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Champagne Lifestyle on a Lemonade Budget.

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Champagne Lifestyle on a Lemonade Budget.

edited 11 November 2018 at 11:35AM in Old Style MoneySaving
2.9K replies 533.9K views
lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
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edited 11 November 2018 at 11:35AM in Old Style MoneySaving
Can it be done.

Well I have decided I am going to give it a jolly good try.

And I invite you to join me....Please share your tips, experiences, deals, bargains. :rotfl:

For those who don't know me.....a little background.

I am a widow, aged 67. My husband died four years ago after a long illness which wrecked our finances and which changed my financial landscape, hopefully not forever. I am working on it. ;)

At one point I thought I would have to go bankrupt but with the help of Martin Lewis (All Hail) and the collective knowledge, wisdom and support of the lovely people on these boards I pulled myself back from the abyss and am now financially stable.

Not rich but I have "enough".

Now a confession ........although I am very content to live a simple and now thankfully stress free life I do have a penchant for a little luxury.....and .........before I get too old and decrepit, its time for some fun. Time to finally reap the benefit of all my hard work.

I have just moved house. It's a money pit and I love it. Doing up old houses is my idea of fun. I love rescuing old wrecks and turning them into elegant, comfortable homes and then when I sell ........hopefully they end up a profitable investment.

I did well on the last one, which I bankrolled and project managed.i gave all the profits to my son who put in all the sweat equity and hours of back breaking work. I was happy just to break even on that one and give him a leg up.

However .......as we all know "all work and no play makes Jill a very dull girl". So, whilst I am fully committed to making this new house a stunner And hopefully make a nice little profit I want to

a) do it on a tight budget and
b) not put my life on hold in the process this time.

So......my plan is to live off my income of £12,000 and use some of my capital as my war chest for the renovations and hopefully at some point start up a small sideline business. No idea what yet.

So how to streeeeeetch that £12k, until, in the words of one of our dear chancellors, I think it was Nigel Lawson ....."the pips squeak". How to extract every ounce of luxury and fun.

I am in the process of reviewing my budget. This is always an ongoing process for me. I am constantly refining my budget to make the most of what I have. Sounds a bit anal but I do it at least once a month.

This week I had to change my mobile phone but although I now have to pay an additional £5 per month I am happy with the deal. I also have to take my car in for what I hope will be a minor repair.

My car is getting on a bit and so far has cost me peanuts to run but it's on notice. If it starts getting too expensive then its days are numbered. :rotfl: I can live without a car if I have to, at least as a short term measure. We have good transport links here. I have a free bus pass and a senior railcard. A taxi into the city centre is reasonable.

I have good practical skills, love charity shops, and make most of my own lotions and potions.

What I really need to do is learn now is how to get the fabulous entertainment, hotel and travel deals that I know are out there. As a solo there is often a premium to pay for the privilege of travelling alone......

So now it begins......my quest for a champagne lifestyle......

I am sooooooo worth it. Lol.
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Replies

  • lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
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    So today's luxuries.......

    There is a small joint of beef in the slow cooker. Yummy.

    I am going to do a freezer inventory and aim to really reduce my food budget this month. I am going on a bargainous 14 day cruise, sailing on 24th November so I am going to run down my food stocks.

    Sounds extravagant but it is a last minute cheapie to get away from the mess and discomfort whilst the plumber installs my new bathroom. The plumber informed me it would be best if I did a disappearing act. So after looking at a 5 night stay in UK hotels I discovered that a last minute cruise worked out at roughly the same price......crazy.

    I have prebooked my train, using my railcard and have splurged out on first class. Using my card and booking in advance made the first class option affordable. They usually throw in refreshments for free with first class tickets too.

    I don't need new holiday clothes - I have wardrobes full. :rotfl: mainly charity shop bargains of course. ;).
  • SpendlessSpendless Forumite
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    What sort of things do you like doing?

    Theatre matinees can have cheaper prices than evening performances (not always though - sometimes they're the same price!)

    Found this link.

    http://www.laterlife.com/laterlife-perks-for-pensioners-1.htm

    Lunchtime menus are often cheaper than later in the day and likewise midweek is cheaper than the weekend.
  • edited 11 November 2018 at 12:33PM
    lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
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    edited 11 November 2018 at 12:33PM
    Hi Spendless.

    Thanks for the link. I'll have a good read later.

    Unfortunately if I want to go to a west end show I have to factor in travel and/or hotel costs so I'm afraid they have to be a once in a while treat. The last time I went to London for a show was about March time. I shall lbe too busy between now and the festive season but maybe next spring.

