Are You Feeling Squeezed?

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Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  alec eiffel on Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:55 pm

Just listening to a thing on the radio about the "squeezed middle" and how the next 18 months are going to be the worst for some people due to increased costs and less disposable income to go around. Does this sound familiar to you?

It does to us. Dan has already taken a pay cut to help prevent redundancies, he used to be able to park free of charge and now pays £35 a month, there are to be changes to his pension, he's taken on the role of two other jobs (not that that's financial but it is stressful). So our outgoings are far higher then they used to be. We're back to shopping less for things like clothes and tightening our belts again. It's not as tight as when we were paying off our debts but I would have liked to have a little longer with some extra cash to spend before having to think about every penny again.

eta linky

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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  TP on Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:58 am

35 pounds a month to park eeek

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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  flibsey on Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:43 am

jim's pay doesn't stretch far enough to cover all living essential expenses any more, so we're in debt every month (but manage to pay it off). We're a classic example of the Squeezed Middle and there's nothing else I can shave off anywhere!

it'd be cheaper if jim didn't have to commute so far. We were asked if, with jim being a rail employee, rail would be cheaper but even with Privilage Rail cards which get us 75% off mainline fares, we'd still be paying more in his commuting expenses than it costs for him to drive as he still has to cross london and PRIV cards don't work on the underground. our car is one of our biggest expenses. he does so many miles in it (average of 400p/w approx) and it takes a toll on the car itself too, not just the fuel, insurance, oils, tax, normal maintenance etc. That said, if me and soph didn't have our PRIV cards, we'd not see my mum as often because it'd cost us 4x as much to get there; just over £25 instead of just over £6.


Last edited by flibsey on Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  alec eiffel on Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:46 am

Ikwym flibsey, it just gets to a point where there is no more to cut - it was so much easier when I first had the lightbulb moment and could save from pretty much everywhere. Think my haircut is going to be the next thing to go. We cut each others hair for years and I really don't want to go back to that but you never know.

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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  froogs on Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:51 am

I'm really scared about what the next few years have in store. I don't know how much tighter we can pull in our belts for non food items - bills are getting stupidly high too.

We don't do much or spend much out of the normal day-to-day living costs. There's not much we can get rid of really... the TV? The internet? Thinking carefully about whether we really need the heating on. Bath/shower every other night? It might get down to that really. In fact I believe it might go beyond that and hit the food budget. Can you imagine trying to live off pittence feeding a family nowadays with bread at £1.60 a loaf in our coop. Frightening.
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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  flibsey on Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:53 am

I have my hair done by a great friend with hairdressing experience... she costs me £10 and is amazing. she's the only person I've ever been to who knows how to deal with my curls. she sometimes works in return for other things instead of cash; for instance an afternoon's babysitting or a bag of basic shopping bits (eggs, bread and milk when she had no time to go get any) and once she asked for a bowl of home made coleslaw and all nametags sewn into her daughters' school uniforms lol. she does my hair once every 8 weeks or so.
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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  alec eiffel on Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:56 am

That's cool. My mum was a hairdresser so I didn't ever pay to get my hair done until I was in my mid twenties. Then Dan did it for me for a few years and now I have a good hairdresser - who is also struggling as people who used to go in for a cut and blow dry are now just going in for a wet cut, people who used to have a cut and colour are just getting a cut and doing the colour at home etc. She is a great hairdresser and has done a lovely job of the salon but if it were not for the fact that we have a lot of old people round here who like to have their hair set every week I think she'd be a lot quieter.

*sigh*

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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  flibsey on Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:03 am

Leah's "bread and butter" are local mums with no money hahaha.
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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  knitmylife on Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:49 am

ill be honest we are doing ok but that is largely due to the fact that over the last two years we have moved to a tiny house from a very large house.

also 4 out of 5 of our children have left home so that has cut cost in many areas.

on top of that hubby now works overtime regularly which really boots things up.

we are not flush by any means but we do ok xx
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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  PurpleIvy on Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:34 am

£1.60 a loaf! I'm sure it's cheaper for me making my own malted seeded loaf.

Well, our second has just gone to Uni, so there are expenses there, as he is in catered accommodation, but the odd thing like orchestra subs and constant trips to school (was a 22 mile round trip) when he couldn't use the school bus are missing now. DD has a small income from her placement in Italy and fortunately she has got her accommodation in exchange for helping the family with their English and homework and some extra hours at school. She'll want to travel, but that will probably be out of her earnings and reduced student loan. Next year we will have two lots of student accommodation to fund!

I'm trying really hard not to use the car and whereas I just went and did an errrand, I'm now much more organised about grouping errands. I now shop at Aldi which is nearby, rather than previously I used to go to Morrisons, Tesco which are a little further away.

