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Navigating Choppy Waters – does everything happen for a reason?

The last 2 years have been like no other I can remember. Wars, climate change, the (subsequent) impact on bills, inflation and mortgages, has left many people stunned and apprehensive about the future. Has the light at the end of the tunnel been turned off in order to save money?!

It would be easy to become pessimistic, but I’ve been married to an eternal optimist for nearly 30 years now and have learnt to look for the positives. she has an inner confidence that everything happens for a reason. It’s not a philosophy I have always been able to fully embrace, especially when things are as dire as they currently seem. So for me, instead of believing that all of this is written in the stars and part of some cosmic plan, I try to think ….. ‘what possible positives could come from this current negative situation?’ I can get my head round this thinking.


Below I have tried to bring order to some of the random and chaotic musings I’ve had. I’m hoping that maybe some of these thoughts / tips may be of help to you.

Like many, I’m thinking about what we can cut or cope with less of. And how long we can last before we announce that the central heating is going on? Luckily, it’s been mild! My primary positive from this question is the fact that I’m actually thinking. For many years, we’ve been fortunate to be able to buy things, go places and turn the heating on without too much discussion or thought. What this leads to is a gradual but inevitable over consumption; a waste and accumulation of unnecessary material goods. This is not good for personal health or the health of the planet. So the ‘stop over-consuming’ thought is a positive. Have you been the same?

Beyond all the economics, we all know that the tipping point for our planet’s survival is rapidly approaching. David Attenborough’s popular nature programs are applauded for the compelling and stark warnings he has shared for decades about our impact on the planet. But do we actually get it? In less than 6 years, we are likely to go beyond a tipping point that will be irreversible. Few people now deny the climate crisis, but how many of us are genuinely addressing our own personal responsibility. Many (possibly most) just keep everything crossed that our wonderful politicians and scientists will pull a rabbit out of the hat. But they are a bit busy focusing on other things.

My take away positive message from this is ….. if the financial crisis has sharpened your focus on what you spend and eat; if it has caused you to consider how and where you holiday; you are likely going to arrive at decisions and behavior that saves you money and reduces your impact on the environment. Surely that’s got to be a good thing?


Some money saving ideas we’ve tried and wanted to share!


TOP TIP 1: 24-hour timer plugs! They look so old fashioned and mechanical, but they are amazing! We had a few knocking around and you can buy them for as little as £3. We have used these in a number of ways to help us cut down on energy usage and cost. The main saving has been using them with small electrical heaters in the bedroom, rather than heating the whole house with the central heating. Half an hour before wake-up time (for half an hour) and the room is snug. Makes getting up that little bit easier. We have also realised that our big freezer can easily cope with being turned off for a few hours overnight without any hint of it defrosting. Currently it’s off for 4 hours in the dead of night when the door is shut (unless there’s someone eating ice-cream in the middle of the night!) That is a 17% reduction in energy usage of one of our hungriest appliances. Tried it with the fridge too. Mayhem. Don’t try this at home folks.

TOP TIP 2: Try and keep a sense of humor. Try a few of these recession related jokes with friends and family! https://upjoke.com/recession-jokes I realise this will be harder for some than others and I do not make this suggestion glibly.

TOP TIP 3: Keep focused on fitness. If you are feeling a bit down and out of control, it’s easy to start neglecting your own health and fitness. We know exercise improves our mood. You can stop the downward spiral (if you are in one) by taking back control and fitness is something you can control. Why not try something in 2023 you’ve never done before …. A triathlon perhaps?! Who is the friend you have who never says no. Rope them in and get training for a mini tri. For tips, plans and support go to www.first-tri.co.uk


We’d love to hear how you’re all navigating the weeks. And do tell us your tips for saving money and we’ll share them in our news.




Mike

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