    I have a cinema discount card which I can use Sundays, Mondays and Tuesday and I noticed recently that a number of cinemas near me now offer Silver Screenings so I intend to start taking advantage of those.

    I'm with you on the lunchtime and early bird menus. I went out on Friday to my favourite restaurant. They do a lovely two course "Fixed Pris" early evening menu. I rarely eat puddings so two courses is fine for me. And I do like to be a "lady wot lunches". I'm meeting a girl friend on Wednesday.
  • lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
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    Sorry had to split posts. My iPad is playing up. Hopefully it's not on the blink and I have just done something stupid......

    What do I enjoy doing, just about anything and everything. I am interested in trying new stuff although I am not as agile as I once was. Ano Domini catches up with us all in the end.

    I love museums, galleries, theatre, cinema, poking around country houses and cathedrals, nice restaurants, concerts ......the usual. I regret I am not particularly sporty so I'm not fussed about skiing or all action holidays. I have no desire to climb Everest or trek through deserts and jungles. Although I did fulfill a lifelong ambition this year and visited the Amazon. One off the bucket list.......

    Next year I'm booked to go to Iceland, another bucket list trip. :rotfl:

    I am in the process of setting up a mini gym at home, so no need for fancy gyms but trying to get fitter. I would like to try and find some dance classes when my knee is a bit better. I have a number of fitness and dance DVDs so I just need to get some space organised so I can have a designated gym/exercise space.

    Today I am having an "at home" day just pottering about and enjoying the luxury of time spent catching up with myself.

    Time itself is a luxury isn't it.
  • jackieblackjackieblack Forumite
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    I've subscribed :)
    My annual income is similar to yours but I'm not old enough yet to take advantage of any age related discounts.
    Hoping to pick up some tips for the future.
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter,
    south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading
    Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
    MFW #4 OPs: 2018 £866.89, 2019 £1322.33
    2020 YTD £1337.07 Jan £69.76, Feb £67.31, Mar £700.00, Oct £500
    Everything will be alright in the end so, if it’s not yet alright, it means it’s not yet the end
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
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    Hi Jackie......welcome aboard.
  • edited 12 November 2018 at 9:12AM
    csarina2csarina2 Forumite
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    edited 12 November 2018 at 9:12AM
    Get your champagne from Aldi, it just as good, and a lot cheaper, mind you their lemonade is only 30p.:D:T:T:rotfl:
    Target figure £10,000/£4365.93.......
  • freyasmumfreyasmum Forumite
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    I'm not retired, but second (or third?) the lunchtime menu. Many places offer reduced price meals if you sit before 5 -
    any places I've been take that as being booked for 4:45, no matter when you are actually seated. It's an early dinner, but I quite like it.

    As I say, I'm not retired and we are at a different stage at the moment to you - we are saving to move to a bigger house in SE (prices here are horrific when I consider what they are like at home!). Though we are still hoping to buy an older house in need of love - but I will follow this thread with great interest, if I may :)
  • jackieblackjackieblack Forumite
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    I understand about constantly reviewing and amending your budget. I do this too and it helps reassure me that a) everything's under control and b) I'm getting every last drop from every £.
    I have family, friends and colleagues who are bewildered by how I manage to live as I do on my income. I always say it's just a question of priorities.

    I empathise with the 'single traveller' issues. I'm also tied to only travelling only at peak times, which can really add to cost if I'm not very careful and makes off peak bargains like your cruise impossible to take advantage of.

    I guess it's not so much a champagne lifestyle I aspire to so much as making the lemonade into a really long drink with a few umbrellas and sparklers in :D
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter,
    south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading
    Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
    MFW #4 OPs: 2018 £866.89, 2019 £1322.33
    2020 YTD £1337.07 Jan £69.76, Feb £67.31, Mar £700.00, Oct £500
    Everything will be alright in the end so, if it’s not yet alright, it means it’s not yet the end
  • edited 11 November 2018 at 12:53PM
    lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
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    I've been Money Tipped!
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    edited 11 November 2018 at 12:53PM
    csarina2 wrote: »
    Get your champagne from Aldi, it just as good, and a lot cheaper, mind you their lemonade is only 30p.:D:T:T:rotfl:

    OOoh yes....... A girl after my own heart. :rotfl:

    I love Aldi's. Such fantastic deli type food, gorgeous chocolate, excellent wines and bubbly. I love their Cava. I always have a couple of bottles in so that when friends drop by we can have an instant party atmosphere. You cant beat a bit of bubbly.

    When I'm being good And avoiding alcohol I indulge in their sparkling mineral water. 6 bottles for 99p.

    Not quite the same but maybe better for the liver. ......:rotfl: I like their traditional lemonade too.
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