At the start of every month, I set up lists of everything that needs to be paid out, in order of importance, rent, bills, food, toiletries etc. I have followed this simple little habit for years, and also keep all receipts for reference. As a boring creature of habit, my basic shopping list rarely deviates, we eat pretty much the same boring cheap food, beans on toast, slices of cheese with slices of apple and brown sauce, sons favourite, a plateful of whatever veg is on offer, etc etc, week in week out, the only highlights coming along in the form of any special offers, mark-down deals etc that I may be lucky enough to spot whilst out!

The past two years have been bad enough, this recession hasn’t just arrived on our doorsteps, it has been creeping up to bite us for quite some time believe me, I have the proof!

Two years ago, I had the princely sum of £31.73 per week left after rent and bills with which to buy EVERYTHING ELSE, just before Christmas 2010 that amount left had dropped to around £21-24 per week depending on the time of the month. Imagine my despair this week when I discovered that I now only have £14.20 something odd left to BUY EVERYTHING ELSE, clothes food, toiletries etc etc!

Now don’t get me wrong here, I know some of you feel you are very well able to manage money, so I do feel the need to point out a few things…

  1. my rent is mid to cheap range for the area, (although given the amount of destruction to our property and health from the fast growing black mould that is debatable) and no,I cannot leave, wish I could afford to but I can’t ( watch me run at the first sign of a cash injection tho!)
  2. My son and I do NOT have Sky installed, nor do we enjoy Plasma TV’s game consoles, fancy gadgets, new clothes, any paid for leisure activities at all, we don’t have loans or credit cards etc.
  3. Although we do eat fairly healthily, I can see that changing sooner rather than later as I really do need more than 3 meals per week, which together with 4 sandwiches, is pretty much all I have been eating for two years now, yet if I am to ensure my son gets all he needs, as the post title says, I can no longer afford to eat!
  4. Despite using almost half the utilities that I was two years ago, my bill costs have DOUBLED, I suspect I am going to be dubbed as Hitler Mom when my son starts school, and realises that others live a much freer and warmer life than we do! He will hate me during his formative years, through no fault of my own, hopefully he will understand when he becomes an adult, although I rather suspect the guilt will have gotten to me by then!
  5. Can I add that two years ago I WAS WORKING, until my boss decided to booger off and not pay us staff the by then six week wages he owed us, and no, please don’t barrage me with “you are entitled to etc” notes, I have taken advice, have made almost a hundred expensive call-box phone calls etc, to no avail, I am STILL recovering from a two month period of NO INCOME WHATSOEVER, whereby I accrued rent arrears etc, and gained a nice friendly tax debt as an income was assumed even though I had never received it ( don’t ask!) Apparently it is MY responsibility to prove this guy was a crook, yeah like I have an Interpol like service at my fingertips NOT
  6. The longer we live here, the more in debt/starved I am going to become, I don’t even have a real garden I am allowed to use solely for me, so I cannot even try to grow my own anytime soon!
  7. Oh, we don’t wear designer clothes, no item of clothing that survived the mould takeover ( and believe me it is rapid and totally destructive, washing just made items fall apart!) in fact all we have left is full of holes, to the point I am ALWAYS being followed around by store detectives! ( I look broke not thief-like!)
  8. I HATE the way people make judgements……..I would LOVE to be able to afford to “dress nice” and for my son not to be pitied by others, instead, I often get treated as though I am some drugged-up halfwit goodfornothing!


Now, I wouldn’t mind quite so much about this, I know I am not the only one in the same situation, and hell, some folks in foreign climes don’t even have a roof over their heads, but surely one’s weekly water bill, even though we barely use any at all, shouldn’t in the Western world be costing more than one’s food shop?

Somehow something seems to be really broken in our society, quite apart from the lack of manners and respect etc, and what really incenses me is the “POWERS THAT BE” telling us we all have to do our bit to get through the bad times, yet then the news reports tell us that so & so utility company/banks etc made record profits ( off our backs) , some politician got jailed for illegal expenses theft, ( how many more got off scott free?)

And don’t get me started on Carbon Taxes!

The day I win/get given (hint to all billionaires out there) enough money to start my dream smallholding, watch me get as self sufficient as possible, and have a comfortable life and upbringing for my son, , offer a nice relaxed AFFORDABLE holiday space for other families, in a real relaxed atmosphere, and NOT line the pockets of those greedy hyenas who SOMEHOW bleated their way to the top of the food chain!



