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Starcrossed

Who's Cutting Back?

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Like many on the board I have noticed recently how there has been a 'step-change' in inflation. How a packet of crisps seems to have gone up 5p overnight and pharmacy goods by 20p - 50p at a time.

For me personally, this has had the effect of treating most things out there with the same response I have to high house prices.

I mean, I kind of could afford to buy things in the shops just like I could afford to buy a small, crummy house. But as I refuse to buy a house I am refusing to buy almost anything that commerce wants to offer me.

It reminds me again how easy it is to say "no" when you get into the habit of doing so. And also how good it is not to spend money unnecessarily. I refuse to spend money on things that I don't need. But it's the inflation that has got me to this stage, not a sense of puritanical thriftiness.

Is anybody else making similar choices?

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i wish the masses would articulate 'the cost of living' as inflation and start demanding better wages rather then just going to the bank to 'mew to live'....

what are the unions doing about it? - do people still pay subs any more? - and if so why?

Edited by dnd

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Like many on the board I have noticed recently how there has been a 'step-change' in inflation. How a packet of crisps seems to have gone up 5p overnight and pharmacy goods by 20p - 50p at a time.

For me personally, this has had the effect of treating most things out there with the same response I have to high house prices.

I mean, I kind of could afford to buy things in the shops just like I could afford to buy a small, crummy house. But as I refuse to buy a house I am refusing to buy almost anything that commerce wants to offer me.

It reminds me again how easy it is to say "no" when you get into the habit of doing so. And also how good it is not to spend money unnecessarily. I refuse to spend money on things that I don't need. But it's the inflation that has got me to this stage, not a sense of puritanical thriftiness.

Is anybody else making similar choices?

Stopped watching a non-league football team I followed when it went up to £12 about 5 years ago - to watch semi-pros. No idea what they charge now.

Fans were whinging about cup final prices this weekend but nobody forced them to buy tickets. I love my football but there are a lot more important things in life. Somebody described football fans as "willing rape victims". I think this could be applied to other parts of life e.g. paying £80- £100 to watch some band/singer perform in the far distance.

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Like many on the board I have noticed recently how there has been a 'step-change' in inflation. How a packet of crisps seems to have gone up 5p overnight and pharmacy goods by 20p - 50p at a time.

For me personally, this has had the effect of treating most things out there with the same response I have to high house prices.

I mean, I kind of could afford to buy things in the shops just like I could afford to buy a small, crummy house. But as I refuse to buy a house I am refusing to buy almost anything that commerce wants to offer me.

It reminds me again how easy it is to say "no" when you get into the habit of doing so. And also how good it is not to spend money unnecessarily. I refuse to spend money on things that I don't need. But it's the inflation that has got me to this stage, not a sense of puritanical thriftiness.

Is anybody else making similar choices?

Absolutely. You manage to avoid being taken for a ride in a big way (paying stupid money for a house) and that mindset starts a trend.

New car - why? The current one does everything and is reliable.

Flat screen telly - does it show different programmes?

New computer - do I need one that's a bit smaller and slightly faster?

It's good. You start seeing that all the things you thought you needed to buy/upgrade you don't. You find by not lashing out cash for something new but sticking with the old one you're actually happier. You start appreciating what you have rather than thinking you need to make that new purchase.

HPI in force for good shock!

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The key is to strike a balance - no point making yourself miserable and living in a monk's cell, but the spending habits of some people today is obscene.

There was an interesting thread on one of the Home Cinema forums, discussing where to sell their huge VHS collections. It turns out they're now unsellable on Ebay, and charity shops won't even take them. The penny then dropped, and several posters started looking at their racks of hundreds of shiny new DVDs with horror. They won't stop though, and the credit cards are coming out for £5K HD projectors, and £25 per movie for HD-DVD/Blue Ray.

We have some nice toys, but we have no debts, apart from a mortgage that we'll have killed off in about 3 years. Shockingly enough, we believe in living within our means.

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Absolutely. You manage to avoid being taken for a ride in a big way (paying stupid money for a house) and that mindset starts a trend.

New car - why? The current one does everything and is reliable.

Flat screen telly - does it show different programmes?

New computer - do I need one that's a bit smaller and slightly faster?

It's good. You start seeing that all the things you thought you needed to buy/upgrade you don't. You find by not lashing out cash for something new but sticking with the old one you're actually happier. You start appreciating what you have rather than thinking you need to make that new purchase.

HPI in force for good shock!

