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Legal, pensions and money

How are you faring?

(57 Posts)
annsixty Thu 16-Mar-23 12:42:21

This morning’s post brought the expected letter about the increase in council tax!
Up £11 a month.
Tuesday came the SKY subscription, up £7:=550 a month.
Last month it was the water bill, water meter, up over £8 a month.
Gas service insurance, a necessary expense for me, up £5 a month.
Fortunately my gas and electricity is staying the same for the present.
It goes without saying that Sainsbury’s weekly delivery goes up every couple of weeks.
So we on state pension are getting a decent rise next month but it is very much needed and will soon be swallowed up.

annsixty Thu 16-Mar-23 12:43:17

Fat fingers onSKY £7:50

cornergran Thu 16-Mar-23 12:51:30

Same here ann. I presented our list to Mr C yesterday, he struggled to believe his eyes. Our utility fixed rate contract ends next month. Who knows what will happen then. We’ll mange, but goodness where will it stop?

annsixty Thu 16-Mar-23 12:56:47

My utilities were out of contract last August, payment went up £103 monthly.
I think that is why it is staying the same at the moment.

NanaDana Thu 16-Mar-23 13:13:05

I honestly don't know how we'd manage if we had to rely solely on State Pension, as so many do. Fortunately, we are privileged to have 5 pensions between the two of us. Nevertheless, we have both had to look hard at our monthly outgoings, in particular where energy costs are concerned. We've reduced the boiler temperature to 60 degrees as suggested, and turned the thermostat in the hall down a couple of degrees to 20. We're cutting back on car journeys too, and opting for shopping from home for groceries with expenditure to a level which entails no delivery charge. We're also looking hard at whether or not we actually still need a car nowadays, as doing without one would certainly produce a significant saving. Apparently we are experiencing the most extreme fall in living standards since the 50's. We had also thought that perhaps we'd reached the stage where the Bank of Mum and Dad might see some relief, but no, we're having to step in again to help family out. At least we're still in a position to do that, as I'm aware that many aren't. Hard times indeed, and I honestly can't see things improving any time soon, despite "upbeat" posturing in the budget.

crazyH Thu 16-Mar-23 13:14:07

Everything is gone sky high - my Dentist has gone private, but I don’t want to change because it has taken me all this time to find a Dentist I’m actually not scared of. Have an appointment with her on Monday - Heaven knows what it will cost and what horrors she will find. No holidays for me, not for a long time .

Kim19 Thu 16-Mar-23 18:57:11

My increase in state pension is completely swallowed up my council rate increase alone.

Shinamae Thu 16-Mar-23 23:32:34

I cancelled my sky some months ago and make do with Freeview.
I also have Amazon Prime and have started paying for films on there rather than going to the cinema as it is much much cheaper and some films are actually free and the films are usually pretty up to date as well..

PamelaJ1 Fri 17-Mar-23 03:56:27

One of my DH’s loves is his daily newspaper but we have been away for 2months so I changed our subscription to online only.
He is becoming used to reading it this way and, although I agree with him that it’s not quite the same, I think we may stick with it and save about £70/month.

rosie1959 Fri 17-Mar-23 05:56:57

At the moment we are OK but my husband has just turned 65 and thinking of retiring and quite honestly it's a scary thought. For a few years now we have not had to worry what we spend within reason we are by no means rich.

NotSpaghetti Fri 17-Mar-23 06:31:27

Our fixed rate on Gas/Electric has just ended.
BOTH have more than doubled. The standing charges are up a lot too. Our bills are very high in the first place even though we have cut our usage down quite considerably - it's still a lot of money to spend.

This is really bad news for us and will undoubtedly mean problems later - but I do know it's worse for those totally dependent on benefits.

I don't see anything much in the budget for us unfortunately.

