721: the simplicity protocol

Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash

It has been a while since I wrote anything, let alone here on my blog space thing. But, it is only for four days, and then I am back in the loving embrace of my wife, my son and the Kent countryside.

I am finding it hard being away from my family and our beautiful home. Anyway, I have been thinking long and hard about what to do to maximise our finances. I have written about this subject before. The thing is, I seem to have lost my way again, and so, with 2022 just a few weeks away, I have decided to make changes to the way we use money.

Over the coming weeks, we have to contend with the expense of the holiday season. We try not to be too extravagant; we cook a simple Christmas dinner and enjoy a few treats, but not much more than that. Our gift-giving is limited to close family members, although we try to send Christmas cards to as many of our friends as possible.

Simplifying our spending habits is far more preferable than earning even more money by doing vast amounts of overtime etc. The cost of living here in the UK has risen dramatically over the past twelve months, leaving many families short of cash each month. We are one of those families. Rhona and I do not drink or go out to the pub/cinema/restaurant at all. A huge saving. We run two cars, but this is a necessity, especially with me working away from home every week and getting Karta to college in Broadstairs, some 15 miles from our home in Adisham. The cost of fuel is a problem; we will look to electric vehicles in the future. Council tax is high, as is our rent, but these are fixed costs, and as such is easy to budget for those. Setting costs is the best way to remain within a monthly budget. We do our best to spend around £200 per month on food, the same for petrol. We have fixed our gas and electricity tariffs for 24-months, which should help us keep those costs down. Other outgoings include various insurances and utility bills, which are as low as possible.

So, what can I do to save more money and spend less? To begin with, I will go into 2022 to clear down our existing debts, a credit card and some PayPal Credit. I’ll cancel any unnecessary subscriptions and surplus expenses. I hope that we can save more than £100 per month by doing this. We also have a considerable amount of ‘stuff that we can liquidate. eBay is a great way to generate some extra funds. So, that’s about all I can do right now. I won’t upgrade my mobile phone anymore. Instead, I will keep my Google Pixel 5 until it becomes obsolete. Only then will I look into an alternative, if at all. Smartphones are a considerable expense. I have a Kindle eReader for books and a Fire HD tablet for entertainment. My Pixel works well as a WiFi hotspot, plus I have my Punkt MP-02, an excellent 4G hotspot option.

That’s about all I have to say about my new simplification protocol, spend less, spend wisely and keep it simple.