Filed under General Daily Blurb, Meet The Family, Political


  1. Julie Hinson

    lynda your son will NOT hate you for not being able to dress him in designer gear and feed him expensive grub, you sound a brilliant mum, every post you make has some reference or other to your little man, so its quite obvious to me that you dote on him,
    he will understand when he’s older that times are really hard for lots of people right now,
    but i know what you mean the way food prices keep rocketing , i cant find a job because i have no experience and putting homemaker on application forms isnt good enough for them.

    • I know, doesn’t stop it grating though! I too have the “homemaker” problem, once they find that out, and without lying outright there’s no avoiding it, employers do seem to switch off don’t they!

  2. flumpypup

    Thanks for sharing your story, I totally agree with the sentiment behind it. We are a broken society. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer!
    Although both me and hubby are working, we get by but it is becoming increasingly difficult. Everything has gone up in price and like you say so have the profits for the companies involved. Where’s the justice there?

    I wish I was in a position to offer help but I will keep my fingers crossed for a massive cash win for you 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment, I am keeping my fingers crossed for ALL of us, although the looming budget does have me more than a little bit worried!

  3. Terry

    Never mind mibsxx at least your mother loves you.

    • and believe me, when I finally strike it lucky, ma, you will be the FIRST one to know xxx I owe you so much already, you truly are the best Mom in the world xxxxxx
      Oh, and welcome to the virtual world BTW xx lol ( duckin for cover right now!)

      • Elaine Livingstone

        Im the same my family will be first to get a postcard if the day ever comes, where would we be without family, and Im sure your mother isnt counting the cost of having such a wonderful person as a daughter, just her blessings

  4. Elaine Livingstone

    I can sympathise with you. Like you this is not a “please feel sorry for me” story, it is a way of life for thousands of us up and down the country.
    My husband has been unemployed for 3 yrs now, and no there is nothing out there, he does not receive a penny in benefits because I work and earn a little bit more than income support level time we pay rent and council tax, and I mean a little bit more, time I pay petrol and lunches probably no more.
    We had to get some of our bills onto reduced payments, and this involved giving income and expenditure. They come out with things like you” must spend £5 a week on clothes, and £5 a week on presents, which means you do not have enough money for x,y and z.” well I cant afford to spend £250 a yr on clothes or pressies, and like you I am very good at not spending huge amounts on food as we make things stretch and get 4 nights out of a small chicken, 3 nights out of a lb of mince etc.
    I use a push bike cos its free, Im not to proud to take hand me downs and cast offs, and like you unless some competition is generous to me I see no immediate way out.
    But at the end of the day there are many millions in other parts of the world who would be grateful for what I have got, and I am also grateful, and like you have explored every avenue for benefits, help etc and because Im less then a £5 a week above benefit level then I am entitled to sod all from anybody and have (in the past) contemplated ending it all when the pestering phone calls are coming in and people are hounding me, but got to the stage they cant touch me as Ive nothing to touch and in about 12 yrs time it will all be paid off!!!
    thanks for letting me vent here, and I know what it is like I can really sympathise with you

    • Thank you for sharing, it does help to know we are not alone in this, and you never know, some politician may actually read this sometime! It’s about time they knew what life is REALLY like for a large majority of us! Here’s hoping we all get a lucky streak sometime soon xx

      • Elaine Livingstone

        not complaining too much, got a great husband, 5 wonderful” kids” and 2 beautiful grandchildren and Im sure there are people are there who would give any amount for that in itself.
        but yes as you say these politicians have no idea what it is like to live in the real world, and how do you tighten your belt after its chopped you in half already??
        a lucky streak woould be great, but like you I will survive as long as I dont get an unlucky streak instead.
        if its any help the price of sugar was down in morrisons today….lol

        • re yr comp entry, you are not No 1 entry lol, i dont “approve” the comments till comp closes else all would see the answer straight away! xxxx

        • Elaine Livingstone

          ahhh hadnt thought of that…..and good luck to whoever was first

  5. Yasmin Selena Butt

    Please check out your local freecycle group for your area. The aim is to keep landfills empty.
    I’m currently seeking work and on a shoestring budget as I don’t know when I will next have an income. But I found freecycle brilliant as a first port of call for asking for stuff that people might be looking to pass on. And in return I have passed on things too. Just today I gave a lady some hair straighteners and over the weekend collected an old laser printer as mine is dying. The site has been a godsend for me, and it might be beneficial to you. I’ve collected and donated toiletries, clothes, furniture, bags, music, film etc
    I know it’s a tough time, but it will get better.

    • Lol, thank you, already belong to mine, and have done the same as you, as BabyMibs got older anything he grew out of got passed on , it IS a lifesaver to be sure, sadly our local one has more folks asking than offering, definately a sign of the current times methinks xx

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