Friday, 21 August 2015

When your output exceeds income...

When your output exceeds your income , then your upkeep will be your downfall.

This is sound advice and is also almost a copy of something Charles Dickens wrote in David Copperfield :

'My other piece of advice, Copperfield,' said Mr. Micawber, 'you know. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and - and in short you are for ever floored. As I am!'

Micawber is known for asserting his faith that "something will turn up". His name has become synonymous with someone who lives in hopeful expectation. This has formed the basis for the Micawber Principle, based upon his observation.

A Micawber is defined as "one who is poor but lives in optimistic expectation of better fortune"
Although Mr Micawber's story is not the way I want to end up! Better to be more practical!

Being thrifty

You may be wondering where all this rambling is leading to. In recent months it seems that our financial output exceeds the income every single time! Bills bills and more bills! 
Every month there is something extra to pay. This time there were my DD's school books. Nearly 500 euro! I did, albeit reluctantly, take her old ones to see if I could sell them. Only 3 were still in use and I received the great sum of 20 euro for new condition books! Most of those she needs this year are new adoptions so weren't available secondhand either. 

I really need to sit down and take a good hard look at our expenditure. 
I started this month by writing down every single thing we have bought. I need to know where the money is going and where I can cut spending.

I have also written down all the meals from this month and am trying to work out a meal plan for September. I hope to be able to make a grocery list with just the essentials. I will try to cut food waste to a minimum. This is something I had already been trying to do. 

By trying to walk a greener path I have already made several changes to my lifestyle. Now I need to take this further in order to decrease spending. Water bills are always high here so "turn off that tap" is a must do. Electricity costs so washer loads must be run when there is a full load. Too often I do a half load because I hate having dirty washing lying around. I line dry my clothes and have stopped ironing un-necessary things. Saves money and time!
In the summer I almost never use the oven as it is so hot. When the weather cools I will go back to baking bread again.
The phone and internet is one fixed monthly amount so no problems with that for now. I use a prepaid card for rare international calls to family. With national ones I could talk all day if I liked!

So hard to find other ways to cut spending. I rarely buy clothes unless really necessary. We don't go out for meals. We don't smoke or drink.
 From this month's spending the only thing I can see we could have cut down on was buying icecream!

I will be scouring the web looking for ideas. I need to tip those scales back the other way.

In what ways do you save money? Any thrifty suggestions?


  1. Ha, well as Abby had said, the simpler the life the easier it is. What we cut was the tellie! 500 channels & still nothing decent to watch. So that went away & I was very thankful. We also have an extra storage that is full of DH'S books that he never reads again & if he would sell then we wouldn't have that expense either. But being willing to give up is one thing that needs to happen first. So far it is baby steps. Keep at it as will I. Things will get better over time with perseverance!

  2. Thank goodness I don't have that to pay! The books here are mine but I have plenty of room for them. Some old school ones need de-cluttering but those can't be sold anyway as out of use. I must gradually send them out when they collect paper on Thursdays so they are recycled. I am almost fanatical about recycling the garbage correctly now they have finally started it again! We live in a relatively unspoilt place and I hope it lasts as long as possible.