How can we live more frugally in a cost of living crisis?

  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92
    @JoeSoap

    The electrical apprentices at college used them in the department coffee vending machine. The staff got wise so 'doctored' the Klix cups with salt instead of sugar. 🤣🤣🤣

    The higher echelons of electronic engineering had a swipe card for the machine in the main cafeteria so we weren't caught out. We just sat and observed the fun.
    Last edited by retrotecchie; 31-01-24 at 12:44.
    Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player. I DON'T work for or on behalf of EON.Next, but am willing to try and help if I can. Not on mains gas, mobile network or mains drainage. House heated almost entirely by baby dragons.
  • JoeSoap's Avatar
    Level 91
    Fully understood. Have you booked your padded cell yet 😂😂.
    I've booked mine at an adults only venue. 👴

    We could timeshare it 😁
    I'm an Eon Next dual fuel customer with no particular expertise but have some time on my hands that I am using to try and help out a bit.
  • JoeSoap's Avatar
    Level 91
    @JoeSoap

    The electrical apprentices at college used them in the department coffee vending machine. The staff got wise so 'doctored' the Klix cups with salt instead of sugar. 🤣🤣🤣

    The higher echelons of electronic engineering had a swipe card for the machine in the main cafeteria so we weren't caught out. We just sat and observed the fun.

    Haha... that'll learn 'em 😂
  • WizzyWigg's Avatar
    Level 78
    We could timeshare it 😁
    Brilliant idea. Me first. I've got my certificate. 🙃
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91
    I used to get through loads of Halls Hacks. I think some medicinal regulation did for them in the UK - but for a long time you could get them in the Caribbean. Even that avenue has closed now.

    Fortunately, an Asthma inhaler does the job for me now and I don't even have to pay for those. Doesn't taste so good though!!
    Current Eon Next and EDF customer, ex Zog and Symbio. Don't think dual fuel saves money and don't like smart meters. Chronologically Gifted. If I offend let me know by private message, but I’ll continue to express my opinions nonetheless.
  • Andy65's Avatar
    Level 44
    @meldrewreborn You're right I wish they taught more "life skills" in schools.

    Parents used to be the source of "life skills" (I don't like that phrase myself), but it seems to have stopped for reasons unknown to me. Schools, or rather the education system, seem to be struggling with the very basics so I'm not sure they'd cope with it.

    There is this modern fad where the media in particular like to sensationalise far more than they ever used to. So the current base rate of 5.25% is now considered to be a partial cause for a 'cost of living crisis' when in reality it isn't much more than a blip.
    The fundamental problem is that people have had it too good for the last 25 years or so, they've forgotten how to budget, they tend to live to their means, its never been easier to get credit etc, they want all the modern tech. etc.

    One of the contributing factors may be the introduction of equal monthly Direct Debits. Whilst it helps with knowing your regular outgoings, I think it has a side effect of almost dissuading many from saving and/or budgeting. When we were paid weekly in cash and bills were quarterly, and based on direct usage and not averaged, you had to budget months in advance. It wasn't difficult but it instilled financial discipline. On the other hand though, there are far many other ways to spend money these days, such as pay TV/streaming etc.

    The simple way to be more frugal is to spend less, a lot of what we spend money on these days is optional, the problem is many see it to be a necessity.
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92
    Parents used to be the source of "life skills" (I don't like that phrase myself), but it seems to have stopped for reasons unknown to me. Schools, or rather the education system, seem to be struggling with the very basics so I'm not sure they'd cope with it.

    I suspect I'm one of the last of those 'prior generations' who learned 'life skills' from my parents who in turn were taught by their parents. Not that I didn't try very hard with my own children but they just weren't 'interested'. As a lad in short trews, my lad would always be happy to 'pass tools to Daddy' if I was putting up shelves or rewiring the living room, but now he and his girlfriend are busy, high-flying go-getters he'd rather pay someone £25 to put a shelf up or get a tradesman in to fix a loose cabinet door in his kitchen. A couple of times when I happened to be visiting I'd get a "While you're here Dad, any chance you could...(insert routine DIY task here)". Usually something trivial to me but a complete mystery to him. So, happy to do it (he's family after all), I'd ask him to grab me a screwdriver or a pair of pliers and I'd get a blank look and "I haven't got any tools.". He's got any number of qualifications and certificates in computer-related stuff, but he couldn't fit a replacement 13A plug (or know he needs to change the fuse to 3A) on a table-lamp if someone held a gun to his head.

    Me being me, I never go anywhere without a full set of tools in the back of the car. I'd grab the necessary, do the five-minute job, and he'd tell me that if I hadn't been there, he would have Googled a local handyman and paid them to do it. Not 'Googled how to do it himself'.

    My mother taught me the 'basics' of cooking before I went to uni. Just enough that I could fend for myself out in the 'big wide world'. If I could rustle up a spaghetti Bolognese or plate of beans on toast, I wouldn't starve. My son? He hasn't even got a cooker or a microwave in his flat. Neither he or his other half can cook so they live off ready-to-eat cold food, or get takeaways. He can't even boil an egg. And yet, his mother was a cook in a restaurant most of her working life but he never picked up even a hint.

    Schools are happy to teach coding and a modern version of 'Craft, Design and Technology' or 'Food Science' but whatever happened to Woodwork and Metalwork or Home Economics? All on the curriculum when I was in secondary school and, when I left at 16, I could sew a button on a shirt, turn up a pair of trousers, weld a patch on my Mum's Renault 5 or make a tenon and mortice joint with just a handsaw, mallet and chisel.

    Half the reason they don't teach this stuff anymore is because the 'kids' today would rather order Deliveroo, get a tradesman in to assemble a flat-pack bookcase, or persuade Mummy and Daddy to up-front for a newer car than drag themselves away from their devices and actually try to do anything 'practical' for themselves.
    Last edited by retrotecchie; 31-01-24 at 21:48. Reason: Grammaticals!
  • Andy65's Avatar
    Level 44
    Agreed @retrotecchie, I used to quite enjoy fitting the plug when my parents bought a new appliance, which wasn't very often back then. Deliveroo - I think to work for them you have to demonstrate your ability to flout as many laws as possible, maybe I'm just getting old...
  • Tracy's Avatar
    Level 15
    @DebF_EONNext my daughter's autistic too she's 28 now and just got a hold of her finances , it takes time for them to understand but I'm sure with your help he will get there , I shop on line that way I have time to search for cheaper options , and filter out wat I do need and wat I don't , I've cut down a lotto be fair , I don't have a TV licence , main stream TV I don't need , no gyms , no phone contracts , sharing is caring too if anyone is struggling happy to share wat I have 😊