With my brother and I having been brought up by our mum alone, after our dad died when we were young, we were always taught to be careful with money. My mum was a stickler for saving and only spending within her means, and that rubbed off, even though we both like to spend in our own way. After she died and we cleared out my mum’s wardrobe though, I was astonished to see how many clothes still had labels on. So that’s where I get it from!
I’m lucky in that I’ve been careful enough to not have to worry particularly about money, and although I now earn a bit less in my current job, and am now paying childcare costs, I still have enough to go to the places we want to, and not have to scrimp and save. I’ve always saved, started a workplace pension as soon as I could, and that meant even when I was made redundant and had a couple of months before starting a new one, I was able to be confident I had money in my savings in case I needed it, and tried to ensure that I’ve got at least 3 months pay hidden away in case I need it.
It’s not until you don’t have your usual income that you begin to worry. I do love to look out for savings, but on maternity leave, it really hit me that living on not much could be a possibility, and wasn’t one I wanted to have to worry about. It really made me think about the luxuries…at that point I stopped buying magazines (apart from 1 subscription) because I didn’t have time to read them. My money was now being spent on N, rather than so much on clothes for me or going out dancing 4 nights a week.
Legal & General research has said that on average, people in the UK could be on the breadline in only 29 days, reducing to only 14 days for working age families. Shocking figures, but understandable when people need to make choices when times are hard. Alongside the findings, Legal & General have developed a breadline calculator to help educate people and show that often we’re a lot nearer the breadline than we think, if the worst was to happen and we got seriously ill, or lost a job.
If the worst happened and I was without a job or got sick, there’s certain things that I couldn’t live without
- broadband and general wifi connections when out and about
- mobile phone for the security, boredom relief and having a camera permanently with me
- music and books
- a car, because we live in the middle of nowhere, and I don’t fancy a 14 mile+ round trip on a bike to get to town or anywhere worth going to.
I don’t class those as luxuries, because I’d definitely be stuck without them. But there are some luxuries I could give up if needed.
1. Chocolate (and cake, biscuits, puddings etc).
If we were really stumped, we would have the ability to reduce the cost of our food shopping overall, because we do buy British on meats, do buy a bit of fish and don’t buy value items on the whole. Being farmers, we’d want to continue buying British where possible. However chocolate is something I love, so I’d have to give that up and probably be able to save pounds – both cash and weight! The OH would have to give up his daily Guinness.
While I couldn’t give up books, I could give up my Kindle. I do tend to mostly buy cheap deal books for it, rather than my favourite authors so spend less than on paperbacks. But, I’ve got almost a year’s worth of books in my to read pile (assuming a book a week), as well as a bookcase full of books I could re-read.
3. Dermalogica skincare
I’m not big into skincare on the whole. There’s a few cheaper brands I rotate round for cleanser, I might use pound shop skincare wipes on occasion, and I don’t regularly moisturise. But I do use Dermalogica Medibac cleansing and overnight clearing gels. I ran out a month or so ago and had a month of not using the cleansing wash and reverting to whatever cheaper one was in the house, and my skin really wasn’t great. I’m back on the Dermalogica and quickly my skin was a lot better and less spottier (You’d think nearing 40, I wouldn’t get spots anymore). So it does work for me, but it is expensive even though it lasts a long time, so I’d probably have to drop in and find a cheaper version that works just as well.
If you’re interested in more detail of Legal & General’s findings, you can see the research results in their infographic
What luxuries would you give up if needed? Do you worry about not having enough back up savings?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, all words and opinions are my own.