Monday, 4 February 2013

What's In Your Pocket?

Keeping up with Modern Technology

"We want people to celebrate life’s ‘little wins’. We’ve all experienced the momentary thrill of finding money in our pockets that we didn’t know was there... You can spend the money in any way you want, as long as it gives that feel-good feeling to you, or someone you know."

The invite arrived from those lovely people at MoneySupermarket as part of their 'What's In Your Pocket' blogger competition. On acceptance of their money challenge, I was given £20 cash to indulge myself! I think I've made the most of my little windfall!

As an extreme frugaler attempting to live on a revolving budget of less than £4,000 a year, the thought of shelling out £20 on sheer luxuries is a very daunting prospect! I gave up the car in favour of a bike in December 2012 and then lost a chunk of my income at New Year. And lest we forget, there's a major renovation project ticking along, albeit very slowly, while Im also trying to organis my fundraising trip of a lifetime to climb Ben Nevis in May. Budgets are tight, finances have been allocated and contingency plans made. But this spending 'challenge' is different - it's completely free money - it's exciting!

Getting away from it all was certainly my first thought, but that's not the easiest (or cheapest) thing to do when you live in a rural location with no car and no public tranport. It would cost the entire £20 just to get a taxi to the nearest Co-op and back, IF I could locate a taxi! Moving swiftly on...

My microholding project! Creating, establishing and maintaining a debt-free, self-sustainable lifestyle that combines outdoors with indoors in an effort to provide both food and an income - that is the whole basis of Frugaldom. It means working between house and garden while maintaining communications with the outside world. We've no mobile signal here, there's no phoneline in the office/studio space outdoors and this is my current telephone!

I bought this phone/fax/copy machine secondhand for £20 in 1998. It plugs straight into the phone socket and needs electrical connection for the copier or fax to work, but I no longer use those.

Using the telephone depends entirely on being 'there', which is in the livingroom, standing by the window and almost in direct line with the television. If anyone's trying to watch said television at the time a call comes in then they can't, it's as simple as that. Any calls taken or made are from this one location.

So, my frugal friends, you can imagine my sheer delight when I suddenly found myself with £20 to spend on absolutely anything and spotted these!

Yes! I have, at long last, moved up in the technological world of modern telecommunications and have now ordered two magical little handsets so that anyone can take or make a call from anywhere around Frugaldom. Amazing as this may seem, I have been without a cordless phone since we moved here and it is one of the most annoying things EVER when you call a company and they ask you to follow on-screen directions at your computer! My computer isn't even in the same room as the telephone! (I will, of course, keep the old phone so we can make calls during power cuts.)

Not only will these wireless handsets benefit the entire household, they will instantly resolve the problem of not hearing the telephone ringing when up the stairs, in the kitchen or out in the garden. I can simply take a handset with me! :) These will make life so much simpler during the gardening months when trying to juggle veg-growing with waiting in for calls or even just chatting to friends or family.

I am so utterly delighted with my purchase that I'm like the cat that got the cream. Even although many of you may think it's a ludicrous thing to have done with the money, you have to remember that I live a frugal life of make do and mend with zero leeway in the budget for frivolous or luxurious spends. I have no sorce of income apart from wha I earn from home. There are no shops around me, no buses or taxis, no entertainment venues, cinemas, health clubs or fast food takeaways. We don't have a pub nearby and there are none of my friends within safe walk of here after dark. Finding my precious bargain was how it was meant to be - otherwise, why were these reduced to £19.99 on the very day that I found myself with a magical £20 to spend?

The penny change has gone into my charity box, as I'm currently fundraising (see www.mcgonks for details of the Port to Fort Challenge) and saving all my spare change for the local lifeboat.

Thank you, once again, MoneySupermarket for another EPIC, fun money adventure.

NYK in Frugaldom.

Edited In: "We thought you'd like to know that we've dispatched your item(s). Your order is on the way, and can no longer be changed."

YEAH! My new phones are on their way! I am going to feel like a highflying, eccentric, overly-indulgent, wealthy and extremely lucky lady when I am sunbathing on my patio sipping my glass of homemade champagne whilst nibbling on freshly picked strawberries or quail egg salad sandwiches, while chatting to all and sundry from around the globe - possibly even filing my nails in between times. Luxurious convenience is on its way! :)

15 comments:

  1. I think that was an excellent way to spend the money - something that you will appreciate every day and makes your life easier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, cheapchick. My lifestyle is dictated by my meagre income, so I have very little choice in some things. Few seem to understand the concept of living without shops and without money to spend on trying to get to them, so this was like the ultimate in extravagances for me. I could easily live with the current phone but if it comes to the point that the household gives up the TV then it will be nice to be able to sit and relax while chatting to friends or relatives who can't visit and who I can't get out to visit without it being a major expedition. :)

      Delete
  2. This is excellent news..........practical and also will make a really difference to your life on a day to day basis. It is inconvenient things that dont work properly that wear you down in the end.
    Lets raise our glasses to shiny new objects !
    I live quite near all mod cons but somehow I have become a non-consumer for the most part.
    It sounds like you live in a really beautiful part of the world..................

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lizzie. I like the area, it's not in the least remote, it just doesn't have very much around that costs money. There's a facebook page about it at www.facebook.com/ElrigDG8 :)

      Delete
  3. I love these sorts of splurges! I hope they last you a long time :)

    It's unfortunate that some people don't "get it" but then again you wouldn't want to be them anyway.

    I still would have bought some hand cream :) (Spent $5 on a small tube 2 weeks ago. That tube had something magical in it and my hands now thank me on a daily basis!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BPS, I have such a stock of cream that I'll be lucky if I need to buy any for years... friend & I bought 10 large tubs of the stuff between us when it went on offer through one of the clearance websites about a year ago. :)

      Delete
  4. An absolutely perfect way to spend your £20, and I love that the phones were reduced to £19.99 on the day that you got your windfall to spend.

    A sensible and life enhancing purchase for such a small amount. I can just picture you on the patio now, chatting away to someone, drinking your home made champers and nibbling on home grown strawberries.

    It's a hard life but someone has to do it.......luckily it's us :-)


    Sue xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. things happen for a reason I always say!

    Gill

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to think so, too. But if I can't see the reason, I also enjoy finding it or else exploring possibilities.

      Delete
  6. Postman has just delivered my phones! How quick was that? I am mightily impressed. I'm also about to head out the door, as I have a sunny alfresco appointment with a stone circle and a camera, so the phones will need to wait until I get back home again.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Never, ever would have considered that a luxury, but in your situation - it's the perfect splurge. :-) Love hearing about how other people allocate their funds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your username - are you planning a trip to Hawaii? :)

      Delete
  8. I like the way you have managed to find something that is a luxury (you don't need it you have a working phone)but at the same time a practical item that will give you pleasure for years ahead.
    Just one cautionary note, I am currently managing without a landline as my hands free phone has gone walkabout.In daughter's bedroom? Down the sofa? Who knows?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I promise not to lose the handsets - no little ones here unless grand daughters are visiting and would you believe, no sofa?! LOL One day I'll have a livingroom suite, but first I need a fully finished livingroom! I haven't owned a three piece suite since 2003 and as that housemove was from Suffolk to SW Scotland, I couldn't afford to bring it with me. :)

      Delete

Many thanks for taking the time to comment. All comments are moderated to help prevent system abuse by spammers, time-wasters and chancers, so your comment will not appear until it has been manually accepted for publishing. This will be done as soon as possible - I check for updates regularly. We are on GMT - London times.