I joined a budget based group that lasts the month of Jan, its a good overview and tweeking type of plan.. I laughed a touch as folks are like.. what is something your life that costs you money every single month that has to be considered a luxury.
Do you see those fat butts up there in that photo.. any way you cut it.. they fit that bill.. back in the day, that was not the case, you would use them all the time.. however times have changed and even with the uses we do with them, there is no way to call them anything but hay burners.
Add in that this is the first winter that Caleb is starting to show his age and needing some extra care. feed and so forth, so of course I had to spend a couple hundred on his winter extra’s.
Still I have been reading and thinking about things (when my mind is not stuffed with all the breaking news these days.. and man.. there has been alot of breaking news in the past 48 hours) and when I am not chasing this lunk head to try and help get him around things or unstuck..
I belong to a food co-op and you get a fresh food basket twice a month, I like this program very much as it
a) keeps me out of the stores and town
b) its local driveway drop off delivery
c) I pay the highest box fee which means that I help support a lower cost box for those in need in my community and I really like this.
d) sometimes we have things go on sale that I buy extra and donate though the program into the local community food box (anyone can go to the food box 24 hours a day and get or leave a little something as needed)
So this helps me greatly in keeping the “fresh” in the meals while not going to town.. our little towns around us right now are increasing hot spots and it would be a very good idea to avoid them for at least the next month.
The one thing that they were talking about was clothing budget, so I had a very hard look at my closets and have decided that I can plan a very frugal clothing year for 2021. I am going to allow myself 2 pairs of curvy fit blue jeans (I have worn out a number of my jeans, patched them and cut them into shorts) so I need to replace them with full legged jeans this year and my new summer dresses.
Thats it! Hubby does not need much at all either, I think the only thing he needs this year is new underwear lol..
Having said that a friend of mine out Sask way was talking about something worth mulling on.. she basicly said.. given how many big company’s are closing and that the odds are good that more will close over the next year, or couple years that if you have a favorite “brand” for your boots, gloves, coats and or certain wear, that you might want to really consider stocking up a few extra’s in your size or if kiddo’s the next couple sizes up as when you go to buy or size up, its very possable that you will find its not available.
I will add a personal note on this, or you might find its the same name, slightly more costly but they have changed something in the making of it due to supply chain issues. I had grabbed a three pack of extra duck tape, same brand I have used for years and then I grabbed a couple singles of kinds I like as well
Well I was totally shocked to find that my three pack rolls were “new” and they are pretty much useless,, they work kind of.. but they are thinner, weaker, I will hold it for in a pinch/no choice but I will not be buying that kind again and I have bought it for many many years..
So even if you think you know the brand, do the research or look at the product because it does not mean you are getting what you think you are.
Otherwise, I will keep looking at things a case by case way of needing things, but I am hoping to save on some things in order to have that extra for a few coming bigger projects.
Did you do your 2021 budget? if so, are you saving for a project, or just saving for the future.. or are you WHAT savings, we are using them up as we speak! Is anyone looking at taking advantage of the very low interest rates and considering buying a house and or taking out a repair/redo loan on this home?
Do you have anywhere in your basic budget lists were its pretty clear that you can bring things down and either just have a no spend or a very limited low spend on?
another area that should be very low buy/low cost is household items.. while I know I will be finishing some repair/redo work and paint etc.. that overall the budget for anything household is very small for the year. We put one vehicle into winter park mode and covered it for storage so that saves us for 7 months in insurance and really is there any reaosn at this point to have more then one vehicle working on the farm right now..
As it is, its hard to make sure it gets run once or twice a week to keep things moving.. I guess that there are some folks that’s not true on but certainly is for us at this time. Ar you driving less? Same.. More? (I know someone that is driving more.. normally taking public transport who does not feel safe doing so and with so many working from home there is parking at his work building, so he now drives in)
I believe that supply lines are going to suffer. I had an interesting chat with a Walmart manager who told me that if it comes from China and is in stock, you should buy it now because they don’t know if they will be getting more. The quality of products is also suffering. Some of it is is so poorly made it is useless (looking at you packing tape 😦 ) Personally, I am trying to keep on as much white thread and sewing machine needles on hand. I did splurge and buy my post apocalyptical sewing machine as someone on my local buy and sell was selling a vintage hand crank singer. I figure if nothing else, I can trade mending and sewing services for eggs even if I can no longer afford to pay the hydro bill.
I agree with you Crafty, I do think we are going to have suppy lines issues and we are going to continue to see a degrade in a numer of products, while I think on the flip side we are going to see local and small company’s that have increased craftmanship and staying power.. you are going to find that someone who really knows what they are doing in the right market will be able to do more last you a lifetime items with peaple that still have money being wiling to pay for the better made goods, As a eample, last fall we could have gotten another lee valley sythe, but we find we go though the handle at the wear joint and the blade every 5 years of good wear.. We have had a custom made canadian ash handle made to fit each of us with the ability to switch our heads that we got from Europe that hopelly will allow both the the handle and the blades to last longer. I truly hope it was worth the investment we made.
