We are trying to save the deposit for a house which, in these times, even in east London, is a considerable sum. The problem is that I am not very good at it. I like books, good food, drinking and going places. On the other hand, I don't want to live forever in a one bedroom flat with no garden. I know that we can buy our council flat, and most people have encouraged us to do so, but I do believe in social housing. It's helped us out and I hope that it will do the same for others after us. The only other option is a strict budget.
After the bills are paid we have joint going out money, food money and 'pocket money'. I am trying to spend more wisely and according to the rules of something which I read ages and ages ago. With embarrassment I note these were copied into my journal in November 2002. I obviously thought they were important but it's taken me two and a half years to act!
Do I need it?
How many do I already have?
How much will I use it?
How long will it last?
Is it recyclable?
Could I borrow it?
Do without it?
Repair and maintain it?
Dispose of it environmentally?
It's very difficult. Books are an issue in themselves. I do frequent the local library as I believe they are important, especially for the elderly and the very young. I do, however, like to buy my own copy of a book. If they are crap they are recyclable – I take them to a charity shop.
I have made two purchases this weekend – each for £10 and both very exciting (in my mind at least).
The first is a plain black shopping trolley (ie not tartan or gaudy colours). I can now buy much more at the market and actually get it home. I need it. I don't have one already. I will use it every weekend. It'll last a while. I'm sure my dad could recycle it or repair it. I can't borrow one and I can't see myself needing to dispose of it. Hurrah!
The second – three headbands. The picture on the stall clearly showed four uses. I can remember two (keeping your hair out your eyes and ditto plus less band on top with some round the bottom of your face if its cold). I did nearly find a fifth of my own trying to work out the remaining two- strangulation.