Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Lent - contains crass money talk

My Gran always used to give up chocolate for Lent.  And I've done that a few years although I've not succeeded in that goal for a long time.  For her it was, I think, a religious thing.  For me giving up things for lent is more about proving that I can and doing it for her sort of in her memory.

We're doing Shrove Tuesday at the weekend again this year which was a little disappointing as I've been in all day powerchairless.  But tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent regardless of that.

And although I did consider the chocolate thing, I decided that for lent this year I should try to have 40 days of thinking more about whether I actually really and truly need things before buying/eating/using/whatever them.  This is a better goal as it helps me to cut down on my snacks in a healthier manner which should also help with my weight and be better to stick to long term (easier)

Finances have been something of a stress over the last week with the thought that my fridge was going to need to be replaced and so were my wheelchair batteries.  But the fridge issue resolved itself magically and my chair does need new batteries but not immediately (and that it seems is less likely to be the hit I thought it would be).  So that just leaves me with one big one off unexpected  outlay for a TV license rather than three.  Which makes me calmer about the whole thing.

But I would like to see how easy I would find it to be more frugal with my money - and what I learn when I take the time to really think about things.

Oh and as I was powerchairless yesterday I came to quite a shocking realisation.  I had been bemoaning the fact that I need new wheelchair batteries (or so I thought) and they are so expensive.  

Then I got a taxi up to CAB.  It's 15 mins or so in my chair and 5 mins no more in a taxi.  And the taxi was pretty pricy.  The driver told me all I'd been charged was the minimum.  So I started doing rough workings out in my head... if I got taxis everywhere and just went to CAB and back twice each week, went to the supermarket probably twice and maybe to the doctors or whatever once every couple of weeks... and just paid the minimum charge... I would spend roughly the same each month in taxi cost as I will on wheelchair batteries which this set have lasted about 15 months and probably have another month in them, maybe two.  And that doesn't take into account meeting my friends for lunch or going to writing or knitting or stuff like that.  I wouldn't be able to afford that.


sarah said...

tv license: you know you can set up a monthly direct debit for that yeah??

good luck with your lent plan! :)

Cindy said...

Pardon my American ignorance, but what is a TV license? Do you have to pay for television or is this a fee to have "cable or satellite" services for premium channels? In America we get ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox television services free as well as Public access stations, but if we want channels such as BBC, Showtime, HBO, etc, we have to have cable or a satellite dish installed and you pay anywhere from $30.00 to $100.00 or more per month for your channels depending on how many and the type of channels you get. Currently I pay 63.00 US dollars for a little over 200 channels with the "DISH network" (satellite service). Is this the same type of thing?

Emma said...

@Cindy - A tv license is a license which allows you to use a tv to receive the TV signals. We have five channels you can get with just a TV for free, three of which are funded by advertising and two (the BBC channels) by the TV license. It's illegal to use a TV and not have a license and you can be fined over a grand if you do so. In fact if you buy a new TV you have to give your address and this gets reported to the licensing authority. I rarely watch the channels which the license funds but have to have a license by law. Satellite or cable is an optional extra on top of this. I don't have that but do have freeview which is a box which allows you to access additional free channels.


Related Posts with Thumbnails