Sunnyside Up

This week an article from one of our readers on a favourite subject of mine "Money". Many thanks to Sunny Side Up.

News Flash - the Isle of Dogs Building Society has collapsed. They've called in the retrievers.

I remember being told time and time again by my Gran about the days when she filled the bathtub from saucepans off the stove (after keeping the stove full with wood), all the time desperately hoping that you would be either first or second in the queue to feel the benefit of that hot clean water. A time when food was scarce and one tin of ham would have to go round the whole family, when a slice of bread wiped round the dripping in the roast pan could constitute a meal and any “left-over” food was eaten by whoever ate their meal the fastest. A time when a cold could kill you and when you couldn’t wait till your older sibling grew a little so you got new clothes in the form of hand me downs. Entertainment was homemade as TV’s were far too expensive and music could be heard on a crackly wireless that had to be bashed on top every now and again to keep it in some kind of tune.

I sit here in these “Credit Crunch” times, sipping a glass of wine, pushing the last of my meal away as I just can’t eat any more, watching the children listening to I-pods, chatting on their mobiles about the TV they watched last night. I think about having a hot shower with running water and start wondering if times right now really are so bad.

Yes, maybe in this “throw away” age, compared to 2 years ago we have it a little tough, but in the bigger picture in a time when “Sky TV” seems to be a necessity and people feel hard done by if they don’t have dish washers and all the latest gadgets is life really that hard?

We may have to be a little thriftier than we did a couple of years back, but looking at life as a whole do we really have much to complain about?


 Some prices are rising (especially petrol) and one thing we can do is maybe try to be more sociable, work within your community, find out about car shares etc, don’t just drive to the corner shop when the walk would not only do you good but you’ll probably bump into some neighbours that you can chat with along the way.


 My partner said to me the other day, “I don’t think the rise in petrol has affected me, I still only put in £20 every time I go to the petrol station”


 Enough said about her for the moment I think!!


 It’s all about perspective and not letting small things seem bigger than they are or letting them take over your life, there’s many ways to save a few pound, I saw printed in the newspaper the other day a few ideas, one made me laugh:

 “Shave every other day therefore a pack of 4 razor blades that cost £5.50 will last you twice as long”


 I don’t know about everyone else but I buy a pack of bic’s at 10 for £1.50 so I think the guy writing that just needs to think about where he is shopping.


 Christmas is coming up and that could lead to a few difficult times for parents, I mean do you try to explain to your children that “Santa is hit by the credit crunch”, I mean he is based in the Nordic countries after all isn’t he? You can’t simply ruin the illusion (and I hope no children are reading this – if so then SPOLIER ALERT) and say that all your presents come from us and not Santa. I would blame it on Iceland and start dropping hints already, when your child is doing homework and says “Dad, what is the capitol of Iceland?” simply reply with “about £5.60 son”, that will get them thinking.

Either that or tell that that Santa is getting old and because of the pension crises, can’t afford so many presents, that is topical, explanatory and educational – what more could you want for your kids!


 A friend of mine actually lost a fair bit of his money recently with all the problems with saving accounts, yes he will have to rethink his plans and his future, however, he is keeping a cheerful approach to life, which is what’s most important. He said to me the other day “it’s worse than a divorce, I’ve lost half my asset’s, but still have the wife”. A smile and cheerful disposition will get you through the hardest of times. My bank manager thinks along the same lines, I spoke to him the other day who told me he was concentrating on the Big Issues from now on, he’s right, I saw him selling them outside the supermarket.


 Anyway, I’m off for a glass of wine, so that’s enough for the moment, but remember not to let small problems become big problems, keep your perspective, keep smiling, just be careful with your pennies and remember in this climate the easiest way to make a small fortune, is to start off with a big one.