For anyone thinking about “…the very low interest rates and considering buying a house and… repair/reno(?) loan on this home? ”… Please be sure to cost out the materials BEFORE committing to a repair or renovation because the prices on wood have pretty much tripled over the last year or so and your hard-earned $$ will not go nearly as far as they used to…:/
About that Lee Valley scythe handle Valerie… Have you ever made your concerns known to them? Because they’ve always been very proud to stand behind their products and well-deserved reputation for quality and I am certain they’d want to know about the wear issues you just mentioned…
We have shown them, talk to them and they just say that we are using them very hard and that it is reasonable wear and tear given how many years and how many hours we put into them, and that is fair enough..
They do hold for the time under warrenty so nothing to be done there
You are very correct Deb, Point in fact that I am having to really rethink some of our coming plans over the next two years.. I am at the point I am wondering if I should pay the 5 grand to re-roof the old barn and see if I can try and get another 5 years out of it, plan for a coverall that can be used for storage at a later point and hold off on the garage and just focus hard on the geodome greenhouse/fencing and new gates.. we will see.. we will see
Trying to have a low spend January and develop some habits in eating the produce I froze this summer, rather than items from the store. The freezers are so stuffed we are just eating the top layer, and that needs to stop. Husband does very poorly with any kind of depravation, whilst I kind of like the creativity it demands, so there’s a balance to be struck! I try not to buy new clothes except underwear, but I know I need to look for jeans, comfy house pants and a pair of pants for work. I am on my last pair of “going out” shoes, but as we rarely go out anywhere, that’s far from urgent. Thrifting is off the agenda for now, but our small community has a free store where I volunteer, so I always take a quick look for the things I need. No official cases of covid in our community and very low levels locally, so not many restrictions, but we still live like it’s lockdown as husband is high risk. If we became a hotspot I would certainly consider buying new items, or used from poshmark or ebay. Not many projects planned. We will expand the gardens as much as possible, finish the bathroom, maybe paint the kitchen cupboards. In such a small house there’s a limit on what to do to it!!
I am so glad you have low numbers in your area and that you have the free store that you work at those both will help alot.. I hear you totally on doing the best to use what is in your home that you grew and put up.
Our yearly ‘budget’ consists of sitting down with a calendar and setting dates for 1) chicken/piglet purchased….2) slaughter dates (home slaughter and send out slaughter)….3) dates for larger projects (like setting a long weekend aside – allows us to make sure we have what we need in advance or give ‘help’ a heads up)…..4) trips schedule for getting grain or hay….5) dates the garden beds need to be ready….and so on.
Without this calendar we feel like we’re flying by the seat of our pants and that never works good on a farm.
Household spending will be limited to what I might need to restock when I start making cheese again in a month.
Clothes – I’m fortunate to live mostly in hand me downs from my kids – especially t-shirts, jackets, etc. Think I’m going to be okay in that department.
It’s going to be a very lean and belt tightening year.
that is a great idea, I write alot of things down on the calender but I have to admit that I never thought to use the calender in quite that way.. very very interesting indeed. and that is great news that you can get and use hand me downs from the kids that has to help for sure. I hear you on the lean and belt tightening year.. many things will need to be very lean in order to make the projects we have planned happen.
The whole of the United Kingdom has entered lockdown again starting from the 5th of January, so it means a very quiet month at home for us.
We already have a budget set for us which I think we will stick to in terms of groceries. One of my goals this year is to overpay on our mortgage and my student loan, and I have set up these overpayments to go out this week. Even a little bit helps in terms of reducing the number of years we are paying on stuff and the interest accrued.
In terms of spending, we use considerably less on transport now, as I work from home so no commute. As it gets dark earlier now I take the bus to the store at Husband’s insistence for my safety when I do the grocery shopping, but apart from this I don’t really travel anywhere I can’t walk to.
I haven’t bought any new clothes for me since we went into lockdown in March, aside from smalls and tights – husband desperately needs new clothes especially shirts but he’s very particular about what he wants so I think it will wait until we can actually go and browse again.
We have used more money than normal on buying takeout food….my justification is that this supports a local business XD
Thank you so much Silver for sure a great overview of what you have happening.. I had read that had happened, perhaps you know this answer, on our new today they said that 1 in 30 peaple in london is currently infected with Covid.. are you seeing that kind of data as well.. that is a lot of peaple.. please stay safe and I am so glad you are working from home and can stay safe that way. lots of folks are supporting the local business, I have even had a few folks try to give me a grump that I have not bought a single take out.. but I pointed out that we never did take out before so I was never part of the business income to begin with, so there are not feeling a loss of my dollars because they never had them to begin with.
I am not surprised you have a solid budget, it appears you keep very close track on those things..