Perseverance, determination and never, ever giving up!

 At heart, I’m a bit of a Dory! I don’t stay worried, angry, upset or disappointed for long. I just keep swimming. I was asked to give advice about staying frugal,  when there’s no energy, no will, it’s the end of the month, there’s no money and everything seems against you. Well here’s the tough love coming up. You have no choice. I have no choice either. I can not go out, have my hair done, buy some lipstick and get dressed up for a night out in a restaurant. I have no credit cards at all, no overdraft facility, I have no money, I don’t get paid until tomorrow and I just have to keep going. Of course, I get totally pissed off, but it’s not a hand I’ve been dealt……I hand selected everyone of those cards and I laid them down. It’s my life and I have to deal with it.

 I do a lot of work to make sure I stay on track. I get tired from time to time, so I have meals in the freezer, or store cupboard that I can pull out. I know I will have low times, so I prepare for that. I buy birthday cards in charity shops, I’d rather give the charity the money and have cards   addressed and in date order, ready to send. I make gifts, preserves and soaps all year in readiness to give to people. I get my hands dirty by proactively creating a budget, down to the last carrot and I stick to it! I make sure there is enough diesel in the car to take us to the moors or the beach so I have two outings a month. I save money so I have £100 a year to spend on shoes and clothes (I have so far spent £36 this year). By doing that, I prepare for each little thing that could worry me, or cause me anxiety or get me down. I don’t have a suit of armour and life gets to me, in the same way it does every one of you. But, if you know a brick bat is coming your way, at least you can duck.

 I keep going because every day is a no shop day. I don’t carry a purse or any money. I have no credit card, just a debit card and that stays at home every week day. I never pop to the shops; I only go when I’m prepared, with a budget, a menu plan and a detailed list. I check mysupermarket first for prices, I then log onto the Lidl and Aldi websites and check their prices too. I know exactly what I’m going to cook, what I’m going to buy and where I’m going to get it from. Consequently, there are very few transactions on my online bank statement. 

 I’ve learnt to save money too. I know it’s silly when I have debts, but remember, if my car needs fixing, my washing machine breaks down; I have no credit facilities and need to have money put aside. I can only save £25 a month, but I make sure I do. At the end of the year, when it’s still there, I don’t touch it and keep adding. The advice is to have £1000 saved up, just in case. I’m no where near there, but knowing I have something to fall back on, keeps me going when I’m worried about money, especially when I don’t have any in my current account.

 I know, I can and do fail miserably. I often feel very sorry for myself. I feel isolated from the mainstream and unable to join the party. I feel like the poor kid who watched the kids with pocket money go into the village post office for sweets, when I had to stand outside and watch them buy them and eat them in front of me. But I always remember, they didn’t last long and soon enough, they were just like me, sweetless. I have had moments when I’ve been home alone when Dearly Beloved has been away looking after his mum, the house has been freezing, I’ve not been able to afford the train fare to visit a single soul and I have felt abandoned. I don’t always feel good and some days are truly shite. But I get up, and in true Dory style, I just keep swimming.

 I know, there are people who are reading this who are not paid until tomorrow who have a freezer full of home grown veg, a pantry full of preserves, a dry store full of dry goods, the under stairs cupboard is full of loo rolls, the second drawer in your bedroom is full of toothpaste, talc and soap and no matter what, you won’t go without. I also know what it’s like to be 24 hours from a giro (that’s how benefits were paid when I was a single mum with my son), with the last few seconds of emergency money ticking away on the electricity meter, a scrape of marg and 2 slices of bread to give a six year old boy his breakfast, and nothing else. I know that some of you who read this, did not deal your own hand but had it dealt to you and your frugal life style is not chosen by you. I know some of you are finding this extremely hard and if you allow me, to just hold your hand gently and say quietly to you. Just hang on. You have a rough journey ahead of you, more will join you, us, me along the way. It’s not easy. All you actually have to sustain you is perseverance, determination and never, never giving up.

Until tomorrow,

Froogs xxxx

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66 thoughts on “Perseverance, determination and never, ever giving up!

  1. As others have said, a truly beautiful post, one I shall read over and over again whenever I feel like giving in and having some “retail therapy”. Thank you

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  2. Thank you FQ! Very timely post, as I was feeling quite down, we were doing fairly well but now oh has had a tax bill saying he owes £8,000 going back 3 years! he is PAYE for goodness sake so it's their fault and now we have only a year to find the money! grrr 😦 We will fight it of course but have to be prepared to pay if we must. All on top of daughters wedding, imminent first grandchild and decorating house. Timing eh? So we have been racking our brains as to how we will cope with this and cutting budget right, left and centre and then I log on and read your post and know we are not alone, some are in a worse position and yes we must take responsibility for our actions. I have taken on extra shifts at work, am on 2nd no spend day and making meals from stores to put into freezer so no more takeaways when I'm too tired to cook. It's a start and I am thankful for the frugal community online to share with. xxx

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  3. Hi, how about turning all this on its head and saying that people who spend, use there credit cards to the max, dont think of others or their future, are the weird ones, we are normal, this is how it should be, don't feel left out, you are truly in with the rest of use, you have plenty of friends, surrended by them infact. keep it up and enjoy your two outings a month, you have earned them. and no feeling left out again, we all love you xxxxxxx

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  4. When my OH and I were first together, we went through an incredibly lean patch with money. We got by – just – but my did it teach us some valuable lessons. First, that if you can get through that, and still want to be together, you have something extremely good. Second, that you now have a resource learnt and committed to memory that can be brought out again and again (and again, if necessary!) to get you through similar tough times in the future. We're now in a similar situation again – but are coping. A little is being shaved off here, and a little there, and we're getting by. In fact, this month there is a £45 surplus in our current account! Woo! I might treat myself and transfer that to savings…how exciting! Thanks for another great post Froogs! xx

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  5. Hi Froogs
    Powerful post. I think we all feel perhaps we'd like to throw caution to the wind and spend without restraint…society constantly gives us the message that we should treat ourselves. I think by its very nature humans are acquistive creatures and stimulated by having something new….my solution is to go out with my library card and take out lots of wonderful books. My need for stimulation is satiated but no monies have left my purse…I diarise the due back date so I don't get fined!

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  6. Sorry, have been absent for a few days – been moving house and still have no internet. Could not wait to catch up with your blog and not disappointed. What an inspirational post – I do am not as frugal as you are, but admire you (as so many others) imensely. However, I wonder how you deal with the days when your chosen path gets really difficult. We have been so busy I have not had time to shop this week, only buying what we actually need and using up bits and pieces and it is unbelievable how little money I have spent. By the time you read this your pay will be nice and warm in your bank account – for a while anyway. Enjoy the moment, and be VERY proud of yourself – another month closer to your goal.X

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  7. A wonderful post Froogs…I try to make being frugal a game for myself…how much can I use up around the house before having to make a purchase? what can I trade for something else? what can I sell on eBay?

    it's been a good feeling getting the credit cards paid down then paid off! some day I'll be debt free…thanks to the inspirations of blogs like yours…

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