Why saving money the old fashioned way doesn’t have to be difficult
Having been brought up as the child of someone who lived through both the Great Depression and World War 2, you’d think that making do and mend would be a way of life for me. Well it was. In the 70s when I still lived under her roof. Now, not so much.
Some of that old time wisdom stuck and some of it just melted away with the advent of the 90s, credit cards and cash machines. Those heady days when being old fashioned was just too, well, old fashioned.
What happens now?
So now I’m in my 50s and realising that I’m looking at retirement and don’t have the resources I thought I would. I am quite frankly fed up to my back teeth with that. So the plan is twofold
Start saving money to let me retire sooner rather than later and
Do it the old fashioned way to get into practice for retirement when I won’t necessarily have the funds for all the latest gadgets, services and resources.
Why save money the old fashioned way?
It’s not that hard to do. It’s all about making small changes that add up to a big effect.
You probably remember some of this stuff already so just need a gentle reminder.
It’s good for the planet. Usually. Mostly. Well probably. We’ll see …
Why small changes can have a big effect
And so I’ve started down the path of rediscovering mum’s way of doing things and keeping those parts that are useful to me now. (I don’t plan on following all her tips – see why below)
While I’m doing that, I hope that these reminders are helpful to you too. I’ll share what works and what doesn’t and what drives me to distraction along the way.
Starting off small
So I wouldn’t recommend going full scale 70s style money saving just to begin with. You probably have responsibilities that mean that you should ease into the process. You may work full time or have a family and you need to mind your time as well as your cash so I’ll keep it short and sweet for now with some autumnal tips to start things off.
Plug the gaps.
No 70s home was complete without the compulsory draught excluder. These days we’re all being encouraged to buy double (or triple) glazing and to fit solar panels but the simplest way to save your cash from disappearing is to keep the heat in with a good old fashioned “sausage”. YouTube is full of “how to” videos – you’re bound to find one there. But, frankly, an old stocking stuffed with other old stockings and tied off would do the job and cost very little. But each to their own and you can buy one or make one but I’m digging out my ancient draught excluders once again and hoping to reap the rewards.
Wrap it up.
Bring out the cardi nice and early. Not to mention the thermal vests and woolly socks. While I can’t quite bring myself to emulate mum’s signature woolly hat worn to bed – it was properly cold indoors in those days – I have been known to pull on the fingerless gloves while I type. Wrap up instead of turning up the thermostat. Get your layers on and cut down on your power bills.
Simmer, don’t smoulder.
Dig in the back of the cupboard and get that slow cooker on and working. You know you have one. It was probably a wedding present 30 years ago and gathering dust but if it still works, then go for it! They are wonderful creations. It won’t cost much to run, it’ll help heat the kitchen and it’ll provide you with a nice stew to warm the cockles and keep the fuel bills down.
And speaking of simmering – dig out the hot water bottle.
It’s your new best friend. You don’t have to wait till bedtime to get cosy. Just grab a blanket, wrap it round your shoulders or over your knees and tuck it in. And if that’s a little too “little old lady” for you then try a microwaveable heat pack tucked into your pockets or under that cardi I mentioned earlier.
Switch It up.
Well, switch it off really. I must admit to leaving lights on all over the house. I compensate for that by using LEDs wherever possible so at least it’s less wasteful than otherwise.