Happy New VAT!

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(Written 3 Jan 2011, sorry about the delay!)

Sooo we're all wishing eachother Happy New Years, making new year resolutions, hoping this year will be better than last year and generally trying to retain what's left of the Christmas holiday buzz. Meanwhile, in the UK,
the VAT increase looms like a dark cloud coming into effect
tomorrow - 4 January 2011.

Luckily I bought my season travel card in December so I paid last year's prices for it but without a pay rise and a rise with everything else, I wonder how we'll get on this year given that despite our hopes to win the lottery, my husband and I never actually play it.

Since we got married,
new sofas, kitchen crockery and other household bits have taken priority when it comes to my spending so my wardrobe
will have to
take a backseat for the forseeable future and my
obsession with coats will have to be cured. Soon.
BUT we do want to have a holiday and despite the many sale signs adorning the Thomas Cook across the road, a holiday with sun still works out to be
pretty expensive.

I went to a private girl's school so I've grown up around the rich without any of the moolah that comes with it and I remember admitting aged 10, that I'd never been abroad. Shock, horror! I thought I was going to be sent to Coventry for the rest of my
academic life! (Don't worry, I've since been to Portugal, Thailand, Dubai, various parts of America, Morocco etc. so I'm not a complete Palin
;) )

So anyway I just wonder, in this day and age,
is it actually possible to live within one's means? We're being told that we need to keep spending to help the economy despite the hikes
AND despite
the fact that hardly anyone received an increase in pay parallel to the price hikes - petrol is £1.30 - yikes!! - and I do feel a certain pressure to still go on fancy holidays, buy new clothes, spend money on nights out with friends, and party like its NYE 2011. Not happening.

Recently, I went to visit an 'aunt' of mine who lives in an amazing country house off a deserted, windy lane with a field
masquerading
as
her back garden and she was talking to Fish and I about the different attitudes people have now, compared with that
of she
and her peers at a younger age. For instance, when she got married, they didnt have much money so she hired her wedding dress and everyone chipped in for the reception and
while they were newlyweds and trying to save for their house they didnt go abroad for holidays or spend money unnecessarily. (In her defence, she did
say that
there wasnt much to spend it on!)
If they wanted something but couldnt afford it, they waited until they could. And now they own their ridiculously beautiful house and a thriving business.

Ok I know times have changed but with the high job turnover common in this age and the stupid house prices, I do sometimes wonder
if
in 50-odd years time, we will all be able to say the same?

There is an interesting passage in the Bible about being a lender and not a borrower in Proverbs 22 verse 7 and there is one explanation of it here: http://www.moneyhelpforchristians.com/borrower-is-slave-to-the-lender-the-point/
I know it's not easy to completely erase borrowing in our lives - after all, a mortgage is basically a huge debt! - but I am definitely going to try to live as much 'in the Black' as possible!

For us, this means we are going to truly explore the UK and make use of the beautiful car we have, trips to Waitrose and Marks and Spencer will have to be weekend treats and no more £10 lunches from Pret :(
I've also started baking my own bread and cakes which will cut down on our mid-week dessert treats!
I still have slight clothes shopping issues
but I have recently solved my hair maintenance problem - I cut it all off! So 2011 will probably be a frugal year. Unless I play and win the lottery or my freelance work takes off.

Here are some websites which have helped me:

Money Saving Expert
- awesome finance advice -
check out the forums for specific help.

Magic Freebies
- If you have time to enter competitions and want to get lots of free samples, check this out daily!

Groupon
- Daily offers of up to 70% off things like spa visits, restaurant bookings, days out and much more! (Offers are received daily to your email inbox.)

Also, if you already pay for Sky, there is some
fab TV on this winter! Why go out if you can stay in?!

Let me know if you have any other money-saving tips!

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  • 2 responses to “Happy New VAT!”

    1. Thanks 🙂 Where are you posting from?

    2. Anonymous says:

      I really like it. unfortunately lots of us, still have to share a house or a flats because the cost of a rent is out of budget and we can't buy because we don't have that enormous deposit. it's a vicious cercle and it affect your life in so many level and sometimes it's hard. But, I have learnt to keep hope and have Faith. Keep Faith every day. Enjoy your life in any way you can. That's my Modjo!

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