We hadn’t really been too touched by ‘moneygeddon’ until last year – I mentioned that Jack had an exciting new job opportunity, which unfortunately didn’t work out. After two weeks in a job that he loved he was essentially made redundant, and the panic set in somewhat! He’d worked at his last place for around seven years, and had been working in catering since he was sixteen, so joblessness was a completely new experience for him. Luckily within another two weeks he found a temporary job, and through contacts from his old job found work with the same company, different brand, and now he’s working at head office! Despite the fact that we struggled for a few months, he’s probably better off now than had he stayed at his old place, so that cloud had an amazing silver lining in the end.
Together, we were comfortably off financially – I don’t earn a huge amount personally so there was a lot of head-scratching to be done as to how we were going to cope if this short term problem turned into a long term one. Here’s what we came up with – hopefully this will be helpful!
- Stop spending money! – I know this sounds ridiculous, but we cut down on anything non-essential, even silly things like spending 70p on a chocolate bar, or the odd after-work drink
- Get a job – any job – Jack was a complete hero in this respect – he applied for anything and everything, be it permanent, temporary – working outside or in and office. Any income is better than no income, and it’s a lot easier to find employment at the job you want, if you’re already employed elsewhere
- Be frugal with food – We all have those items in our kitchen that we have for ‘just in case’ meals, or things in our freezer that we never quite get around to eating – take advantage of them! We also did a lot of making up big meals, and freezing or utilising the leftovers in another form
- Be frugal with your utilities - You’re never sure about how long money is going to be an issue for, start cutting back now, be careful – you don’t want to be hit with a huge bill that you’re going to struggle to pay a few months down the line
The other thing that we almost did was get a lodger – under the government’s Rent a Room Scheme you can earn up to £4,250 per year tax-free from letting out furnished accommodation in your home. We were all set for having our good friend Sam move in with us, but by the time it was all arranged, the financial storm had passed and he found a room closer to home, with our friend Dan who as it turns out was in greater need of the rent money!
My only other advice really is to save, save, save – whether you have something to save for or not – if push had come to shove we could have lasted quite a while on the bits that we’d got stashed away in savings, although luckily it didn’t come to that! It’s certainly a comfort to know that should something break down or need replacing (touch wood!) that we could afford to do it without it being too much of a burden on our monthly income.
Have any of you faced any problems like ours? Got any tips on how to be thrifty in times of financial gloom and doom?
Lots of Love from Jack and Betty (mostly Betty today) xx
I feel like every time I write in this blog it’s another “sorry I haven’t blogged for a while! blah blah” – thing is, we’ve been in the house for a year now… and whilst there is a lot that needs doing, a lot’s already been done. We haven’t got the cash for new projects at the minute really, and our day-to-day living isn’t all that exciting! Jack and I are barely in the house enough together for us to blog about food – quite often it’s cooking for one, which is pretty difficult and not all that exciting… I could do you a charming ‘how to make pasta slightly less boring after making it for the past week’ post but that’s probably about it…
Still a lot is changing around us in our lives – Jack is working his notice at the restaurant after getting what sounds like is going to be an amazing new job opportunity. My part-time pub job is all change as it’s been bought by new owners. Here’s hoping they both work out okay!
One thing we have been able to do is paint the lounge. I saw a great paint chart from Graham and Brown with a ‘Great British Paint Colours’ theme to it – there was a Police Box Blue… and as massive Doctor Who fans, we couldn’t resist… Jack was worried that it’d make our small lounge a little dark, but actually it turned out to be pretty cozy!
Lots of Love from Jack and Betty xxx
Dorian is our new baby African Pygmy Hedgehog! He’s settling in okay, we think – the cat is very very interested… thankfully he doesn’t seem to be an amazing hunter, that and I don’t think that any of his past ‘prey’ has been spiky! He’s very confused by the whole thing!
Lots of Love from Jack and Betty xxxx
Two days a week, I work for 16 hours, until about 1.00am – I usually get a day off afterwards so it’s all cool in terms of getting enough sleep but… I barely get enough time to eat. Luckily Jack trained as a chef, and really loves cooking… I came home the other night to find this waiting for me:
Please ignore the comedy ashtray… as you can see our new years’ resolution has not been going well
nommy salad for a summer(ish) evening
bacon and potato… stuff – very tasty!
homemade bread with rosemary and sea salt
It was so nice to actually have a sit down meal – even if it was at 2.00am – we don’t use the kitchen very often, we’re usually multitasking and eating in the office (bad!) but this was just lovely, to sit and talk over dinner and enjoy a glass of wine together without the cat clambering all over everything.
I’ll try to get Jack to post some recipes, his cooking is really lush! Two more weeks at work for me until summer, and then Jack and I have a week’s holiday together – I’m so excited!
Lots of Love from Betty (as Jack is at work) xxxxx
A much overdue thank you to Jenny at The Treasure Hunter UK (which is an amazing blog, that you should follow if you don’t already) for making us the winner of her subscriber competition, yay!
We won this absolutely gorgeous ‘Secret Garden’ cafetiere from La Cafetiere. - anything with birds on it makes Betty intensely happy, so we’re very grateful! Even the box that it came in is gorgeous (you can see it in the photo).
Very little to report at the moment, we’ve both been at work so much that we’ve barely had time to do anything to the house, let alone blog about it – but this week is our week off, so you should be hearing more from us soon!
Lots of Love from Jack and Betty xx
A little while back, our lovely friend Emma hosted a Jamie at Home party (at our lovely local pub – The Bridge – more on that later) and we scooped up some gorgeous kitchenware!
No prizes for guessing why we bought the ‘Betty’ mini-flan dishes! The Betty range is really gorgeous, and just what we wanted in our kitchen – there’s loads of great 1950s-inspired cookware in the range, and a fantastic pudding bowl that we have our eyes on! The colours are just gorgeous, and the dishes are really substantial and pretty!
These are just the cutest, too – can’t wait to make pancakes and get some maple syrup for these lovely diner-inspired pouring jugs.
In other news…
So now you know!
You can book a Jamie at Home party with Emma here, she is the nicest person you’re ever likely to meet, too – so that’s always a bonus!
Lots of Love from Jack and Betty xxx
It’s been over a month since our last post – never fear, we are still around, doing house-y things! Work is getting in the way just a little at the minute, so in the mean-time here’s a few drool-worthy bits and bobs from Betty’s Pinterest Board, hope to come back with some more content soon!
Lots of Love from Jack and Betty xx