Lots of people will need to think this way, in the future mortgage repayments, debt, tax and energy bills will consume most of their pay, leaving little room for other items (such as foods), this is already the case for the most streched.

It may even solve the obesity problem, the longevity issue could also be solved by people working themselves to death to pay for another bunch that gave up at 55.

Edited by BuyingBear

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It reminds me again how easy it is to say "no" when you get into the habit of doing so. And also how good it is not to spend money unnecessarily. I refuse to spend money on things that I don't need. But it's the inflation that has got me to this stage, not a sense of puritanical thriftiness.

Is anybody else making similar choices?

tbh if everyone did that we would have mass unemployment pretty fast, only the essential services would survive.

think about your job, it is very likely people could do without

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tbh if everyone did that we would have mass unemployment pretty fast, only the essential services would survive.

think about your job, it is very likely people could do without

Don't know about that - I'm a librarian.

If nobody bought books I would be very busy.

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Don't know about that - I'm a librarian.

If nobody bought books I would be very busy.

hypocritical to be honest

the government/council pays your wages, which comes from our taxes. if you advise people to cut back, the first person that should do that is government. cutting back on waste and un-necessaries. and libraries in my opinion are very un-necessary in my view now with the internet.

people can, and some do survive on the bare necessitates. If everyone did that though, there would be mass unemployment and we would be in a terrible situation.

Apart from those people who sell a VITAL service/goods, the rest of us would be broke. and "the rest of us" far outweigh those who provide essentials.

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hypocritical to be honest

the government/council pays your wages, which comes from our taxes. if you advise people to cut back, the first person that should do that is government. cutting back on waste and un-necessaries. and libraries in my opinion are very un-necessary in my view now with the internet.

people can, and some do survive on the bare necessitates. If everyone did that though, there would be mass unemployment and we would be in a terrible situation.

Apart from those people who sell a VITAL service/goods, the rest of us would be broke. and "the rest of us" far outweigh those who provide essentials.

Sorry, I don't agree. I don't expect that one person such as myself has any influence on the macro-economic picture. I am simply making a rational choice.

Of course any extreme can be harmful but I would say that the burden of responsibility for economic problems at the moment lies more with those that spend too much than those that spend too little.

As for libraries - don't worry, I'm well aware of government/local government waste and it annoys me too. It gives everybody that works in public service a bad name.

Some aspects of public libraries have been affected by the Internet but others are doing just fine. Over 2,000 people visit my library every day and borrow over 25,000 books a month. When we become pointless I will be honest enough to admit it.

Edited by Starcrossed

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Stopped watching a non-league football team I followed when it went up to £12 about 5 years ago - to watch semi-pros. No idea what they charge now.

Fans were whinging about cup final prices this weekend but nobody forced them to buy tickets. I love my football but there are a lot more important things in life. Somebody described football fans as "willing rape victims". I think this could be applied to other parts of life e.g. paying £80- £100 to watch some band/singer perform in the far distance.

Just got my season ticket renewal for The Theatre of Dreams it's up £95 this year to £760. Then it's £40 for champions league, FA cup and league cup matches on top of that. I travel fom Ireland and since gorgeous Gordon introduced the green tax on flying costs have increased considerably.

I am currently undecided on whether to renew or not. :unsure:

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Well, I was made redundant back in November with about a years take-home pay-off just before my daughter was born. Could have been scary but we've taken a similar approach. I'll take a year or so out, not spend much money and enjoy being at home and not missing a thing!

I've taken on a few freelance jobs and will probably earn less than I did (probably a lot less) but since I'm not working in London anymore, plus I'm saving on the childcare (about a grand a month) and commuting PLUS we've reached this realisation that we don't NEED to buy anything - it's an absolute revelation!

It's really occurred to us that we don't really need any more stuff. And half the stuff we have was only ever been accumulated because well, you kind of end up adhering to that old adage that you spend what you earn. Man, when I think of some of the things I've bought that I really never needed, it's ridiculous.

I mean once you've got the basics, what do you need? Got a car that's paid for and will last years, got my computer to work on, got my hifi, got my guitar, got my mountain bike... Got enough jeans to last a decade! We'll be fine.

I totally agree - prices for things in this country are getting insane - but it's kind of distorted by the fact that we're fooled into thinking we actually need so many things we really don't.

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Guest Bart of Darkness

Good thread.

Years ago, when I was on the dole, I used to dream about having camera X (I was into photography in a big way in those days) and computer Y. I used to look in shop windows and imagine what it would be like to be able to just walk in and buy everything I wanted.

