For a person who can’t shut up with a keyboard, I do apologize for being tardy with the “Frugal and Greenish” blog for the last few months but life has been taking many twists and turns and providing me with many challenges and ultimately a new beginning on the immediate horizon.
But all challenges and new beginnings teach us many things.
As always, mine tend to be financial challenges and the one on my immediate horizon involves resettling my family, in a different country, on a very limited budget, no jobs and essentially starting over from scratch.
I’m looking at the only items we will be sending by sea-freight to join us in the UK (it’s expensive and the 40 cu ft we will be shipping is around $2500 as it involved door to port and port to door as well as cargo ship) and these mostly include personal belongings that we just can’t part with. Mostly photos, items with sentimental value and the only furniture will be a sea chest and a clock my ex (and late) husband made me from old pallet wood…I was always very amazed at his abilities to make such wonderful things out of throw away items.
So how does one save money when faced with extreme times of change?
a) For a start I’ve saved thousands of dollars booking our air-flights to the UK using “Canadian Affair” (uses Thomas Cooks and Air Transat airlines) instead of “Air Canada”… the price difference currently is over $1000 a ticket so for the 4 of us I’ve saved over $4000!!
b) I’ve avoided the need for expensive hotel/temporary accommodation ensuring I secured a home to rent in advance and that the times of our flight and arrival in the UK will allow us to sign paperwork, get the keys and sleep in our new house on the day we arrive. I’d say that’s saved us at least $1000!!
c) Accept the help of friends. When people you know keep offering their help, stop being so proud and accept their kindness (you can always repay them in many ways). We’ve done just that and “Bertie and Ben” have visited the house, and taken photos and video and are holding our keys…
d) Freecycle, Freegle and Facebook.. the THREE F’s~! When starting over you need all the help you can get and we intend to make use of unwanted items from other peoples homes. Crockery, cutlery, furniture… easy to clean, easy to paint. Spread the word through your own social network on Facebook too. Better stuff goes to good use rather than landfill!
e) Rent a home with it’s own washing machine (or buy one secondhand) I’ve been renting here in Bridgewater for a little while, a great little place which has been perfect for us. Alas I’ve had to visit the laundrette to get our clothes cleaned and that involves 5 visits every 2 weeks (so 5 large machines and 5 large dryers) so $130 a month! It will pay itself back in just a couple of months even with the water bills!
f) Work and earning an income. Well that’s difficult right now until I land in the country and get my bearings as Nottingham is unfamiliar to us however, I’m a great believer in volunteerism and becoming a “Sunday Vole” is appealing to be right now and you can be sure, as soon as I have a car, I’ll enjoy getting my hands dirty!
Incase you think I’m going to wear a furry animal outfit and start foraging in the mud, here is clarification..
Bestwood Country Park http://www.fbcp.org.uk/the-voles.html
“Bestwood and the Mill Lakes form a large Country Park on the north of Nottingham City. The site is a refuge for a host of wildlife, and a gateway for access to the wider countryside.
Once part of the ancient hunting area of Sherwood Forest, the parkland was made the property of the Duke of St.Albans, the first being the son of Charles II and Nell Gwynn. The estate has been used for forestry, farming, hunting, the colliery and iron industries, sand extraction, and military training.
It is now in the custody of Nottinghamshire County Council and Gedling Borough Council.”