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Frugal Friday | Saving Real Money

UK Pounds

Gold or Paper?

Which would you rather have the gold sovereign or the paper money shown in the picture? The paper money is going down in value by over 5% a year and the gold sovereign is going up in value. The gold sovereign is carried by the SAS (Special Air Service) because it’s like an international currency and generally recognised as being valuable throughout the world. In one country this week citizens were offered a chance to win $1,000 of gold for handing in dog poo! In other countries people have been buying gold bars from vending machines.

Commodities of all kinds have gone up in value throughout this recession and the printing of money has seen food prices, energy prices and all the essential commodities we rely on increase in price. As Einstein said, everything is relative and if we compare the gold coin and the paper money, it could be said the gold is increasing in value; equally it could be said the gold is the stable currency and it  is the paper money that is losing value. You can currently buy around 70 pints of beer with that gold; next year  expect that to be 75 pints; the same amount of paper money will buy 70 pints this year and 5% less next year, so you will only get 66 and 1/2 and it will keep going down year on year.


Energy is a commodity and we can expect lots of rises announced in coming weeks and months on gas and electricity. They have already started the annual rip off. Writers will advise you to switch suppliers and turn your television off standby. People on pre-payment meters will be feeding their meters like there is no tomorrow and maybe forgetting to get a television licence. The poorest in society, those in all electric flats with a poor education, will suffer the most. Education is very important when you’re trying to be frugal. I asked my local garage to pick my car up today and change the cam belt. I’m also having them change a wire to the cigar lighter, so it’s always on. I’ll plug a solar panel into it then and trickle charge my battery through winter. The panel gives 1 W of power and we get sunny days in winter so it will be cheaper than a new battery and easier than keep charging it when I’m not using it so much. I did electronics and telecommunications at college and so I know this stuff. I have a problem with my phone, it’s OK I can fix it rather than buy a new one. Education saves money. A TV on standby only uses 1W of power so it costs 12p to leave it on standby for 1,000 hours, not a big saving if you do turn it off. There are many ways you can save a lot through. I have draught proofing on interior doors and can leave a room cold in winter if I’m not using it. If mum is in the kitchen and everyone else is at work and school, can’t you just close the bedroom doors and turn off the radiators to save some energy? You can if those doors are draught proofed. One minute less in an electric shower rated at 8 Kw will save a unit or two of electricity a week. Set the washing machine on the coolest wash and many powders and liquids will work better these days.

Christmas and Winter

I know thinking about Christmas and winter in July seems crazy but I can get stuff cheap now. I bought a winter sweater last July, they reduced it from £30 to £20 for me. I am also thinking about buying wine, cider, beer and spirits for Christmas; it will save me shopping when it’s cold, save money and I can find bargains. The single malt whisky is reasonable in Lidl and the beer is cheap! I don’t need to improve the insulation in my home but that is definitely a summer job if you do need more. You can even think about buying Christmas presents now, it will save you time and money. It is a little early for me to stock up on food for Christmas, but I won’t be leaving it until the last minute. I am having my car fixed ready for the winter though and it should be trouble free through the winter months.

Remember that anything that is heated uses a lot of energy. I am using my oven later and I will cook dinner but also extra for tomorrow’s lunch and can I’ll have a cold chicken salad or cold chicken with a baked potato and veggies for lunch. It saves probably a unit of gas a day, it all mounts up.

The most important thing is to come to an agreement with friends and family and to agree living thrifty and frugally is a good idea. If you have spendthrift friends and family, they tend to spend your money too! You probably can’t do much about friends but you may get support from family if you start a joint savings account and the whole family can see the balance going up and the interest added and a goal like a holiday coming closer and closer. The motivation to turn off a radiator in a unused room can be high when you are thinking about it making a dream holiday come true that much sooner.

Smile with tongue out

Yesterday was Thrifty Thursday, you might also like I agree with David Cameron!  and please check out, Neodigital Art | Update Sixteen that was very popular this week. Wednesday this week was my best day ever for this blog with readers on every continent, except maybe Antarctica! The whole world is going thrifty and frugal!


3 responses

  1. Hi Mike, Great suggestions! Not too many houses in the US have radiators. We have central heating and air conditioning. I have heard different stories about whether closing up a room saves money with central heating and air. I try to keep the heat low, especially at night. Sweaters help to keep me warm!

    Thanks for all the great suggestions. I’m glad you’re educated and share your knowledge with us!

    29, July 2011 at 10:28 pm

  2. A lot of people tell me that you don’t save money turning off radiators. I have mine off in my bedroom and turn it on in the evening. In winter if I forget to turn it on it’s freezing in there! I thought the comparison of gold to paper money was good in this one. My knowledge of electricity will show in Saturday’s blog; due in 15 minutes! 🙂

    30, July 2011 at 8:46 am

  3. Pingback: Frugal Friday | Christmas thoughts « Mike10613's Blog

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