the skinflint philosopher

Thrifting your way to a better life

Slip sliding away….

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…the information’s unavailable to the mortal man.

That’s how it’s been feeling around here the last few weeks. We now have our final days on the island decided, as the ferry crossings are all booked. There is the 1st August return sailing for Digger and hired van to take our (somewhat minimalised, but I fear there is still work that needs to be done!) possessions down to the Westcountry to store at my parents, and the 14th August for car + two adult + one infant, what will be a one way sailing. Laughably, we have actually booked a return for the 14th, as in the infinite wisdom of the ferry company pricing procedures, a return is actually cheaper than the single. I can’t understand the logic, but the skinflinter in me had no hesitation deciding which option to click.

Digger and Tiddler had some quality time last Saturday while I loaded up the car and did a final car boot sale. Digger has been grumbling for weeks that the boxes where cluttering up ‘his’ sheds, and preventing him finding things. For a not very busy day, we made £92 which I was pretty pleased with given that most of the things were rejects from the previous car boot, and I was selling most items in large rummage boxes for 25p or 50p each. I also made £15 for a neighbour who had given me a couple of items of clothing to sell for her, and she gave me £5 back for my trouble. Tiddler and Digger turned up halfway through to man (and toddle) the stall so I could nip off to spend a proverbial penny, and found in the meantime Tiddler had conned the next door stallholder into giving her a freebie. This was a rubbery stretchy orange dragon that makes me feel slightly queasy when I touch it. Tiddler of course thinks it is fantastical and her new ‘best-favourite’. All in all then, a financially successful (and making Digger happy) kind of day, only marred slightly by the new reptilian addition to the family.

I’ve also spent quite a bit of time online, investigating further details with tax and residency and car insurance issues. Our island’s slightly unclear categorisation of status for such things makes this all a bit complicated. There never seems to be a drop down menu that applies to us, yet as we are not actually part of the UK, and herein lies the problem, as trying to get a straight answer as to whether this policy or that law is valid for where we are now, where we will be, and facilitating the transition between the two, is simply making my head spin. We’re workin’ our jobs, collectin’ our pay, believe we’re gliding down the highway.

Digger has taken a hit as his own van has some ‘computer says no’  (UK TV reference, sorry to everyone else. Maybe think a little bit like Marvin if that helps?) issues going on. He bemoans the days when he could poke around with a screwdriver, or hit things with a hammer to fix them.  Now some unspecified electrical self diagnosis means his van has been in the garage twice and a mate’s-rates mechanic has been out to the house to look at it too. This is all a few weeks before he was planning on putting it up for sale. Cost to fix as yet unidentified, as is the actual problem.  You know the nearer your destination the more your slip slidin’ away.

Tiddler herself has being accidentally thrifty. In getting out all her old clothes to pass on to a friend for future use, we discovered that a lot of old leggings and trousers that I had deemed too small are now getting a bit of a frugal revival. As she no longer wears a nappy there is more room in the bum department, and she continues to slim down from her previous roly-poly baby status, so what were once full length trousers can now be worn as pedal pushers. A few that were tight around the calves, or had worn thin in the knees I have simply cut off and made legging shorts, as the material doesn’t fray.

On my part-time hours, I now only have nine working days left. It is a very surreal situation to be in, attending meetings to discuss plans of actions for everyone else for the next academic year, or to be preparing students for classes I won’t be taking. I have a gifted bottle of Prosecco that I have been saving for Digger and I to share after that last day. Digger’s business should in theory be handed over officially this week, but he doubts that it will smoothly transition.
This means of course that I shall have three clear weeks after finishing work before we finally leave. In that time we have to pack everything up, try and sell some large pieces of furniture we cannot take, clear the house, attend a wedding, trick Tiddler in wanting to dress like a flower girl for the day when she’d much rather race down the aisle as a viking, or a pirate, or a dragon.

And a hundred and one other things to fit in and sort out too.  Seven weeks and counting.

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Author: Theskinflintphilosopher

Call me thrifty, prudent, tight or even a miser, but squirreling money away is definitely my thing. The ins and outs of how saving money became a lifestyle, in order to work towards a specific lifestyle change. Follow me on that journey and learn to look at life in a different way.

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