Domestic fuel bills are the thing that seem to have really gone through the roof in the last couple of years.
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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  knitmylife on Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:11 am

am i being really thick here. do you actually have to fund the uni accomodation??? sorry xx
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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  Bitsy Beans on Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:52 am

We are still doing OK but our bills are rising fast, car insurance renewal was up £200 Shocked Shocked our gas DD got put up a further £30, food bill has risen at least £15 per week. Will anything in this country ever drop in price? Aside from blooming house prices.......
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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  mesh on Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:01 pm

As I am sat here at home typing this message, I have got on a thick t shirt and a polarfleece, the doors and windows are now shut and my mink blanket is sat by the side of the sofa and I am wondering how much longer I can go on without heating? I sort of told myself November and will do my utmost to wait till then. I have been looking up new recipes for my slow cooker and will use this more over this winter than previously and have started having soup before the main meal so that part of the meal is less. Am I feeling squeezed? yes, even in charity shops I ask myself if its a need or a want.

we have cut down on going out a couple of times a week to twice a month now and do cheap cinema one time and then bargain meal the other night. This might have to go next month.

I had sympathy with the Greeks on Beeb 1 breakfast this morning, they want work, not money and I wonder, when will this change for them and also for our youngies. 1mil of them unemployed, what is the message we are sending them, they work hard at school, college/uni to do what?

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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  PurpleIvy on Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:06 am

knitmylife wrote:am i being really thick here. do you actually have to fund the uni accomodation??? sorry xx

Well, theoretically we don't have to, but as the maintainance loan doesn't even cover accommodation costs, never mind living costs, we agreed to pay the accommodation fees for the children. They're fortunate, as not all families can manage it. DS is in catered accommodation this year which costs over £5000. The maintenance loan is somewhere over £3000. Quite a discrepancy! When my daughter was in halls for her first year the accommodation was more than the maintenance loan. I could feed the whole family on what they have for the 'catered' bit of his accommodation.

There must be jobs out there, but it's mostly about who you know rather than what you know. DD did a stint in a local GP surgery last year, but this year not managed to get more than a couple of days. All the regular part time staff are taking up the hours.

...and no you're not being thick at all. Unless you need to know about such things there's no reason why you should.
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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  alec eiffel on Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:15 pm

I think this fits here. Something really nice has happened! Dan's big project at the minute is a thing about child deprivation in the borough, his research guy produced a document that was turned into a press release. The leader of the council told them yesterday that a church group were so touched by the story in the paper their cause this Christmas is a toy drive so no children have to go without a gift. Everyone in Dan's team was made up that even before their full findings are turned into policy there is some great grassroots stuff going on. Just need to buy a toy to give to them now!

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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  knitmylife on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:59 am

interesting about the university stuff.

my dd is only 12 but good to know.

i dont think we would be able to afford that but i suppose time will tell if she wants to go even.

i guess i thought all students were totally poor and had to get a job and live on baked beans - shows what i know lol x
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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  alec eiffel on Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:17 am

knitmylife wrote:interesting about the university stuff.

my dd is only 12 but good to know.

i dont think we would be able to afford that but i suppose time will tell if she wants to go even.

i guess i thought all students were totally poor and had to get a job and live on baked beans - shows what i know lol x

They are if they're funding it themselves or relying on a student loan. It's why lots of people leave uni with debts of £15k or much more! I went to university with lots of people who had their food and housing paid for by their parents and I know a few whose parents bought a house or flat for them to live in and then rented out the other rooms. After a summer of no food other than rice and popcorn I got a full time job at a hotel where meals were included bounce Loved it!

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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  PurpleIvy on Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:44 am

Well ours are lucky that we can afford to help out, but they do their part in being sensible with what they have. They have the student loan, but a) it's not enough to live on and b) they will still have to pay it back.

DS is catered this year, dd lives fairly frugally, as far as food and drink are concerned. DS knows the difference between eating well on a budget and buying carp on a budget. Neither smoke and neither think it's worth spending a lot on booze. THey know that if they do all that stuff they can't afford to meet up with friends for the weekend and so on. A modest amount is made to go a long way! DD hasn't used her overdraft facility and I'm sure ds won't either. Unless it was a dire emergency they wouldn't ask us for more either!

I know of young people that have the amount of money and just whizz straight through it, new this that and the other, lots of nights out and boozing. Ours still have a lot of fun, just a bit more selective about how they spend their money. Someone was relating to me how her friend's daughter was always left an 'in case' amount of money when they went away from home. WHen they got back the money was always used. Under normal circumstances the daughter had used her weekly amount after a few days. I guess they're all different.
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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  TP on Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:12 am

I was reading that people mainly middle class workers aged 50 and above are delaying their retirement until they are at least 70 because they are bailing out their children. The soaring cost of living is the reason for the delay. Many say they are having to bail out their children who they presumed would be financially independent? Reasons cited helping their children get on the property ladder and helping with university debts.

