true and those things (appliances, etc) the fbc love to go on and on about can very rarely be found for free.

Lyssa Medana said...

You're absolutely right. If you have the money (even £30-40 for the mini oven) then it's a lot easier to trim the pennies. I would say it is harder to save money if you haven't any - eg more expensive power via pre pay meters used by the poorest. Hope your friend is okay. WS xxx

Helen said...

I read library e-books for free on my tablet with 'overdrive' software, try checking your county library website.

Snitty Kitty said...

Helen, I'll look into that.
Lyssa, thank you, she is ok as her ex did pay up, he just likes to 'forget' to upset her.
Rebecca, that's so true.
Keth, very true, your studies sound really interesting.

Lyssa Medana said...

Pre pay meters are horrible, they are the most expensive way to buy power and it is those who can least afford to pay more who are forced on to them. I'm glad your friend is okay. WS xxx

ALoadofOldTat said...

Yes there is a real world out there and some of us are pretty clueless as to how harsh that world is.

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