Cabbie21 Fri 17-Mar-23 07:47:43

Our biggest expense is the energy bill. DH needs the house to be warm all the time. He is also not good at switching lights and appliances off. Our fix has just ended so we are waiting to see what the next bill will be with trepidation. At least we can pay it.

karmalady Fri 17-Mar-23 07:56:58

I am faring well here thank you, I knew rises were coming so I tightened my belt three months ago, hardly spent anything on extras or wants and am now accruing savings to stay on an even keel

I stopped amazon prime and am working through my large stockcupboard and stored stash. My small garden will be very productive with berries, rhubarb, apples etc which will all be processed for the freezer or bottling. I don`t have netflix etc I do get an organic veg box every week

I started three regular savers at >5% interest, to mature by christmas and they will be very helpful, my energy fixed rate finishes in november. I am stocked up with fuel, enough to keep my stove burning all through next winter and beyond

My mindset thankfully, is now de-programmed away from the endorphins caused by buying. Now I take cash out with me and am no longer tempted. I am about to start withdrawing cash from the bank again, to re-build what I have used

In the meantime I am only paying £23 pm into my octopus account so will increase that from next month, to start accumulating credit, now that the £67 pm is stopping

The plumber did some work for me and I will soon be getting his bill, once that is paid then there will be no nasty surprises. My hand written spreadsheet will be updated later today, to take account of all the rises

Franbern Fri 17-Mar-23 10:42:50

I am coping!!! My fixed EDF rae finished in Janujary, as I am not able to have a smart meter here, will not know exactly how much that is costing now per month until August. BUT.....I have worked on having similar usage as previous years and upped my monthly DD to take tht into accont. As I got rid of my car well over a year ago, really thankful now that I did, I am able to ignore the emails from so many companies telling me how much it will cost to insure it now.

I have a Sainsbury delivery for three weeks in each month and do an 'in-person' Tesco shop on the fourth week. Very large Tesco about a quarter of a mile away. Food prices horrify me - not so much on my own behalf, but for families. Many store-cupboard items have actually doubled in price over the last few months (much more than the 17 or 18 percent being quoted in the media). I do not see how families with one or two teenagers (always hungry), are starting to manage, particularly those with low salaried working parents.

But our wonderful government has chosen to give so much more money to the very high earners and the rich, and nothng whatsoever to those families.

I can still manage a few items each week to go into food bank. can keep myself comfortable and warm at home, never been one for holidays, visits to and from my kids and g.children and friends are what I choose. Television is my constant company, no subscriptions (except, I suppose Prime, although rarely used for tv). I enjoy attending (most days) social groups and these usually cost the price of a pot of tea at the places we meet.

I know I am one of the fortunate ones, have no concerns for any of my adult children - and know, that in any real emergency the older two would be happy to step up to help me out financially.

As Pensioners, we, are at least getting that 10% increase next month which will help out with increased expenditure - but families are not ketting that and are still having to pay those same sort of bills.

Charleygirl5 Fri 17-Mar-23 11:43:59

I try to add to the food bank on a regular basis and yesterday I decided to buy a jar of coffee as a treat. Luckily I looked at the price, over £8 so I am afraid it stayed on the shelf.

I shop online at Morrisons and thankfully I looked at the cost of the butter I wanted, a fiver. It also stayed there.

I am dreading July when my fuel contract finishes. Soon it will be cheaper to emigrate to a warmer climate.

I have one annual subscription I must cancel. I feel sorry for the company as it is on its legs now without my and others' assistance.

Happygirl79 Fri 17-Mar-23 11:56:07


One of my DH’s loves is his daily newspaper but we have been away for 2months so I changed our subscription to online only.
He is becoming used to reading it this way and, although I agree with him that it’s not quite the same, I think we may stick with it and save about £70/month.

