Althea of Middelmost

Althea of Middelmost

travelHaving to travel by air is a nightmare in financial logistics. Parking at an airport is not something mere mortals like me can afford. Just getting to the airport deals my dollars a deathly blow and, once at the airport, any small refreshment will cost me more than a week's groceries. One has to be travel smart. One has to check all the options. One has to 'suss the system and subvert it from there'.

hayHay in the shed is like money in the bank and my little hay shed was full. But ... as the dry became dryer, I could see the "money in the bank" would be twice as expensive when I did my usual two refills of hay later in the year and I decided that an early intervention was essential.

staying warmI did worry the other day when we had the first real cold snap since summer finished. For most of last year, I was on crutches and the usual firewood collecting (along with a lot of other things) was not done and I eyed my dry firewood pile up with dismay. It is not large and it certainly is not big enough to keep me warm for all of this coming winter.

milkingI saw an advert in a weekly rural paper which reminded me of a discovery I made a while back. The ad was for a rotary back scratcher for cows and the sales line was that happy cows produce more. And that's dead right.

wormIt is so tough when you struggle each day to keep your self-esteem intact because one eye is continually on the bank balance and the other is always on the ever diminishing budget forecast.I was driving back from town earlier than expected today (because my concept of going to the movies got squashed by a necessary purchase costing more than I thought it would) and as I watched expensive boat after expensive motor home pass me by (as people returned home from the Easter break) I reflected on where I had gone wrong in my life.

shoppingI love shopping and, for those fans of "Letters from Middelmost", I did eventually have my dream spree in Paris. But, a while back my notion of spending took a nose dive. I had some money ... not much ... but it was spare and I had a couple of hours before an appointment so I headed to large department store.

milkNot only do the pennies and pounds count, when things are tight, but you need to be also checking that you have added value. There was a catch cry a few years ago that stated quite clearly ... "Nothing must leave your gate without added value!"

Back then, I knew what my added value was with my pedigree Jersey herd – they were all polled and it was a natural breeding trait I had been following for some time. My 'added value' was that each calf saved me the cost of dehorning and, therefore, each calf had a greater profit margin or 'added value'.

every bit countsSave the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves. That's a very old saying but, goodness, is it still relevant today! Small, small things will add up and when things are tight I am constantly thinking of how I can be miserly. I try to take all things I touch and 'shorten them up'. It might not be by much, and one may think it's a waste of time, but try this as a family exercise.

spearI often wonder with great admiration as to how people survive on the minimum wage. Ok, I survive on below the minimum wage but I have the ability to grow and shoot my own and I have the facilities to raise enough income to pay for what I can't shoot or grow.

shop carefullyGoing on from the grocery shop last article ...

I'm a bit of a label reader. Firstly it saves me money because, if there is a word I can't read or can't pronounce on the label, then the item gets put back onto the shelf. Try it. You'll be surprised how much you don't put in the trolley and you will probably find that you will manage quite well if you don't buy them.

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