I am really, really lucky. I can afford to dig myself out of the mess I have made. I can go without here and there, live in a cooler (but not cold) house and I have plenty to eat. We both have jobs and we never miss a bill. We have free health care, subsidised dental and prescriptions and reasonably affordable commuting costs. I have managed to buy some new clothes this year to keep my going until the weather warms up. I also live in a beautiful part of the country.
I renewed my dream today. I want to move to a smaller, cheaper, cosier, easier to manage house where I can afford to pay off the mortgage in six/seven years. After I have paid off the mortgage then I want to work part time. I will then spend more time on craft, socialising, cooking, gardening, volunteering and walking on Bodmin Moor. By 2012, with a hard slog, we will have paid off everything we owe except our mortgage. We are snow balling and every time we pay off a debt, we just keep paying the same amount each month by over paying another debt.
My future is not a dream but something we can consciously make happen and only if we keep an eye on the finances. Diesel and train fares have increased, which means we have to make fewer journeys by car.Food prices have increased so we have to buy less or cheaper food. VAT has increased so any purchases will have to be emergencies only (if the fridge is unrepairable). Energy costs have increased so we will have to use less of it. We will also have to maximise every opportunity to make more money. I will have to clear out my other spare bedroom and fit it out and then rent it out. I will have to grow more food and start looking for ways of making more money. We need to make another £100 a month to break even to cover the costs of all the increases we have to cope with. I will find a way of doing this. Taking all of this into consideration; I am less than two years away from the dream of a simpler life. I will get there.