If you are a member of your local library, you can read all newspapers for free every day using the Pressreader app. You just log in using your library card number. Your favourite magazines are available too. Saves a fortune.

swampy1961 Fri 17-Mar-23 12:03:17

Just sat here this morning (as I do most mornings) checking bank accounts and moving money around to cover bills.
I have increased the Gas/Electric payment to take account of the £66 shortfall due next month which as with all the general increases eats into our disposable income which is not large by any stretch of the imagination.
DH is still waiting on his backdated pension of 18 months which due to his former employers having gone into receivership is a nightmare at the moment along with a useless pensions administrator (who do nothing in between our regular hectoring) and in December when he officially retires will get his State Pension rather than the ESA he currently gets - fingers crossed and bills not withstanding our income will increase a little.
All our bills are paid from a separate account and the balance of our income literally covers everything else from food, petrol, car repairs etc. So some months can be little tight depending on what's happening day to day..
Our food shopping bill has increased due to looking after GCs. One three days a week and two boys after school twice a week. We do this to help out our ACs as they too are struggling but this is given freely as we all help each other where we can. We are more likely to call on the ACs to help out with stuff we find hard to manage in the garden and around the house rather than pay for work to be done and looking after GCs is a lot of fun.
We have a meat delivery every couple of months and shop in between on an as and when needed basis - Tomato sauce being a regular purchase with the two boys!! (but not Heinz!!) But I imagine at this point in time that if we needed to have a few no-spend weeks we could survive a few weeks on what is in the cupboard/freezer.
I was watching Martin Lewis last night and find it so annoying that even though Gas/Electric costs may reduce slightly that the daily standing charge will still increase - so even if you spend virtually nothing on these the costs are still increasing even if you try and cut back. But he did say that fixing rates may be on the way back so will wait what happens there.

karmalady Fri 17-Mar-23 15:40:15

happygirl, thank you very much for the useful pressreader tip, I shall download that this evening

Swampy I am with you on the unfairness of the standing charge increase. Mine will actually double so all in all I am prepared for quite a shock in november, it is all very tricky on a fixed income. Council tax increase notification came today, I notice that some get their council tax paid and the rest of us struggle to keep abreast of the rises

Oreo Fri 17-Mar-23 16:13:45


One of my DH’s loves is his daily newspaper but we have been away for 2months so I changed our subscription to online only.
He is becoming used to reading it this way and, although I agree with him that it’s not quite the same, I think we may stick with it and save about £70/month.

It’s a lot of money for news, DP likes a paper but has cut back now to one mid week and one at the weekend.
We save money by shopping at Aldi and the Co-op now and again.
No new clothes just cos we fancy them either.All bills rising so you have to do what you can.

Grantanow Sun 19-Mar-23 11:13:45

It seems the local library has to have subscribed to Pressreader. Alas, ours hasn't!

Kate54 Sun 19-Mar-23 11:26:29

I subscribe to the i, a great little paper, and therefore it’s half price. I had to laugh yesterday, though, at a feature on how we’re all ‘guilty’ of hanging on to things for too long.
If we followed their recommendations, we’d be even worse off financially!
Here they are:
* wash cleaning cloths after every use and replace every month
* change mascara and make up brushes every three months
* toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three months
* change pet bowls every three months
* wash hairbrush every month and replace every six months
* replace bras every six months
*shower curtains and toilet brushes every six months
* chopping boards every year (I’ve got a bread board, used daily, I went to university with in 1972)
* replace Tupperware every few years
* bath mats every two years
* towels 1- 3 years
*shampoo carpets every six months and replace every five years
* toilet seats, if properly cleaned,five years
* wash duvets every six months and replace after five years
* non-stick pans - five years
* change mattresses every five years (says Hannah from Silentnight!)
A lot of this advice is verging on the irresponsible, methinks!

Quaver22 Sun 19-Mar-23 11:31:42

I just checked Pressreader and I can access it via my library for 30 days and after that it is £27 a month.

Happygirl79 Sun 19-Mar-23 11:37:36


I just checked Pressreader and I can access it via my library for 30 days and after that it is £27 a month.

No. It signs you out automatically after a month. You just sign back in using your library card number, and it's still free. I've been doing this for almost 2 years.

Cabbie21 Sun 19-Mar-23 11:37:38

Our Council Tax will be £207 pm, (for 10 months).

Happygirl79 Sun 19-Mar-23 11:39:42


It seems the local library has to have subscribed to Pressreader. Alas, ours hasn't!

Ask your local MP to put pressure on the library to subscribe? Good luck. It's an amazing resource.