Sunday, February 12, 2012

DIJATC part 3--- settling for less?

It may be one year or four, but the day is coming when you won’t get that nice automatic deposit in your bank account. It is going to be replaced by this fractional pittance. Imagine receiving less than a third of what you are used too and in some cases the situation is much worse.
All of a sudden, those bills, including rates, insurance, medical insurance, Sky TV, water, power, telephone, computer; not to mention everyday necessities like----- yes food. Whereas once the budget almost balanced, now it is going to become a nightmare. Something has to give.
As I said before, there are those amongst you who have made plans, so you can stop reading and just go and have a gin or a coffee and watch Coronation Street. Good on ya!
So what are the rest of us going to do? Perhaps we will start by making a list of all of our outgoings. Don’t forget to have a ‘contingency’ category--- you k now one for those little (or big bills) that seem to arrive a regular intervals--- ones that we didn’t bargain for. We have all heard stories about single income families and those on minimum wages. Well--- all of a sudden, we have joined the club.
Firstly, goodbye Sky and the computer contract--- it’s all ‘prepay from now on or ‘Freeview. It’s a pity that the Government is axing some of the channels, or they become harder to get (like Stratos). Forget about medical insurance--- it was becoming more expensive each year anyway.
Leaving lights on, using the dryer and sitting in front of the heat pump (on hot days) will need to be revisited. But cut as you will--- it won’t be enough, so what else can go. I’m beginning to feel like one of those passengers on sailing ships in old black and white movies who had to jettison anything not tied down, in order to get away from pirates.
What can we do to lighten the food bill? OK--- if you have any land at all--- how about growing some veggies and fruit. Isn’t that what our grandparents did on their quarter acre sections? I have fond memories of the garden my dad had along with lots of fruit trees. And MUM--- well she bottled, pickled, made jam and used the freezer (much bigger than the pathetic little box passing for a fridge/freezer in my place).
Holidays----- yeah maybe, if you have somewhere cheap or free to stay and can still drive and maintain your car. Gold Card, if it’s still with us will be fine for those of us lucky enough to live in a city with reasonable public transport.
Don’t let my words get you down. That’s the last thing I am trying to do. If there is time--- like more than a few years, shove away everything you can, either with Kiwi Saver or Bonus Bonds. I have been amazed at how quickly they accumulate. Just forget they are there and perhaps you will hit the ‘day’ and see a little nest egg awaiting your inspection.
I think the key is to start now. Trim the Sky, go to a cheaper plan for your internet, plant your veggies and shop cooperatively. There are heaps of websites out there offering advice. Just Google ‘getting by when I am retired,’ or play around with those words. If our grandparents could make do with less, by being creative, then we too can meet the challenge. Start a ‘forum’ here and lets see what comes up. I’m sure there are lots of ideas about getting by with less, so DIJATC doesn’t have to scare the pants off us. We’re Kiwis and Kiwis can! (Sorry Barack--- Mr President--- Sir).

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