What can I do?

“We are on the precipice of a major financial melt down and one which will change the way the world and its people live in the next couple of decades.    I have just been reading some statistics which simply don’t add up to a bright future.” So said a friend of mine in conversation the other day.

So what can I do about it in my little corner of the globe?

Over the past three or fours years I have noticed a big change in my cost of living.  You may think my needs are few, and they are, living alone with nobody under my care, but that has little effect on some of the expenses.  The cost of living is going up, up, up!  Each time you go to a supermarket the prices have risen yet again.  I certainly do not live on fillet steak or caviare, but have good healthy meals cooking everything from scratch like my mother and grandmother before me.

So I have and own a small bungalow with all the usual outgoings.  There is no reduction on Local Government Rates or heating oil because I am alone.  I pay the same utilities as every other householder whether there are twenty, twelve or only one person in a house.

I need electricity for cooking, lighting and running the heating boiler.
A telephone is a necessity and wireless broadband is my luxury.  I have no TV by choice.

I run a small 10 year old car – more a necessity than a luxury since I live at the top of a hill and public transport is a joke in my area.

Then there is Insurance for house and separately for the car with the usual annual up-keep maintenance for both house and car.  In the past I have serviced my car myself, changing the oil, oil filter and spark plugs.  Alas, I do not have the strength in my hands any more for such tasks.  I would admit to knowing nothing about break pads or replacing them.* Even putting air in my tires, is no longer something I can do myself.

So far I have not mentioned shoe leather – or the clothing needed to go with it.  Shoe leather and clothing wear out and need replacing.  Nudism is not really acceptable or the most sensible of ideas when living in Ireland, especially for somebody who feels the cold like I do.  Only last week while walking in warm mid-day sunshine I realised that from the balls of my feet to my toes had gone numb, yes the temperature has dropped, in the past week but we are a long way from real winter!  I was not wearing sandals, but socks and trainers under my trousers.

I am not complaining, just stating facts.

If what my friend (above) says is true, how can I make changes?  What do I give up first?  Get rid of the telephone or my car?  The heating oil or the food shopping?

Do I go back to the old ways of Bartering?

How many buttons will I need to stitch on in exchange for a tank of oil?

Do YOU see a way round it?

I suppose I could always roll down the hill behind the bottle wall.  Hypothermia is bound to kick in before I am missed or found! 😉

* I may not know much about break pads, but I do know what the wheel balancing weights look like!  I have used them in the past covered in fabric to weigh down the base of an embroidered banner.

13 thoughts on “What can I do?

  1. nick

    What can we do indeed? Fortunately our household has a good income coming in but we’ve noticed food prices in particular rising rapidly. I think most of us live as economically as we can already and there’s very few extra cutbacks to be made. The next few years are going to be very tough for a lot of people.

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  2. Grannymar Post author

    Nick – The fact that we were born before the ‘throw away’ era, might make it less difficult to cope with the tough times ahead.

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  3. wisewebwoman

    I’ve been preparing for this as you know GM, I see further breakdowns in society as well with ordinary utilities becoming uncertain and of course roads not being maintained – it has started in the US.
    My overhead is becoming increasingly low due to my growing my own supplies and now looking towards my own chickens and off the grid living via wind turbine.
    I know most don’t have these options at all but we may all have to look at more vegetarian lifestyles.
    The coming picture ain’t pretty for those unprepared.
    XO
    WWW

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  4. Rummuser

    Grannymar, I can relate to you. If it is not for the fact that Ranjan stays at home and contributes to the houehold expenses, things could well be very difficult for me too. One of the reasons that I still work at my agency is precisely this inability to live comfortably within my pension income. Costs are going up and quite where it will all end, Ganesha knows and I have left the worrying to him.

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  5. Grannymar Post author

    WWW – I had an interesting experience recently when looking for dust bags for my vacuum cleaner. Finally I found them in an Electrical Store that had a wall full of the gimormous TVs. There must have been about thirty on the wall and scattered about the showroom. All were switched on to a variety of stations. I was only aware of one customer as I wound my way to the Parts Dept at the back of the shop. The sales man was available and anxious for a chat, perhaps I was the first customer that day.

    I remarked how quiet the place was and he admitted that business was slow. The recent World Cup Football, had only lifted the figures a fraction this time round and in fact the greatest sales at the moment were for Parts – yes, people were going back to repairing items rather than replacements!

    Ramana – Worrying wastes living time. We get no special prizes for worrying!

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  6. ernestine

    I relate to everything you share. Built smaller home, check prices on everything, vehicle pulls out out of long drive less and have found that there is a lot I do not need. Plan on a larger garden next Spring and will start cutting my grass, hang clothes outside to dry, only a light on in the room where I am at night and using a lot of less expensive items then I use to. On and On!!

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  7. steph

    Grannymar,

    I see a way around your living expenses…

    What you need is 2 or 3 (drop dead gorgeous) toyboy lodgers.

    Their rent would go a long way towards settling some of your living expenses and I can think of lots of other ways you could put them to good use! (nudge, nudge) 😉 😉

    Would lodgers entitle you to a reduction in local Government rates or heating oil?

    btw I’ve good news for you on your 10 year old car. My cousin’s car passed it’s NCT last week and it’s ONLY 25 years old!

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  8. Grannymar Post author

    ernestine – This link has wonderful photography but it makes me wonder why I actually bother thinking of pulling in my oars at all!

    Steph – The drop dead gorgeous toyboy lodgers might increase my blood pressure and reduce my need for heating oil! 🙄

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  9. Darlene

    We are all in this together. Things are no better across the pond. Like you, I grew up in the ‘waste not, want not’ era and thrift has always been a way of life for me so my lifestyle hasn’t changed yet.

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  10. Grannymar Post author

    Darlene – The sad part is that there are many out there ignoring the signs or refusing to make preparation for the leaner times to come.

    Gaelikaa – I can but do my best!

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  11. Grannymar Post author

    Lorna – I know a family who barter all the time, one might replace windows while another plants and grows the all the veg. Another goes hunting, shooting fishing, while another maintains the cars. The women swap the baking, mending and decorating. Mind you the family members all need to get on well together.

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