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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  Anne on Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:14 am

We are watching our fuel and energy out goings. Can't believe how those energy providers can get away with the prices they charge. We were with British Gas, and our monthly bill went up from £47 per month to £119 for the gas, and the electric which was £96 a month went up to £176 ????? So radiators will be kept low. We have a thermostat set at 20%. OH is going to put tin foil behind the radiators, and we're going to put curtains up at the doors, and sausage draught excluders. We do have good double glazed windows. One window where it's a bit chilly, OH is going to make a wooden shutter. We've done switch, and the cheapest for our area is Scottishpower, which is still pricey, but better than what BG were asking.
Somewhere I know, in thier village, they have a 'TIme Bank' where people register a trade, or something they're good at, and trade abilities. So if someone needed a gardener, and you were a hairdresser, then in return for your garden being ssen to, you would do that person's hair. Seems a good idea to me :-)
We're already trying to watch the groceries. Keeping an eye on food due to run out of date, and using cupboard stuff up. Did well today, buying just the miminal for tonights meal. It's a discipline I find hard, although I do enjoy putting up meals from odds n ends.
We are a large family, and although not in dire straits, we don't want to eat into all our savings (if they can be called that at the moment) So we're determined to save a little by living a simpler, frugal lifestyle :-)
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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  alec eiffel on Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:07 pm

I've heard about Time Banks, I think they're a fantastic idea.

TP, I can totally see how that would happen with parents bailing out their children. The parents of a friend remortgaged their house to help he through her PhD. My parents gave us some money towards the deposit on our first house but it was back in 2003 when houses were much cheaper and we only needed 5% deposit so it was a relatively small amount, £2500. They gave the same to my brothers too, these days it must be really difficult for people buying for the first time and their parents.

The couple that bought our house from us were first time buyers and they'd moved back in with parents so they could save money to get the deposit together. I think they knew they had struck lucky with us because we just wanted to get rid of the house and weren't bothered about getting top dollar for it. It worked out well for everyone I think!

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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  Anne on Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:05 am

It is really difficult for the youngsters to get homes these days. OH and I had help from our parents when we started out 34yrs ago, but we aren't in a position to give out as they did, having a large family, we can't help with out large amounts of money to all of them and we like to treat them all fairly. We try to help out in other ways, like letting them live with us rent free, so thay can use what they would pay us for their future. My 24yr old is desparate to get married, but can't afford to, though I did say to her maybe she needs to take the plunge, then move on from there, rather than waiting for it to be all 'right' but if she does, then they would have to live with us, because they can't afford to rent, and definitely can't afford a mortgage. The council won't house them, because although there are 5 children still at home with us, we are not over crowded, so she wouldn't get a council house or flat, unless of course she became pregnant !!!!! Which she doesn't to do. I feel so sorry for her and her BF.
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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  TP on Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:01 am

petrol going up again bet it would all go down if we stopped using cars?

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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  Bitsy Beans on Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:03 am

TP wrote:petrol going up again bet it would all go down if we stopped using cars?

I vote we all go back to using the horse and cart.

I remember being bloody annoyed at the cost going over £1, oh to be back at those heady days.

My parents would love to help me out so I didnt have to work but as they have debts themselves and were out of the mortgage stream for a very long time they can't. I know people knock the desire to be home owners but really how does one afford rent out of a pension? At least by the time I get to older age the house will be paid for, one less thing to find money for. Council housing is scarce, private renting costs as much as a mortgage......it's a no brainer to me that people want to own. And surely by not relying on council accommodation I am trying to ease the burden on the Welfare state. if these house prices weren't so ridiculously priced then maybe it wouldn't take two people to scrimp and struggle to get a mortgage and them struggle with childcare costs because they have a family and a house.

Sorry I'll get off my soapbox Embarassed
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Re: Are You Feeling Squeezed?

Post  sunrisecards on Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:24 pm

when the credit crunch first hit my hubby was also having stress problems at work and decided to change jobs taking a big drop in money so I felt like we were hit twice but its amazing what you can learn to live on
we cut our outgoings ( luckily we have never been extravagant people ) and I don't agree with living beyond our means and my parents are very careful ( another word could be tight lol ) and although I try hard not to be as 'careful ' as them I am pretty good at keeping our spending under control
luckily hubby is now settled in a job and although he doesn't earn what he used to we do ok although it does worry me that you do get to the stage where there is nothing left to cut back on
we are lucky ( well lucky is not really the word I'd use as I miss him like crazy !!) but our son moved out this year with his girlfriend and our daughter works full time now so that certainly helps

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