Now that I could do that, I won't. In fact I've come to hate spending money on stuff I don't really need, or even (sometimes) on stuff I do. These days I know more than I want to about "buyer remorse".

  • I sometimes think about buying a flat screen TV, but I know I'll barely watch it.
  • I don't buy DVDs much these days (lots of the stuff I want to see can be accessed on the Internet anyway). And the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD tussle is hardly encouraging me to buy any HD stuff (for which I'd need a new player and a new HD-TV as well)
  • I hasve a cheap PAYG mobile. There are some great new phones out there and sometimes I'm tempted, but I barely use the camera/web/radio functions on the phone I've got. So do I really need anything fancier?

These days, if I spend anything over and above my essential expenses (food/rent/tax), I spend a little time debating the pros and cons of buying/not buying. Which I guess puts me at odds with the spend now/pay later attitude that is so prevalent today.

Maybe my way is right, maybe it isn't. But I'm free of debt and any money worries.

This thread reminds me of something Brad Pitt's character says in 12 Monkeys:

Jeffrey Goines: There's the television. It's all right there - all right there. Look, listen, kneel, pray. Commercials! We're not productive anymore. We don't make things anymore. It's all automated. What are we *for* then? We're consumers, Jim. Yeah. Okay, okay. Buy a lot of stuff, you're a good citizen. But if you don't buy a lot of stuff, if you don't, what are you then, I ask you? What? Mentally *ill*. Fact, Jim, fact - if you don't buy things - toilet paper, new cars, computerized yo-yos, electrically-operated sexual devices, stereo systems with brain-implanted headphones, screwdrivers with miniature built-in radar devices, voice-activated computers...

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Sorry, I don't agree. I don't expect that one person such as myself has any influence on the macro-economic picture. I am simply making a rational choice.

i agree, you alone make little difference in your local economy, im just trying to point out to all those that agree with your spend money on only your needs that if a large number of people did that, then a large number of people would loose their jobs. i think that is undeniable

I would say that the burden of responsibility for economic problems at the moment lies more with those that spend too much than those that spend too little.

apart from house prices, i think you would be hard pushed to give me an example of other people spending pushing up your living costs. most things we have a elastic supply of. the more people buy the more we produce and price doesnt vary greatly. this is not true with housing because of our planning permission. in fact, people buying lots of "stuff" generally makes them cheaper. look at laptops, cars, electroonics..........

Edited by cells

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Interesting thread.

We recently did a boot sale and offloaded our underused toot. It was amazing how much stuff we had accumulated that we did not use / did not need.

For a number of years now i have paid for everything with cash. For me this makes it much less likely to buy something i don't need.

I also no longer feel the need to go to the shops and "look round". If i could only convince the missus the same.....

F

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Careful !. Your in danger of acting as tight as the Uber-Rich. They hate spending money too.

Not sure that's always true. But if there is any truth in it, could it be a clue to something?

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Like many on the board I have noticed recently how there has been a 'step-change' in inflation. How a packet of crisps seems to have gone up 5p overnight and pharmacy goods by 20p - 50p at a time.

For me personally, this has had the effect of treating most things out there with the same response I have to high house prices.

I mean, I kind of could afford to buy things in the shops just like I could afford to buy a small, crummy house. But as I refuse to buy a house I am refusing to buy almost anything that commerce wants to offer me.

It reminds me again how easy it is to say "no" when you get into the habit of doing so. And also how good it is not to spend money unnecessarily. I refuse to spend money on things that I don't need. But it's the inflation that has got me to this stage, not a sense of puritanical thriftiness.

Is anybody else making similar choices?

I am currently buying the freehold on my flat so other than mortgage, supermarket (inc petrol) & council tax my spending has ceased completely though I may break out a few quid for Joe Strummer : The future is unwritten.

I have enough books to keep me going to Christmas and Birthday and then I will get about another 20 - 30 for the next year so that is me sorted out.

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Phew! I'm glad I'm not the only one who lives modestly! :)

I'm glad that I've grown out of designer clothes/car modifying/etc. and now find it much more satisfying to get T-shirts and stuff in Primark (yes, I know, but in all the other shops it's foreign made anyway). Yesterday I even said to Mrs Avenger, "hang on, I don't need a Wii right now - let's wait until it's cheaper."

We're saving really hard for our own place and doing well. I think it helps that, unlike most people my age, I am totally disinterested in tat like iPods and flashy mobile phones. My iPod? A 512MB MP3 player/flash disk that was free with my £60 phone ;)

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